When Robert Moehle (Class of 2015) decided to apply to the TMMBA Program, he knew he wanted to attend the nationally ranked Foster School of Business and gain access to a strong alumni network to help him accelerate his career. What Robert didn’t know at that time was that the TMMBA Program would introduce him to a new passion – entrepreneurship – and open up an unexpected and entirely new career path for him.
Robert started the TMMBA Program in January 2014 and decided from the get-go to fully immerse himself in his coursework and opportunities that the Program provided. With a technical role in the aerospace industry, he soon saw an increased confidence in his ability to “speak the language” of the business world as he applied his classroom learnings at work.
“TMMBA provided me with the context for how companies operate and why certain business decisions are made.”
He also found himself drawn to the courses and opportunities that extended beyond his current aerospace role – in particular, those in the realm of entrepreneurship.
Midway through the TMMBA Program, Robert made the decision to leave his corporate job to pursue his new-found passion for entrepreneurship. He directed his efforts to the annual UW Business Plan Competition (BPC) where he became a student representative for the TMMBA Program and an active participant in the planning committee. Through the process, he made invaluable connections with various start-ups and ultimately partnered with Hook – a smart home hub that makes inexpensive remote controlled outlets and bulb sockets “smart” to enable home automation on a budget.
Hook saw great success at the UW BPC, placing 3rd overall in the 2015 competition (out of 139 teams) and claiming the “Best Consumer Product Idea” prize. They also won 2nd place at the UW Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge earlier in the year. The BPC acted as a powerful catalyst for the company’s early success.
“The BPC gained us exposure to well-respected members of the entrepreneurship community to tap for advice and to grow our customer base when we launched.”
After the BPC, Hook’s momentum continued as they were accepted as part of the 2015 cohort to the exclusive Foster+Jones Accelerator Program. The Program provides six-months of mentoring from Seattle entrepreneurs and investors, a framework for defining measurable milestones, guidance in achieving those milestones, and the opportunity to earn up to $25,000 in follow-on funding.
Robert has proved to be an integral team member of Hook – both during the BPC and well beyond the competition. He’s leveraged his business skills and knowledge gained in the TMMBA Program to complement the technical skills of his other teammates.
“I negotiated the seed round of investment for our company using the frameworks of Entrepreneurial Finance, managed the company’s accounts using principles from Accounting, and have proper context for our team’s Marketing discussions as a result of my academic knowledge. “
What’s next for Robert? In addition to his continued work with Hook, he recently accepted a business development role at MVP.Aero – an aerospace company aimed at designing and building the world’s most versatile aircraft.
“I found it remarkable that with my bachelors/masters in aerospace engineering, commercial pilot certification, seaplane rating, and Boeing engineering background, it was the Foster TMMBA that impressed the (MVP.Aero) president the most.”
Undoubtedly, a bright future lies ahead of Robert with new business challenges, entrepreneurial endeavors and opportunities to put his skills and knowledge acquired in the TMMBA Program to the test.
The Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) International Study Tour gives second year students an experience to see how people live and work in another culture. Through company visits with executives and managers and cultural excursions, it adds valuable context to learn about and understand the increasingly global economy. A few previous tours include Vietnam (2014), Dubai and Abu Dhabi (2013) and China (2012).
Students recognize how this trip relates to professional development. Viveka Raol said “Multinational companies are looking to hire leaders beyond the average MBA, instead they want leaders who have no problem working with cross-cultural teams and are able to adapt to different kinds of settings. I need to be able to fully comprehend consumer perceptions and preferences across the globe.”
From March 15-21, 2015, fifteen students traveled with faculty member Bruce Avolio and TMMBA staff to the vibrant developing country of Peru. Before departing, students studied the country and companies and set personal learning goals. They also reflected on how this trip would contribute to their development as a leader and influence future interactions with classmates.
For John Koehnen, his goal was to experience and embrace another culture and discover how life and business fit together in South America. He said “In preparation for the trip, I studied some of the recent macroeconomic trends of Peru and other countries in South America. This helped frame my expectations, understand what would be important to the people of the region, and ask better questions to uncover nuggets of information that I couldn’t get from a business journal.”
Viveka wanted to learn how the United States is perceived in Peru and practice her intercultural communication skills. She said “Simple gestures such as direct eye contact, and smiling broadly which are commonplace in the United States can be interpreted very differently in different countries and have the potential to harm business relationships.”
On our first day of company visits, we left the cool comfort of the hotel and boarded a tour bus. While the driver navigated Lima traffic, three pairs of students balanced in the aisle and presented interesting facts, figures, and stories about each company on the day’s agenda.
Our first presentation was the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) of Peru that promotes and fosters trade, investment, and exchange between Peru and the United States. Chief Economist Rodrigo Acha explained macroeconomic indicators, the business environment, and U.S. relations with Peru. We learned about the fading of traditional class divisions, growing middle class, and trade balances. The #1 destination for exports in 2013 was China (U.S. #2) and Peru imports more U.S. goods than other countries.
“I found my classmates to be incredibly engaged and dynamic” said Phill Ramey. “They asked intelligent and informed questions that drove the collective learning forward during all of our company visits.”
We met and learned about seven more companies over the next few days.
Ofertop is a fast growing e-commerce startup who sells discounted deals. “They are a vivid illustration of TMMBA global strategy concepts and a great story of how a business can flourish by adapting to its local environment” noted Zhifeng Wang. “Unlike Groupon, Ofertop does not focus on mobile users due to low mobile penetration. Instead email is a primary channel. And since a large part of the Peruvian population still relies on cash transitions, they invented a cash payment option to make their business model feasible.”
Marga, a 50-employee textile producer and exporter, sells exquisite Alpaca knitwear. We entered the factory floor, with whirring machines and work tables, and squished into a showroom where Gonzalo Diaz, the new General Manager, explained their manufacturing steps, business markets, and expansion strategy for seven retail stores in Lima.
A student presentation started our last full day in Lima. Maureen Nash fearlessly sung these lyrics to the tune of “Come Together” by the Beatles:
Hey pay attention, Alicorp sells pasta, milk, and trades Value to their custo- – Mers to make them happy Keeping business money Founded 1956, going public 1980 Pay attention, right now, Alicorp!
Alicorp is a leading consumer goods company with 160 brands, operations in six Latin America countries, and 39% income from outside Peru. With 33 bakery brands, we were struck by their marketing strategies. They don’t market to children.
After visiting Lima, we traveled to the ancient city of Cusco, Peru, located at 11,200 feet in the Andes Mountains. Motorbikes roared through cobblestone streets while llamas grazed freely on the mountainside. We took a 2-hour drive through the rolling hills, green valleys, and jagged peaks. Another 2-hour train ride brought us to the village of Aguas Calientes, where we boarded a bus and ascended to the entrance of Macchu Pichu.
Many adjectives describe a first glimpse of looking down on the lost city of the Incas, 200 ancient stone buildings perched between four mountains. One student said “I’m speechless.”
After a group photo, we hiked for 2-3 hours to reach the Sun Gate, the official end of the Inca Trail. Viveka reflected on her experience:
“Peruvians are selfless people who seem to put others before themselves. My most vivid memory was the long hike to the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu.
The high altitude, congested sinuses, and sleepless nights culminated in a long and treacherous hike for me. Our tour guide was patient, empathic, and encouraged me every step of the way. I can still hear his soothing voice in my head, sharing stories of the Inca and their architectural prowess. His storytelling and kind persona helped alleviate my pain and at one point he even offered to carry my bag and heavy jacket to help lighten my load.
My learning from this is to make sure thatI do my very best to develop and intellectually engage my direct reports. Only if there is a pure cooperative dynamic, between employee and employer, will there be a desire to perform optimally.”
We traveled home to Seattle the next day and fondly remember the people and learning beyond the classroom walls of the Technology Management MBA program. If you’re a future or current student considering the international trip, John advises “Just go. Sign up. Explore. Take a chance. It is life-shaping and a real-life case study of all TMMBA learnings to-date.”
Our tour bus glided through snarled Lima traffic while Bruce Avolio kneeled in his seat to face 17 members of the TMMBA International Study Tour (IST) in March 2015. We had just finished visiting Ofertop, an e-commerce startup, and Graña y Montero, a group of 26 engineering and infrastructure service companies.
Bruce recapped our visits with these local and multinational companies. We had learned about the dynamic economic, political, and cultural landscapes of their businesses, asked questions during the presentation, and informally talked with leaders.
He announced “How did we today, on a scale of one to five?” The group laughed yet listened closely. “I’ll give you a 4.8.” It was a high score yet with a gap to improve to 5.0. I replay this exchange when I think about our trip, as his motivating and engaging style contributed significantly to our memorable week in Peru.
Bruce also joined a study tour to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2014. All student travelers completed his course International Business & Cultural Immersion.
Bruce Avolio, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking (CLST) at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. Appointed as the inaugural Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership in 2013, he is widely recognized for his outstanding research, consulting, and graduate-level teaching on transformational and authentic leadership. He has authored more than 150 published articles and 11 books.
In this interview, Bruce shares his perspectives on the distinctive value of a TMMBA International Study Tour and his path to the Foster Business School and TMMBA.
Q. What stands out to you as rewarding and meaningful in a TMMBA IST?
A. Two things come to mind. Number one is the group. The group came together so quickly and supportively in Peru. I keep reflecting on how much they did for each other. They were fun to be with and conscientious and focused on what we needed to do. They were present. On the company visits, they were told several times, “that if you keep asking questions, we won’t be able to get through everything.” The number of questions was terrific, informative, engaging, and reflected well on all of us.
The group in Dubai and Abu Dhabi needed time to acclimate because it’s quite different ─ particularly for women as it’s a very different experience ─ but they came together as a group and achieved everything I hoped they would. First, that they would be great brand representatives of Foster and the TMMBA, and second, that they would help each other in every sense and leave no one behind. They exceeded both goals in terms of my expectations.
I also think the pre-trip preparation was valuable to get everyone in the mindset of what they would learn through this experience: what would expand in your knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs and how to set goals and prep for this so you come back with something that has a tangible effect.
A lot of people talk about the first time they went to a different place – could be Paris, NYC, or Cambodia. In our daily lives, you kind of know the place ─ and even though there are probably many things to learn – you may not be thinking about what you’ll learn. When you go away, I think there is a greater sense of awareness that something there that can be extracted. You’re ready to learn and your motivation level is higher.
Q.You describe a trigger moment in development as a little tiny intellectual nugget that drops in and affects your thinking for a long time. What was a trigger moment or experience that stood out on the trips?
A. Early on the Peru trip, it struck me when someone said I’ve come to know people in my class better in the last three days than I did in the last 15 months. I told the new TMMBA class that the trip is a great chance to expand your knowledge and also get to know each other, but I hope you get to know each other earlier. This is your future network and networks really build the success of programs.
Another was meeting an entrepreneur in Dubai who was getting his company off the ground. He was so enthusiastic on the prospects and bounced around his small office that we all tried to fit in. But he also talked a lot about how hard it is to find people like him. And then we met a similar entrepreneur in Lima and it felt like you could be in SoHo New York or Palo Alto, California. He was very quiet and watched his COO talk about the business. But then he got up and threw energy and passion into his talk. Here are two entrepreneurial leaders where it would be so cool to have a global entrepreneurial meeting of people who come from very different cultures and similar motivations to create something to make a difference. One comes from wealth and probably doesn’t need to do it and the other has to create opportunities. They were so similar in their enthusiasm and interests, yet they may never meet.
In Peru, I noticed how gracious people were and their sense of community and family. People take time and we don’t take time like you see in other cultures, and I think we’re missing this and it’s always reinforced when I go to cultures like Peru.
Q.You describe global mindset as how an individual and organizations do business in the geographical and cultural context of another country. A core purpose of the IST is to expand global mindset. How does global mindset affect leadership strengths and performance?
A. I see global mindset applying to their leadership in the TMMBA program, how students work with each other and how they come to understand each other.
From a leadership perspective, it’s thinking about the different cultures that are part of your experience and how you look and relate. They are global ambassadors. They are going to run companies and divisions of companies, and could have a lot of challenges with respect to global mindset.
It’s thinking about how to grow your business in different cultures. Our markets are saturated in the U.S. and North America and we’re all looking for places to grow business in other places in the world. For example, we don’t think a lot about Africa. It’s a billion person market and we’re starting to see some things happen there that point to positive growth in markets. If you don’t have a global mindset, you’re never going to think of those markets.
Even within a TMMBA class it’s really important. This is poignant for me because I really respect Narayana Murthy, the Co-founder of Infosys. I have a case study in technology, and it’s about this leader. I’ve had several students come up since I started using the case and say thank you so much for bringing him into the program.
I do it because I want them to know it’s not just teaching about some of our CEOs in the U.S. We want to look at the world.
Q. What life lessons or surprise takeaways have you heard from students after the Peru trip?
A. A lot of it is preconceptions they had going in and how they really changed through the experience. It turned out to be a much more in-depth experience and even for people who have traveled a lot.
We had some people who hadn’t traveled so it was the preconception and then the adjustment, which I would say is global mindset. We all learned through observing how we interacted with different cultures or just simple things like meeting and interacting with people on the street.
Q. What advice would you give a student considering the trip?
A. This is a unique experience that you will carry forward in your life that you probably won’t replicate in your career. When you look at your entire life, there is not a lot of time for this. You may want to travel and relax and sit on the beach.
When we go on these trips, the task is learning. This is a time when you can take a week or ten days and just heads down learn. You have opportunities to show what you’ve learned. You have an opportunity to connect with people that could sustain relationships with the program and their networks. And you have an opportunity to add to your global mindset. Why wouldn’t you do it if you could afford it? Why wouldn’t you do it if you could manage it with your family and job?
There is something rich about this experience because it’s not a requirement.
Q. Before TMMBA study tours, you decided to move from the University of Nebraska to the Foster Business School. Tell me about a key factor behind your decision.
A. The interest in leadership was central to my decision. I also grew up on public education and the vision to be the best public business school was energizing. I felt it was really important to demonstrate that we could be as good as any other university and business school in the public domain.
As an explorer, I wanted to try a different place. I had only been here once or twice – never out of downtown ─ so I didn’t even know there were mountains here.
Q. How did you start with TMMBA and what do you most enjoy?
A. It was really serendipitous. There was an opportunity to be involved in the program and teach a leadership class in summer 2009.
What I like about TMMBA is being in a bunch of different worlds every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, since students come from different parts of the world. They have a really strong interest in learning and there is a cohort-feel, which you don’t necessarily feel in other programs.
I really enjoy them as a group. I like the diversity. I like the cohort. I like the way technologists think systematically and I like being able to challenge them, when I get the chance, to think a different way.
And there is the staff. This is unique as the staff are all present when you walk in to the Eastside Executive Center so you have different feeling here than in other programs.
Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A. First, I’m making the assumption that I haven’t grown up yet. I’m still working toward that. Grow old but never grow up!
Every boy I knew growing up in New York wanted to play for the New York Yankees. And I did. On a summer evening with friends, I was playing Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris and thinking someday I would put on the blue pin-stripe suit and play for the Yankees.
I also really remember being very interested in archeology. I don’t know the origin of this. I thought and actually still do love history and seeing the layers of how things are built. When we were in Peru, I was interested in Inca everything.
Q. How did you become interested in Industrial Psychology?
A. In college, I found a lot of things interesting and I declared my major in psychology in my senior year.
I was really interested in the area of criminology but then I took a course in Industrial Psychology. I thought my interests in applying psychology to organizations may be broader than just correctional institutions. I thought about what to do with that. My girlfriend broke up with me so I decided to leave NY and that’s when I left for Ohio and started my graduate work. It turned out to be one of the best Industrial Psychology programs at the time.
Following Entrepreneurship courses in the Winter quarter, Class 14 was abuzz with new business ideas. This was evident by the TMMBA program having the strongest turnout in its history for the 2015 UW Business Plan Competition (BPC).
The team, whose members met through an event hosted by the Buerk Center, has set out to make smart home technology accessible to everyone by offering “home automation on a budget.” One Hook device in the home offers control of anything electric from the user’s smartphone. This allows for energy savings, improved home safety, and convenience.
Hook is currently taking pre-orders on Kickstarter, with a little under two weeks left to reach their funding goal of $25,000 for an initial production run.
“I’ve been able to apply the concepts learned from my TMMBA classes directly and almost instantly,” remarked Moehle. “I am thankful for the program and opportunities offered by Foster, which have given me the chance to pursue my entrepreneurial desires. The TMMBA faculty and staff have been incredibly supportive in every way.”
Please support Hook on Kickstarter, and share their project with your friends and followers!
After competing in the UW Business Plan Competition and graduating from the Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) Program in 2006, Rick McMaster caught the entrepreneurship bug. McMaster made an unconventional shift from a career in technology at Intel to pursuing his passion for the local Washington wine industry. Today McMaster has put his TMMBA skills to work and is the Owner and General Manager of the thriving Vino at the Landing in Renton.
What’s next for McMaster? In January 2015, he purchased a second location, Reds Wine Bar at Kent Station, and sees even more growth in his future. Much to the delight of McMaster’s patrons, more chardonnay, merlot and syrah possibly await! Read more about McMaster’s story below.
What is most rewarding about your job? What makes it all worthwhile? I love the community atmosphere that we’ve established at Vino through great food, delicious wine, and wonderful service. We have a lot of regular customers who patron Vino on a daily or weekly basis. It’s great to know our customers on a personal level, learn about their personal lives, and know that Vino is the place that they go to relax and unwind.
What have been the biggest challenges in your career? Growing Vino from a staff of 3 to 20 has been extremely challenging. When we started there were no policies and procedures in place. We now have an employee manual in place with a more disciplined performance management process. Resourcing has also been challenging. As we’ve grown it has been difficult figuring out when to hire and how many people to hire. There is a lot of turnover in the restaurant industry so it’s also challenging to retain good employees.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment? We were honored by the Renton Chamber of Commerce for Outstanding Customer Service for 2012 and 2014. And we were just recently honored by the Washington State Wine Commission with a Grand Award for our locally focused wine program.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career? My first boss at Cummins Engine, Mike Carney, was the biggest influence on my career. He was a huge proponent of The 7 Habits and building highly effective teams.
What are you most excited or passionate about? I am most excited about the personal development of my employees. Most of my staff started at Vino in their early 20s. It’s been wonderful to see them grow into management positions.
Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? I purchased a 2nd location, Reds Wine Bar at Kent Station in January 2015. I’d love to open a 3rd location in the next 5-10 years. I’ve also been working on a business plan for a cocktail bar and would love to open that concept in downtown Renton as part of the city revitalization efforts.
What were your goals upon entering TMMBA? I was working at Intel when I entered the program. I had worked primarily in program management and had an engineering background. I knew that I needed the business education if I ever wanted to advance my career at Intel. I thought the TMMBA program would help me to achieve this.
How has TMMBA impacted your career? There is no doubt that I never would have had this opportunity with Vino at the Landing & Reds Wine Bar without my experience in the TMMBA program. As a small business owner, every part of the TMMBA program curriculum is used on a daily basis.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I’m an avid golfer. Vino opens at 11am so I’ve been known to get 18-27 holes in prior to opening. My girlfriend is an avid runner and running coach so I see many 5K races in my future too.
Are you involved in any community organizations? Vino contributes to many local charities including the Renton Clothes Bank and we are heavily involved in the Renton Chamber of Commerce. I just began mentoring with the Renton School District.
Business book recommendation? I’m going to go old school with this one… Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People.
Congrats to TMMBA students who showed off their entrepreneurial skills at yesterday’sBuerk Center Business Plan Competition (BPC) “Sweet 16” Round – TMMBA had representation on two of the 16 teams:
IonoMetal Technologies (TMMBA Student: Pritam Das) With its revolutionary patented technology and demonstrated tool, Ionometals will not only make the earth a better place to live by reducing landfill of semiconductor waste, but also help save approximately $0.5MM for every semiconductor testing company.
Spectral DNA (TMMBA Students: Michael Franklin, Bryan Kessler, MJ Pattanshetti and Tyler Sims) Spectral DNA’s goal is to deliver a conformable solar fabric that can be fully integrated into a multi-use model for ubiquitous power generation. We aim to micro-design these 3D conformable fabrics into clothing, and other needed uses and applications for ubiquitous power. This can be used as a mobile power generation house without connecting to wires.
Both teams represented TMMBA well with their polished presentations and innovative business ideas. Furthermore, the IonoMetal Technologies team took home the “Best Clean Tech Idea” and $2500 prize.
Yesterday’s round was the culmination of months of hard work and dedication for the teams. The competition formally began in early April with over 92 submissions and over time whittled down to the best of the best at yesterday’s Sweet 16 – all vying for the ultimate grand prize of $25,000.
Year after year, the Buerk Center BPC is a focal event for many of our TMMBA students. The competition allows them the great opportunity to put the skills they’ve gained in the classroom to the test – from developing business plans to honing their pitching and presentation skills. The competition also grants teams unique access to the thriving Seattle start-up community (VCs, angel investors, and more!).
Way to go teams IonoMetal Technologies and Spectral DNA! Also, a special call-out to team Zetection (with TMMBA student Anna Gall) who advanced to the earlier Investment Round of the competition.
Check out a few photos from the competition (Investment Round on April 29):
I’m currently writing this post from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where 22 Class 13 students have just kicked off their 10-day International Study Tour experience. Jet lag didn’t hold anyone back as we hit the ground running and began to explore this great city and all it has to offer.
Our first day of the tour acted as a great way for everyone to get our bearings – we started the day with a city tour of Ho Chi Minh City and explored the Presidential Palace and some beautiful French colonial buildings including the Notre Dame cathedral and city post office.
For the afternoon, we ventured out to the Mekong Delta and meandered through a maze of waterways. We had a couple stops along the way where we enjoyed local fruits and tea, music, and encountered a python (yes – I said a python). And a few folks were even brave enough to snap a few pictures with it. I was not one of them!
We capped the day with a celebratory welcome dinner to mark the beginning of an exciting tour to come. From a dynamic group of company visits that includes industries as such banking, technology, automotive, logistics, tax and inward investment, and market research and media (Ford, Cisco and Citi Bank to name a few companies) to unforgettable cultural experiences and phenomenal Vietnamese cuisine – the next 10-day will surely be a whirlwind that will not disappoint.
About the TMMBA International Study Tour: The International Study Tour experience is an optional tour for TMMBA students that occurs in the second year of study and gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves in a different cultural and business context than the one in which we all typically operate day-to-day. Students who partake in the tour have the opportunity to visit companies, tour manufacturing facilities, and meet business leaders and government officials. Click here to view blog posts from past Study Tour experiences.
Ally Wewers, TMMBA Recruiting and Admissions Coordinator
In Posts 1 and 2, there’s already been ample discussion about the ways that TMMBA students and alums calculate their return on their investment. While we conclude today with three final categories to the TMMBA ROI, it’s safe to say there are still many components to add to this conversation:
The TMMBA alumni network is truly one of the greatest assets of the program. With close to 800 TMMBA graduates, it is a diverse community that represents a variety of industries, functions, and companies. Additionally, the larger Foster School network connects more than 50,000 business professionals – creating a huge presence in the Puget Sound region and beyond.
So how do TMMBA alums relate network to ROI? For many, the value comes from the exposure and access to new contacts, companies, and most importantly – opportunities. As alumnus Kevin Croy (TMMBA ’12) can attest, “The caliber of people on your team and the network you’re exposed to directly impacts your career.” Through an introduction from one of his TMMBA teammates, Kevin met his current business partner, leading to the development of 9MileLabs, a Seattle based high-tech accelerator.
Another value of the TMMBA network is that it never stops growing. With each new cohort, the TMMBA community expands and provides access to more support, resources, and connections. “My network has exploded almost exponentially” remarks student Chris Zilich. “The connections I’ve made via my team and other classmates have been invaluable.”
Can you put a price on confidence? How about personal development and leadership skills? TMMBA alumnus Ameya Bhatawdekar (TMMBA ’10) explains that “it’s hard to put a dollar value on the measurement of ROI. But my most important indicator is knowing that I’m a different person today for having completed the program.”
While the TMMBA program offers a comprehensive business curriculum, the learning in the program goes beyond business concepts, calculations, and frameworks. Emphasis on strategic decision making, effective leadership, and innovation challenge the individual and change their ways of thinking. 100% of recently surveyed TMMBA alumni cited an increase in confidence as a result of the program. Coupled with increased self-awareness, time management skills, and a sense of accomplishment, the return for the individual is unparalleled.
While it’s not a typical return, the convenience, support and services that the TMMBA program provides helps some students substantiate part of their investment decision. Many alums point to the convenient Eastside location- there’s less time and money spent commuting to class (especially in comparison to other non-local MBA programs). The 18-month program and work-compatible schedule also allow students to continue their current careers – without having to forfeit years of income and career experience to pursue their degree.
By providing textbooks, electronic course materials, registration services and more, students can focus on homework or family time, not worrying about the logistics of classes. Similarly, catered meals on class days allow students to come from work and network with classmates over dinner – or finish up on last minute homework. As alums have noted– everything about the program is designed to make students as successful as possible.
With the variety of topics that we’ve covered in these last few posts, it’s obvious that the ROI for TMMBA students is multifaceted. From network to rankings, salary increases to personal growth, every TMMBA student and alum calculates their return in their own way. We’ve started the discussion – now how will you calculate the ROI for your own MBA?
Congrats to TMMBA Class 13 student, Pritam Das, for excelling at the Science and Technology Showcase in early February. The annual showcase (co-hosted by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and SEBA) is a tradeshow type event where student pitch their ideas and innovations to a panel judges consisting of Seattle area entrepreneurs and investors.
“During the showcase, we were challenged by the judges that ranged from local venture capitalists to scientists from NASA, from every angle of a robust business model. We used the experts’ challenges as an invaluable tool to hone our business models for future commercialization of our product,” shared Pritam.
Pritam and his teammates from the Chemical Engineering Department at UW placed 2nd overall and were also awarded Best Marketing Strategy. Their idea, Electrometal Solutions, is a unique approach of putting metals onto surfaces using advanced electrochemical techniques. The applications of this advanced technology can range from security applications to the decorative market. Currently, their application is targeted towards the semiconductor industry.
Last week’s post addressed a few of the many ways that TMMBA students and alumni calculate the return on investment for their MBA experience. The discussion today centers around three additional consideration points- salary growth, career progression, and the lifelong resources of the TMMBA program.
Compensation increase is often the focus of ROI conversations given that it’s easily quantified. While sole emphasis should not be placed on an MBA’s monetary value, it is still an important piece to the ROI puzzle.
TMMBA graduates continue to see considerable return for their initial investments. As knowledge and skills grow from an MBA program, pay raises often follow as employers see the benefits of the education. In fact, in a survey of TMMBA alumni two years post-graduation, 95% of respondents reported an increase in salary – with an average increase of over 20%.
Oftentimes, career growth goes hand-in-hand with salary increases. Whether students are looking for promotions, functional changes, or to start their own companies, TMMBA helps to advance the timeline for these goals.
“When I think of the next levels I wanted to achieve in my career, TMMBA significantly accelerated my ability to achieve those milestones. In the classroom, I learned concepts that could take years to grasp on-the-job,” remarks alumnus Jeremy Hutton (TMMBA ’13).
With a relevant business curriculum incorporating technology, innovation, and professional development, TMMBA students find that their MBA is a competitive advantage in the market. For those looking to move up, an MBA opens to door to greater responsibility and management roles. Some TMMBA students are hoping to change functions or industries – and upon graduation are more qualified to pursue outside opportunities. Entrepreneurs can also improve future success when equipped with knowledge and resources from the program.
Speaking of resources, it’s important to note that the benefits of the TMMBA program don’t end upon graduation. TMMBA alumni still have access to workshops, guest speakers, networking events, career coaching – even classes. Whether it’s a new course that’s been added or a subject that needs refreshing, many alums take advantage of class audits and lifetime learning.
TMMBA Career Services adds notable value for both students and alumni. From resume workshops and panel discussions to 1:1 coaching and Career Mixers, there are plenty of ways to leverage TMMBA career resources.
Given these potential value propositions of an MBA, it’s still up to students to leverage their education and capitalize on growth. As Jeremy can attest, “It’s never going to be less expensive to get an MBA than today. The return starts immediately – as soon as you learn the concepts in class and start applying them. Take advantage of the opportunity.”
– Students, staff and a few alumni blog about the experience of earning an MBA via the University of Washington Foster School of Business Technology Management MBA Program, covering events, learning-in-action, life after graduation, networking opportunities, and so much more.