TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 6

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Woke up this morning to a gorgeous blue sky, a very welcome change from the last few days.


I slept a bit longer than I should have so I left a bit late, and sped over the bridge, through Seattle, and across the lake to the EEC, missing breakfast for only the 2nd time since the program began. I did manage to grab a bowl of yogurt and granola and get into class less than 10 minutes after it started, and I think the extra sleep was worth it because it will help me stay focused better throughout the day. Our first class this morning is Managerial Accounting, and unfortinatley we’re not going over the midterm today. We are, however, reviewing the two case studies that were due before class started this morning. We just went over the solution for the first case and I got it almost entirely right, even catching some of the ‘gotchas’ hidden in the case. This bodes well for our next exam, which will cover this material. Accounting has probably been the biggest surprise for me – I dreaded Financial Accounting last winter quarter and it ended up being my favorite class that highly quantitative quarter, and this time Managerial Accounting is a close second to the Leadership Development during our Leadership Immersion at the beginning of this quarter. Not that I’m going to suddenly shift direction and go into accounting, but I’ve ended up enjoying both subjects and have done reasonably well in them.

During our morning break I talked to a couple students from the Monday section who told me that our Operations & Supply Chain Management professor told their class this morning that up until now it’s been easy and we should expect it to become more difficult from today on and to take much more of our time. Awesome, because I’ve been looking for things to do with all that spare time I’m spending sleeping 5 hours per night!

Lunch was delicious…today I was a bad vegetarian and had the beef vegetable stir-fry. I don’t regret it (the cow might, but that’s a question for a philosophy class). For the afternoon section we had five visitors. Visitors come periodically, sometimes prospective students, sometimes former students. It’s rare to have so many at once but always nice have visitors, especially when they engage in the discussions. This group was from next year’s class, and I think the first half of class scared them off because none of them came back after break (this is probably just as well, because after break came the most difficult and technical lecture of the entire course). By mid-afternoon I needed another cup of coffee. Caffeine is your friend in a full-time graduate program designed for working professionals. I like to call it liquid sleep.

Do not be alarmed…

It looks like the rest of the quarter will be pretty intense: the midterm for this class gets released Thursday, immediately after that’s due the final for our Strategic a Management of Technological Innovation is released, and once that’s done we have the finals for this class and Managerial Accounting. Winter break has never looked so good!

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 5

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

This morning I met with our CMO to engage marketing in an initiative I’m working on, and this afternoon we had a department outing to The Garage where I bowled solidly in the 80s. Ok so maybe I don’t have a career in professional bowling ahead but we had a good time and nobody took it too seriously. All but my team are moving to a new office down the street and their things were being moved as we bowled, another sign of a rapidly growing company.

Today it finally feels like November again and it was raining at lunchtime. Luckily there are plenty of loaner umbrellas available at the office.


After The Garage I met a group of old friends for happy hour, a rare occurance with such a busy schedule which made it all the more enjoyable. Tonight will be an early night, we have breakfast at the EEC early tomorrow morning before class starts at 8:30. It was good to have a little down time, it’ll help refresh me for tomorrow’s seminars

This quarter seems to be flying by, I can’t believe we’re halfway through it already. Class 14 had their welcome reception recently. I remember ours last November…in a way it seems so long ago now because we’ve learned so much and gotten to know each other quite well, but in another way it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. We’ll be graduating in June and that’ll be here before we know it.

On that note, goodnight!

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 4

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Today my schedule opened up a bit at work and I had chance to actually produce some work. I also found time in the morning to meet a daytime Foster MBA student for coffee and an informational interview. I also passed along resumes and glowing recommendations of 2 of my fellow TMMBA students to our recruiting department, helping to shepherd them through the screening gauntlet so they can secure an interview. The rest will be up to them – good luck guys!

On Thursdays we have review sessions, and the number of them varies from one to three depending on what’s going on in each of our courses that particular week. Next week, like last week we’ll have three reviews in a row which makes Thursday nearly as long as Wednesday, but this week we only had one: Operations and Supply Chain Management. I decided I couldn’t spare the extra hour on the road going to and from Kirkland and attended remotely (this is an option for the review sessions, and many students in our cohort choose this option each week, although I’ve only attended remotely once previously). Tonight we had numerous technical difficulties with the sound which reinforced my belief that its better to attend in person whenever possible. Technical difficulties aside the reason for the review is that we have a big problem set due this weekend and a midterm coming next week, and our TA did a good job of reviewing the concepts we’ve learned and walking us through the types of problems we’re likely to encounter on the midterm. As with all things new, practice and repetition are the keys to getting this stuff. Next week we’ll find out how well we got it.

Too much to do to write more tonight, thanks for checking in & I’ll be back tomorrow with the next installment.

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 3

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Today’s schedule makes the last 2 days look like a breeze. At work my calendar was filled with meetings for all but 30 minutes, including interviewing a new candidate for my team. Since this role will work closely with me I put some time and thought into devising a series of technical and behavioral questions to ascertain how the candidate might handle various likely scenarios and if there was a good cultural fit. I sent my analysis to my boss who said it was great feedback, very intuitive and in line with his own thoughts so I’m glad I’m able to add value to that process. I also had lunch with a former coworker who’s interested in Tableau. We went out for sushi & we had a chance to catch up, share experiences at our new companies and talk a bit about how he might fit in at Tableau. The buzz around my new employer is kind of blowing me away, I mean I knew I’d found a gem and made the right choice for me, but I have a fellow TMMBA classmate and former study group member who’s early in the process of interviewing for a role with us, another expressed interest tonight when I got to class and several others have also expressed interest. As I’ve become accustomed to at Tableau the day flew by and before I knew it I was on my way across the lake to the EEC.


Arrived at the EEC and tonight we had a Tech at the Top guest speaker from Concur speaking on Fostering Innovation, so I grabbed a plate of Mexican food and headed into classroom 3 for the talk. Class started a little late tonight at 6:15 due to the guest speaker during dinner, and tonight we had a record 3 guests from Monday section join us (we’ve had Monday students join us for the last 4 weeks straight, but only one per night until tonight). Some of my classmates suggested they’re sending spies but I suspect word is just getting out that the Wednesday section is more fun. (As you can see we have a healthy friendly rivalry between the sections…in truth the whole cohort is made up of wonderful, smart, committed people and I like every one of them).

Tonight at the start of class we broke into 6 groups and were assigned positions to defend on the group case we’d turned in before class started tonight. My group was assigned the opposite position from the one my study group chose and wrote our paper on last night, so I had a chance to argue for the other position. Here’s a picture I took of us after we wrapped up our arguments in favor:


I’m actually live-blogging (hear that CNN?) during class tonight, multi-tasking as we used to say in the 90s before everyone realized it was impossible due to the singular nature of attention. I better turn my attention back to the content of class…more in a bit.


Tonight I took advantage of our break to reach out to a hiring manager about my classmate’s interest & got that ball rolling. I also noticed they also put up lights at the EEC:


Class will end at 9:30 tonight, but I’m going to say goodnight now.

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 2

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Tuesday morning I was awakened by a furry friend at 4:30…this was the night I was hoping to get closer to 8 hours sleep. So much for that.


The workday again went quickly, and while I generally try to schedule my time so my studies don’t impinge on my time with my kids this week that’s been especially challenging. On Tuesdays they make dinner – they plan out the meal, we go to the store and get the items we don’t already have and then they prepare it. They’ve been doing this for nearly two years now and they’re getting pretty good at it. This week they chose comfort food: homemade tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and Caesar salad. It really hit the spot and powered me through my individual case study for Strategic Management of Technological Innovation, which I completed about 20 minutes before my study group met via the UW’s new Lync service to flesh out our group case study for the same class, both of which are due before class starts Wednesday night. Only three of us were able to participate in the meeting, which is a little disappointing since it’s good to get everyone’s input, but the three of us worked together really well and quickly came to consensus on our solution and knocked it out together during the meeting. The learning teams are one of the most valuable parts of the TMMBA program, and we usually meet in person but when that doesn’t work out we’ll use Lync or Google Hangout to meet. Halfway through the program they mix us all up and we form new teams, and this was my new team’s first time meeting remotely. And for all of us it was our first time using the UW’s newly implemented Lync service. It worked pretty well…we had a few technical difficulties (my client crashed a couple of times, for example), but overall it worked pretty well.

Then the unthinkable happened…I was working on the document, sharing my screen and my computer completely froze. And for some inexplicable reason I hadn’t saved the changes I’d made to the document during the call. Fortunately the document was still visible on screen so I was able to take a picture of the screen and use that to recreate the document, but what a pain! I’m usually so good about frequently saving work, I can’t believe I did that. I’ll chalk it up to lack of sleep.


And speaking of sleep, I managed to get the case study completed and saved to the shared drive my study group uses for collaborating on these things and still get to bed at a decent hour, which is helpful since I’m in the Wednesday section and tomorrow is the longest day of my week. I have meetings scheduled all but 30 minutes of my day at work and then it’s off to the east side Executive Center for dinner with my classmates and Professor Boeker before class starts at 6PM.

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 1

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014


Hi, welcome to day one of A Week in the Life, which is designed to give a perspective on what it’s like to be a student in the University of Washington TMMBA Program. I suppose an introduction is in order: I’m David Ginsberg, I’m a member of Class 13 (which means I’m a member of the 13th class, we actually graduate in June 2014). I’m a single parent with 11 year-old twins, just started a new job at Tableau Software a month ago (through connections made at a TMMBA Career Mixer, how cool is that!?) and celebrated my 49th birthday at the end of October.

Monday started out beautiful, especially for November in Seattle. I started the day by taking a walk around the pond in my neighborhood as the sun rose:


The morning commute was especially light due to Veterans Day (thank you once again Veterans!), and I was at work before 7AM. The days go quickly at Tableau, I started with coffee with my boss, met with our Senior Director for a high-level whiteboard session for a new initiative I’m taking on. Before I knew it the work day was over & I was on my way home to my kids and schoolwork.

Speaking of schoolwork, this turns out to be the busiest week in the quarter. On our plates for this week: a midterm for Managerial Accounting (this took me about 9 hours this weekend), two case studies also for Managerial Accounting, an individual case study and a group case study for Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, a problem set for Operations & Supply Chain Management and oh some reading too – 5 textbook chapters and half a dozen articles from HBR and others sources.

So far I’ve completed the midterm and the 2 case studies for Managerial Accounting, and about half of the reading. Please stay tuned as we continue this experiment in sleep deprivation!

For dinner the kids and I went out to Chaco Canyon for some healthy food for busy people and then watched an episode of Once Upon a Time while I read a couple case studies.

Thanks for tuning in, more to come as the saga continues on Tuesday.

Introducing TMMBA Class 14

What do Nov 14, 2013 and June 8, 2015 have in common?

For a group of 79 working professionals in the Puget Sound region, these two dates are significant milestones. Nov 14 will be an exciting day that marks the beginning of a journey. And June 8 2015 will be a celebratory day marking a big accomplishment. These 79 people are the newest class of TMMBA students. Their journey begins on Nov 14 with their Welcome Reception when they will come together as a cohort for the first time. Now fast forward 18+ months into the future… on June 8, 2015, TMMBA Class 14 will be graduating with their Masters of Business Administration from the UW Foster School of Business.

Who is TMMBA Class 14? Let’s take a look:

  • 79 highly motivated individuals
  • Average years of work experience = 11
  • 43 companies represented
  • 10 countries represented
  • 39% of the students have an advanced degree
  • 610 average GMAT score

To the students of Class 14  – Welcome to the TMMBA Community!

TMMBA heading to Vietnam in 2014

The TMMBA Program is pleased to announce that Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi) will be the 2014 TMMBA International Study Tour (IST) destination.  The Study Tour allows students, alumni, staff and faculty to experience business and culture a different world environment through personal meetings with executives and senior managers, entrepreneurs, company visits, government agencies and cultural excursions.  The IST allows students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to another business and cultural environment and to develop and grow the global mindset necessary to be successful in an international business environment. Participants also have a lot of fun as they learn more about each other and create friendships that will last a lifetime.





  • Predicted to be one of the fastest-growing of the world’s emerging economies by 2025.
  • Manufacturing, IT and high-tech industries now form a large and fast-growing part of the national economy.
  • One of Asia’s most open economies. Economic reforms pushing toward a system of capitalism.
  • U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement opens up new markets for U.S. goods and services, and as Vietnam meets its WTO commitments, the Vietnam market represents the next great opportunity for all types of American companies.
  • Privately owned enterprises encouraged, and entrepreneurship has played a significant role in the country’s growth rate, in line just behind China and India.
  • Investment in infrastructure and tax incentives to stimulate the tech industry. Heavy investment in industry parks.

The IST is definitely a highlight of the program.  Read more about the TMMBA International Study tour by reading student, alumni, staff and faculty blogs from previous trips.

This year we have a record number of students participating and we’ll open up a few spots to alumni as well.  Should be another great International Study Tour!

TracyTracy Gojdics is the Director of the TMMBA Program and an alumna from the Class of 2007. Outside of the office you might find Tracy out hiking, running, reading, or spending quality time with her family. Tracy can be contacted at or via phone at 206-616-2610.

Autumn quarter is just around the corner!

Mikaela Houck, Manager of Academic & Student Services

Halfway there. Over the hump. The end is in sight. The fact holds true no matter how you state it – TMMBA Class 13 is at the halfway point of their program experience. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, the group began their journey at the kick-off Program Immersion in December 2012. Nine months later, they are now enjoying a couple short (and well deserved!) weeks off from class this September. This time away from class allows the group to refresh before doing a deep dive into the second half of the schedule.

Let’s take a look at the courses in store for Autumn Quarter:

Strategic Management of Technology Innovation

Innovation is the single most important activity of an ongoing business. All progress occurs through innovation. (Peter Drucker)

Warren BoekerHow do you generate ideas and then develop these ideas into commercial products? The purpose of TMMBA’s Strategic Management of Technology Innovation is for students to master these exact questions. This 2-credit course challenges students to better understand the dynamics of industries driven by technological innovation and develop frameworks for managing tech-intensive businesses.

About the instructor:
Warren Boeker has been at the Foster School of Business since 1998. Before coming to Foster, he taught strategic management and entrepreneurship at Columbia University in New York City and global strategy development at London Business School. Professor Boeker’s recent research has examined the dynamics of strategy formulation and execution in organizations at a corporate and business level. Fun fact – Professor Boeker is also a former chemical engineer!

Operations & Supply Chain Management

In the annals of innovation, new ideas are only part of the equation. Execution is just as important. (Steve  Jobs)

Process flow analysis? Inventory management models? Queuing Concepts? No problem. TMMBA students enhance their critical thinking and quantitative prowess to examine operational issues and develop a variety of
analyMoinzadehtical approaches to manage these processes. Students also learn the role of operations management and its interactions with other functional areas within organizations.

About the instructor:
A TMMBA student favorite, Kamran Moinzadeh has taught with the TMMBA Program since its inception in 2001. Professor Moinzadeh won the TMMBA Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013 and has received numerous TMMBA Faculty of the Quarter awards. Professor Moinzadeh’s specialties include operations & supply chain management, inventory management, and quality management.

Managerial Accounting & Decision Making

Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level. (Peter Drucker)

In the first quarter of TMMBA, students completed their Financial Reporting & Analysis course – which focused on accounting for decision makers external to the firm. This course does a reversal – information & decision making within anPatrick_edit organization.  Students will develop the tools needed to use information from the accounting system in managerial decisions and understand how the design of an accounting system influences behavior.

About the instructor:
Paige Patrick, Assistant Professor of Accounting, is teaching in the TMMBA program for the first time this fall.  Paige brings both academic and real world expertise to her classroom.  Her academic research interests include executive compensation, and prior to obtaining her PhD, she spent several years in the Enterprise Risk Services division of Deloitte & Touche.


In addition to these Autumn Quarter classes, TMMBA students will embark on a 3 1/2 day Leadership Immersion, which takes place this weekend at UW Paccar Hall. Stay tuned for a recap next week!

Fun in the sun with TMMBA

Nhi-Huong Huynh, Fiscal Specialist, TMMBA

Recently, TMMBA students, alums and their families got together at Bellevue Downtown Park for the annual TMMBA Picnic. We all had a great time and it was really nice to see so many people come out for the event.

The TMMBA picnic is one of many social events hosted by TMMBA throughout the year. These gathering provide an opportunity to relax, celebrate their accomplishments, and network with their classmates and alumni.

I’m looking forward to another fun-filled event this fall.

TMMBA Picnic
TMMBA Humanized

– 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.