Category Archives: Student Life

TMMBA Week in the Life: Sarah McCaffrey, Day One

Sarah McCaffrey, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Welcome to the first installment of a new TMMBA series, “Week in the Life,” in which you can read about a typical week in the life of a TMMBA student. Today you’ll hear a little bit about me, Sarah McCaffrey, a former Marine Staff Sergeant currently in full-time pursuit of two degrees, the Technology Management MBA and the Master of Communication in Digital Media.

I’m writing this blog post during a break in the middle of our Macroeconomics class.

Classmates focusing intently on the CPI inflation of Japan.
Classmates focusing intently on the CPI inflation of Japan.

My TMMBA-related activities start early, checking my university e-mail account and a private Facebook group set up by my learning team over morning coffee, to see if we have any action items. Today I spent a little over two hours rehearsing my Professional Communications persuasive speech exercise. I was lucky enough to have an audience, however unenthusiastic they became after the first few run-throughs: my two daughters, aged three and five.

Daughters, plus a distant ostrich.
Daughters, plus a distant ostrich.

As a member of the Monday section, I headed to Macroeconomics for today’s session. Dinner is catered at 5:00 p.m., completely delicious and much appreciated in all of our busy schedules. I gave my persuasive speech at 6:00, which we can feature on the blog later this week. Several student presentations kicked off the class today, as well as introductions to today’s perspective student visitors.

A few of our lovely visitors with their student liaison.
A few of our lovely visitors with their student liaison.

I look forward to blogging daily this week, mixing it up with non-class activities and team meetings. Thanks for reading!

TMMBA Student Resources 101

Ally Wewers, TMMBA Program Coordinator

Today, TMMBA Class 13 students (who began at the beginning of January) have their first Saturday of class at Paccar Hall. TMMBA typically hosts one class per quarter on the Seattle Campus, which gives students an opportunity to see the other Foster Facilities and experience the campus environment. All morning, I’ve been listening to students ooh and ahh over Paccar Hall. “It’s like I’m back in my undergraduate days…” is a common comment from most.

Being on campus gives students a hands-on look at many other resources that TMMBA and the Foster School of Business provides for them.  Oftentimes, the 18 months of a TMMBA student go by so quickly that they forget to take a look around them and see what else is available outside of their classes.  I encourage all students to take advantage of these many benefits and resources:

  • Lounge for Foster MBA Students at Paccar
    Lounge for Foster MBA Students at Paccar

    Foster MBA Lounge and Access at Paccar Hall: With an activated Husky Card, students are able to access Paccar Hall, Dempsey Hall, and the MBA Lounge. Even when the Paccar Building is not open to the public, students are welcome to use the space for studying and group meetings. There’s even a dedicated space just for MBA students- the T-Mobile MBA Commons. This was a popular tour stop for our students today, and no- it does not come equipped with cigars and smoking jackets. It’s a study lounge- not to be confused with students other after-class haunts.

  • IMA (Intramurals Activity Building) – I was happy to hear today that a few students have already been working up a sweat at the IMA (only prompted in small part to the TMMBA ice cream cooler I’m sure). With a Husky Card, TMMBA students are allowed access to their fitness center and courts. UW Recreational Sports programs also provides the WAC (Waterfront Activities Center) where there are discounts available on canoe and rowboat rentals.

Husky Stadium

  • While we’re on the topic of fitness and sports, TMMBA students are always eligible for student tickets to Husky Athletic Events.  Some sporting events (baseball, volleyball, soccer) are free with a husky card, while others (men’s basketball, football) are subject to additional, discounted costs. Student tickets go fast for these events, so make sure to plan ahead for season or single-game tickets.
  •  UPass: Every UW student has a UPass which comes with their Husky Card. The U-PASS provides students with a variety of low-cost transportation options—from buses, commuter train service and light rail, to vanpooling and discounted carpooling. No activation required- once you get your Husky Card you’re ready to ride.
  • Foster Centers and Events:  The various Centers, including the Business and Economic Development Center, the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking, The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Global Business Center- all welcome involvement from TMMBA students. Foster also hosts events, like the Leaders to Legends Breakfast Series and Meet-the-Firms. For an updated list of events, take a look at the Foster Calendar.
  • Finally, one of the advantages of being a student at the University of Washington is the world-class library system available for use. Today, a representative from the Foster Business School library came to speak to students about the amenities at their location in Paccar Hall. Available to students are recent business publications, database access, librarian assistance and much more. Whether it’s the Foster Library or one of the many other University Libraries, these student resources are not to be forgotten.

Husky Card

As you can see- many of these resources require a student to have their Husky Card. Getting a Husky Card is free to students, and only requires a visit to the Husky Card Offices. Other Husky Card benefits include discounts from a variety of merchants, free admission to UW Museums, access to UW Zip Cars, and many more.

In writing this, I know that there are still many other UW/Foster/TMMBA resources that I am not mentioning. From business cards to MBA clubs, to TMMBA Career Services and sponsorship affiliations, there’s always more to get out of the TMMBA experience. Hopefully, sometime between classes and homework and team meetings, our students will find time to take advantage of them all! Because TMMBA students always need one more thing to add to the to-do list…

Work + TMMBA doesn’t mean you can’t still find time for fun!

Anuradha Raju joined TMMBA in January 2012 and is now halfway through the program. She has seven years of work experience and is currently a Design Verification Engineer 3 on the Microsoft Surface. We asked Anu how life has changed since joining the program and she shared this great graphic. It looks like Anu has really mastered the art of balance!

Life before and during the TMMBA Program

TMMBA b i e s

Wei Huang  Class of 2012

As I was headed out to the MBA Forum at UW this spring, I checked my voice mail.  I heard our midwife telling us to take my wife to the hospital because she had a case of preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy disorder that affects the mother and unborn baby.  Our baby was full term at 38 weeks. On April 5, 2011at 10:59 PM PT, our first baby Hana was born. It was amazing to see the little one who was kicking my wife all those weeks.

Since the TMMBA program started, nine babies have been born to date (still working on getting the pictures of the others).   Many of the fathers are new and some of the fathers are already experienced.  The first 3 months were the hardest and I advise anyone entering the program to get a lending hand while adjusting to their new lives.   I was fortunate to have my father-in-law and mother-in-law help out.   I also had a great team (C5) to pick up the slack for me.  I’m not sure how my classmates who have multiple kids do it but they an amazing group of people.  Can you imagine going to school and work full-time with children?  I’m envious of how my classmates with multiple kids survive school and work.  But in case you have kids and you are interested in the TMMBA program, having a baby or having kids in the program can be done!

Here’s the unofficial TMMBAby stats.

1 baby – January

2 babies – March

3 babies – April

1 baby – May

2 babies – September

1 girl (Hana), and 5 boys.

My little Hana!
Proud father to Xiaoyuan
Proud father to Chongguan
Proud father to Adarsh
Proud father to Jason
Proud father to Amador

Do you feel the difference already?

Hamed Ahmadi – TMMBA Class 11

The music has been always “rock and rolling” in my car and everyone enjoyed riding with me. Not anymore!

Well, unless you like to listen to all the business news broadcasted from reachable radio stations around the Puget Sound. I never thought I would prefer business talks over music. I even felt insulted the other day when my friend, sitting in the front seat of my car, changed the channel to listen to rap music while I was listening to NPR morning edition discussing the interest rates. I do not blame him, I had not anticipated that myself either.

That is a small example of the how my life changed since last December, besides not getting enough sleep or missing my soccer games. It is amazing how the “noises” I’ve been hearing all these years around various business topics are gradually turning into dialogs, talks, discussions, and decision makings … Right, because I can now understand it and be a part of it; and that feels really good :)

Good day to you.

How do you keep up with technology and business events?

Jared McInelly, TMMBA Class 11

Everyone is very busy.  There are so many demands on our time, work, family, school, etc.  I’ve found that school has taken all of my leisurely browsing-the-web-to-keep-up-on-technology time.  So, I have to boil things down to a few key resources.  Here are the things I use to keep up on technology and business issues along with a short description of each.


I love podcasts.  By subscribing to them in iTunes, new updates are downloaded to my iPhone automatically.  I have an FM transmitter that allows me to listen to them on my car radio while driving around in the wonderful Seattle traffic.  Here are my favorites.  All of these can be subscribed to in iTunes by searching for them by name.  (Sorry Andriod users, I have not joined your secret society and so I don’t know how to help you get these).

Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series.  Stanford University.  This is a weekly (during the school year) speaking event open to Stanford students.  They record it and post the talks online.  This is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to.  Because it’s Stanford, they get some of the best speakers from some of the most interesting companies in the world.

TWIT:  This week in technology.  Leo Laporte is the moderator with a panel that changes weekly.  They discuss the tech news of the week.  This is a great way to find out what is new and upcoming.  Plus, there are some great personalities in the group (and some consistently grumpy ones).

HBR IdeaCast.  This is a 20 minute interview with the author of one of the main articles for the week’s Harvard Business Review.  Very insightful and a quick and easy way to get the point of the article without having to read it.

Business Week – Behind This Week’s Cover Story.  Similar to the HBR IdeaCast, this is a short interview with the author of the latest Business Week cover story.

Manager Tools.  I don’t know where these guys came from but they are pretty good.  They discuss, sometimes in painstaking detail, specific, actionable tools you can use as managers.  My favorite Manager Tools podcast was the one that had 17 steps to remember for a perfect handshake.  I don’t bother trying to remember all of their items but I do find the overall point of each podcast very helpful.

RadioLab.  If you like science, even a little bit, you’ll love this podcast.  I look forward to a new episode of Radiolab like I look forward to Christmas.  Yes, I’m a geek.


Geekwire.  This is a site founded in Seattle to cover the tech beat in the Seattle area.  These guys are good.  They also have a podcast but it tends to be boring.

Google News:

I set up alerts on topics I care about and check it on occasion.  I include on this list all of the blogs that I like to read.  That way I get to see them all at once and it’s easy to tell if they have a new update.  Which is much better than checking them all individually.

I’m interested in what you have found helpful, please respond in the comments if you know of a good site, podcast, etc. that you use to keep up on the latest business ideas and technology.

Lights, camera, action! A look inside the UW Business Plan Competition

Sara Jones, Assistant Director

Last quarter, 12 TMMBA students successfully made it into the Investment Round of the UW Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) Business Plan Competition.  This is no small feat since only 36 out of 92 teams were accepted.  During the Investment Round, 230 judges each had $1,000 CIE dollars to “invest” in the teams.  The 16 teams with the highest investment advanced to the Sweet Sixteen Round.  I really enjoyed attending the event this year. There was a lot of excitement in the room and it was fun to see our students pitching their business ideas to local venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and investors.  This year TMMBA had 7 students on 3 different teams make it to the Sweet Sixteen Round!

Here is a short video from the Investment Round to give you a feel for the competition.

UW Business Plan Competition – 2010 Investment Round from Foster School of Business on Vimeo.

Spring Break: Haircuts, Grand kids, Miatas, Death, and Taxes

Tom Mackey, TMMBA Student

The Winter quarter officially ended yesterday when Anjani dropped off our marketing plan at TMMBA HQ. He’ll be on his way to Las Vegas in a few days for some R&R. The Friday before we submitted our business plan for our Entrepreneurial course, just in time for Rick to wing his way over to Prague — he’s doing the foreign study trip. The only final this quarter was in Strategy, and that was due closer to the middle of the quarter. The two final projects, and a branding paper, more than made up for finals, but in my not so humble opinion, also were much more valuable in terms of solidifying what we learned. Class 9, on the other hand, is in Finals Hell this week — my co-worker is done with his Stats final and is now pounding his way through Accounting.

I’m sitting here in the Backstreet Salon in Monroe (a great little place that Marilyn found through a friend of her’s) listening to Tami and Marilyn yakking about all the things that men are not usually privy to. Tami found time to give me a quick shearing while waiting for Marilyn’s perm to cure, something sure to bring a certain amount of joy to my class- and work-mates. This brings to mind an old limerick:

As a beauty I’m not quite a star…
There are others more handsome by far.
But my face, I don’t mind it
Because I’m here behind it.
It’s the ones out in front get the jar!

OK. Enough of the bad poetry. While I was getting my hair cut my cell phone rang — it was my daughter Debbie and she had some good news. She is expecting again, due in mid-July, and pretty excited about it. And so am I, of course. Soon-to-be big brother is looking forward to a playmate and dad is looking forward to having the family together during maternity leave. It was a little tough to talk and get a haircut at the same time, so we will have to chat again pretty soon.

(3/20/2009) Got a note from my sister in Michigan that our Uncle had passed away. While I had not ever gotten the chance to spend any time with him or my cousins, I know she had and was pretty saddened by his death. The last, and for me, practically the only time, we had seen our cousins was at our mom’s funeral back in 2000. Our cousins have done well with their lives — some are retired, some have risen through the ranks of one or another of the Big Three, and one has several patents related to the glass shelves we all have in our refrigerators.

(3/23/2009) Marilyn and I went on an over-nighter with our Miata club over the weekend. We had a great time and got re-acquainted with some folks that we hadn’t seen since before the TMMBA program started. Now, with one quarter to go, we are starting to look forward to re-engaging with the Puget Sound Miata Club and some other activities as well.

So it was pointed out to me by my sweetheart that I’ve managed to fritter away two weeks of this three-week break and I still haven’t cleaned out the office nor have I done any painting, nor have I done my taxes. Hint to fellow TMMBA students, both Class 8 and 9, if you don’t get your taxes done in this break between quarters, you will surely have a tough go of it between now and April 15th!

(3/24/2009) Rick is back from Europe, and we are all puzzling over our grades from Entrepreneurship — 75% of the grades are supposedly team grades, yet we have managed a 0.6 point spread based, evidently, on our class participation. The funny thing is that the person on the team that claimed to not have “drunk the Kool-Aid” got a 4.0, and those of us who IMHO contributed quite a bit got 3.5 and 3.6. Go figure… In the final analysis, grades don’t matter so much as what each of us was able to take away from the program.

As for me, I’m sipping a “Satan’s Whiskers”, one of the many new cocktails I’ve learned to make reading the “How’s Your Drink” column in the Saturday WSJ. With the global financial system rearranging itself faster than the trees on Lavalite World, could it be that I’ve stumbled upon the most valuable learning experience of them all?