IKEA International Case Competition

Here at the Foster School of Business, we have many opportunities to be more involved in the school. I personally think that one of the most interesting and fun ways to incorporate concepts learned in class are by competing in case competitions. My team of 3 friends (Melly, Katie, and Michelle) and I decided to work together on the IKEA International Case Competition held here at Foster. Over the course of 2 days, we were given the task of developing an international expansion plan for a Chinese herbal beauty products company, Herborist. We did extensive research and used our individual talents to put together a solid strategy for Herborist, which we then put in PowerPoint form and presented to two separate panels of judges in the preliminary and final rounds. Our hard work paid off and we won the first place $1000 IKEA prize, but perhaps more importantly, the connections with the executive panel of judges and the ability to put the win on our resumes.

I would encourage all students to try at least one case competition while here at Foster. It is a great way to practice public speaking in a business context and is a fantastic way to highlight your strengths. With such a time crunch, you and your team have to be able to work efficiently together and avoid falling prey to group level biases (MGMT 300 will teach you about that). I will admit that I was nervous presenting, but the benefits of putting myself out there and stepping up to the challenge dispelled any hesitations I had. There are many cases held throughout the year by different organizations and companies, so try one out for yourself soon. I guarantee it will be worth the effort!


- Justin C.
Senior, Accounting


Posted by admin - April 27th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink

2011 Business Leadership Celebration and Scholarship Reception

On November 2, 2011, I attended the Foster School of Business Leadership Celebration and Scholarship Reception at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle. All the scholarship recipients were invited to come out and meet those who have graciously donated funds to financially assist us to obtain college degrees. The Foster School of Business awards hundreds of dollars annually to business school students.  All the students that were awarded a scholarship were able to have a seat at the Leadership Celebration dinner. The event was followed up with dinner with keynote speaker Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The event also honored various leaders who have graduated from the Foster School and created their own success stories, including John and Bruce Nordstrom. I had the opportunity to sit at the table with many representatives from Alaska Airlines and sat next to Bill Ayers, the CEO of Alaska Airlines. What was fascinating about the entire night was that I was in a room full of successful leaders and was able to gain valuable insight from them.
This particular conversation I had in with Bill Ayers was what stuck with me. We talked about the importance of mentoring others and how it is important that we share the knowledge we have accumulated with others so that we can together continue to better the world, instead of trying to do it on our own. He explained that it starts in college and that it then transitions into the work world. By taking on leadership positions in college and mentoring/coaching younger students, we prepare and empower them. I felt deeply connected to this, because I strive to do this daily and coach those that come after me, which shows through my involvement in YEOC (a college readiness program from high school students) and my leadership involvement in the business school. This was vital information to hear from a CEO, because it showed that we, as college students, can really prepare ourselves for the real world if we take the opportunities to do so.

The Foster School of Business does an excellent job of placing students in environments outside the classroom to expand their networks to gain real world insights, and this was just one of the examples of them doing so. I have been fortunate enough to be a scholarship recipient for the past 3 years. I am very thankful for the financial support that the Foster School of Business offers its students. For more information on their scholarships go to this link and check it out for yourself! http://www.foster.washington.edu/academic/undergrad/Pages/UndergradScholarships.aspx




Posted by admin - March 1st, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink

A Few Words From a Young Executives of Color (YEOC) Mentor

I am a mentor for Young Executives of Color (YEOC), which is a series of business exploration workshops for local high-school students of color. Students from public and private high schools throughout the Puget Sound area come to the UW campus the first Saturday of every month for YEOC workshops. Business, as an academic and career choice, is explored monthly through different activities.

This is my second year being a mentor, and the first year the program has accepted 144 students.  My team consists of 12 high-school students in 9th to 12th grade.  Just recently, my seniors applied to different colleges and fortunately, some students have already been accepted to colleges and universities.  Although I only meet with my students at our monthly sessions, we are in constant communication about varies topics pertaining to school, social life, and family situations.

Out of all the college readiness programs offered around the world, I wish I would have had an opportunity to participate in YEOC as a high-school student.  The quality of students that YEOC produces is mind blowing.  These students are challenged at an early age and always surpass any expectations that are set for them.  Although I will not be a mentor a next year, I still plan on being closely connected with the program.


- TraVonne I., Senior, YEOC Mentor


Posted by admin - January 4th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink

Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) Autumn Update

I love the Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB), not only because it is the 6th highest ranked international business program amongst public schools in the nation, but because it is additionally moving toward becoming a more social club. The combination of cultural and educational insight was exactly what I was looking for when I moved here to attend the UW from the Kingdom of Bahrain in Fall Quarter of 2008.

CISB offers students a community that has a passion for international business and travel in the Foster School. We gain access to international internships, consulting courses, and a network of skilled alumni and mentors. The program is aimed to mold each business student into a capable and internationally equipped businessman/woman who will be able to work wherever he/she pleases.

The new school year entailed a new student executive board, of which each member was extremely excited to serve for this program. Each and every student selected was passionate about improving the program both socially and educationally, by continuing to challenge CISB students.  The executive board that I serve on works well because we all believe that, to be truly competitive in the business field, one must be internationally prepared in all aspects.

Fall Quarter Featured Events:

International Business Career Panel - We were excited to have directors, managers, and trade specialists from companies such as Starbucks, REI, JP Morgan Chase, Bryant Christie, and Expeditors International at this event. They offered some insight on international business career paths along with personal stories of how they got to be so successful.

Pub Crawl - This was the event I worked on this quarter as the VP of marketing. It was a great night where students (21+) were able to socialize off campus and build more informal relationships with one another. It’s all about networking! CISB’s first ever pub crawl would not have been as successful without A Pizza Mart’s sponsorship.


International Night - Japanese octopus balls (takoyaki) mingled with French potato au gratin and Spanish omelets on the same buffet line as our colleagues soothed their international taste buds. Everyone brought in dishes representing different countries and cultures and played a game of trivia testing our group’s cross-cultural knowledge.  Recipes went into a recipe book that is currently being put together by CISB’s executive board.


Alumni Night - This event focused on inviting CISB alumni back to talk to the program’s current students about the true rewards and struggles of the business paths they have found themselves on. Bringing professionals who have recently graduated from the program helped the students relate better to the panel and to the opinions and advice that circulated. Our VP of Alumni Relations had the board’s full support when he presented this idea. Having presenters we can actually relate to is correlated to the level of motivation we feel after an event which is why such events are extremely beneficial and relevant to our students.


-Yara M.
VP Marketing, CISB


Posted by admin - December 30th, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink

Season’s Greetings from Foster Undergraduate Programs

We here at the Undergraduate Programs Office would like to wish you a relaxing and restful holiday season with your loved ones. Autumn quarter welcomed new and returning Foster students into our one-year-old, state-of-the-art business building, PACCAR Hall. If you haven’t visited the building, you can take a virtual tour here: PACCAR Virtual Tour. Speaking of PACCAR, those of us in the UPO have heard construction rumblings from Phase II, the sister building of PACCAR, all through Autumn quarter. We can’t wait to move into our new home in 2012!

As we head into the new year, we look forward to sharing exciting student experiences with you here on our blog. Be on the lookout in for new content and stories in 2012 from our Student Ambassadors, Student Organizations, and much more.

Finally, we have some great news: we have a fresh, new Facebook Page to share. “Like” us on our new platform to stay up-to-date on future events and announcements: UW Foster Undergraduate Programs Facebook Page.

Thank you for your continued interest and support in Foster Undergraduate Programs and we will see you in 2012. Happy Holidays!


Posted by admin - December 23rd, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink

Retail Day 2011: On The Hunt


Retail students with the Director of the Retail Management Program, Dr. Mary Ann Odegaard.

Retail students with the Director of the Retail Management Program, Dr. Mary Ann Odegaard.

College students often attend career fairs in hopes of finding potential jobs. It’s usually the same thing: rows of tables full of drowsy recruiters. The Retail Management Program at the University of Washington has been making the typical career fair more exciting for the past 13 years. They call it Retail Day.

Retail Day took place on April 13th. The theme of this year’s event was “On the Hunt,” referring to students hunting for jobs. The decor reflected the theme by incorporating safari touches all through the halls. There were vines hanging from the balconies as the students wore forest green t-shirts with safari hats.

The program provides students a networking opportunity in a more laid back atmosphere. Marie Kapelke, president of the Retail Management Program Student Association, says, “Normal career fairs can be tense and nerve wracking for both recruiters as well as students, but Retail Day allows students and recruiters to feel comfortable being themselves.”

For Retail Day, the awkwardness is removed by small touches making the atmosphere more student friendly. One of the crowd pleasers is the fashion show. Kapelke says it is her favorite part. “You get to see your friends model the latest fashion trends across various clothing and jewelry retailers.”

Anna Fowler was the mastermind behind the show.  She sought out sponsors to donate clothes to dress the models. This year the fashion show featured clothing from retailers such as Mercer and Buffalo Exchange. Fowler also contacted people to do the models’ hair and makeup to give the show a more authentic touch.

The seating area across from Orin’s Place made the perfect venue for the fashion show. The Deloitte Commons served as a food and refreshment center while the retailers lined their tables through the length of the second floor. As the day went on students approached each table and spoke to the retailers. They were able to learn more about the companies and what types of opportunities are available to them.

 Not only does this event provide students with a networking opportunity, but students learn to lead and work with each other as they prepare for the day. Margy Zook, chair of this year’s Retail Day says, “I am able to share [this] leadership experience with potential employers in interview situations and exemplify my position in the success of the event.”

This was the first year Retail Day found its home in Paccar. The students no longer had the spacious comforts of the old Balmer Commons.  Creativity was the result. Mallory Lindberg, an Employment Specialist from Nordstrom, says, “There were quite a few students that were not part of the retail program who were wandering through [the recruiters’ tables]…”

This new layout allowed for a larger flow of traffic to experience Retail Day. Balmer Commons was a secluded room that students had to make a conscious decision to enter. In Paccar, the event came to them in the halls so a larger population was exposed to it.

At the end of the event, the club held the annual raffle where retailers donated many prizes. One student bought just five raffle tickets (at $1 a piece) and won a snow board and a $500 gift certificate for new tires.

Zook says the event benefits the Foster School of Business as a whole. “By having Retail Day, Foster can showcase the RMP certificate in association with any of the business school majors. It also emphasizes that there are so many different majors and choices a student has through Foster.”


 –Rachel Zakhary, Senior, Retail Management Program

Posted by admin - April 22nd, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink

UMCA/E&Y Case Competition

Undergraduate Management Consulting Association, in collaboration with Ernst & Young Advisory, hosted the second annual UMCA/EY Case Competition on April 8th. With over 80 participants divided amongst 20 separate teams, this competition was one for the records!

The 2011 Winning Team

The 2011 Winning Team

 E&Y client bizXchange (http://www.bizx.com/) was the subject of the “live case” – meaning students were consulting on a real problem the company is facing today. All materials were created using factual data and written by bizXchange executives. Teams were challenged with figuring out a transformative solution in shifting from B2B to B2C. Cases were handed out only 40 hours before presentation, so as to simulate a strong deadline in the real world. Presentations were 10 minutes in length followed by 10 minutes of collaborative question and answer.

Judges, made up of company management and E&Y professionals, were thoroughly impressed with both the quality of suggestions and the presentations themselves. Each division had one preliminary round winner who advanced to the final round presentations. Congratulations to Kroeg & Mixson Consulting– team members Jared Egge (Senior), Rich Tigges (Junior), Brooke Schwan (Senior) and Vincent Lucero (Junior)– for their first place presentation. All four finalists received bizXchange dollars, LinkedIn recommendations and a gift bag full of E&Y swag!

Case Competitions at Foster continue to provide a unique, out of the classroom application of critical thinking and strategic development skills. Students are asked to work with one another in real life situations and are presented with an amazing opportunity to hone their presentation and professional repertoires. UMCA is inspired by the amount of individuals looking to participate and already looking forward to next year’s event!

-Kevin Durkin, Senior, Accounting
A student team collaborates to perfect their presentation.

A student team collaborates to perfect their presentation.

Posted by admin - April 11th, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink

Foster Week of Service 2011

Foster Week of Service 2011This year marked Foster’s third year of participation in the Foster Week of Service, a week dedicated to students joining together and giving back to the community. Partnering with the Business and Economic Development Center (BEDC), the Undergraduate Business Council was host to ten different student organizations with approximately 11 events during the week of January 18th that focused on hands-on service activities and reaching out to the Seattle community.  More than 200 Foster students and faculty members came together during the week to take part in these events, which ranged from activities such as participating in a Corporate Social Responsibility panel, to tutoring at the Refugee Women’s Alliance in Seattle, and donating items and preparing dinner for the Roots Seattle Youth Shelter.  

This event has steadily grown over the past three years, and organizers hope it will continue to grow in the future. Overall, Foster Week of Service was the perfect opportunity for students to think outside of the typical business-setting and focus on community awareness and philanthropy.

Posted by admin - February 28th, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink

Foster Undergrads Place 3rd in New Zealand!

Four Foster School undergraduates returned from New Zealand on February 13 with a 3rd place trophy from the University of Auckland Business School’s annual Champions Trophy Case Competition.  The Champions Trophy is an elite competition, as invitations are only extended to schools which have been winners of previous international case competitions, as well as consistent performing universities in these competitions.

Collin Larson, Jenny Sang, Kwan Wong and Kevin Durkin proudly display their trophy.

Collin Larson, Jenny Sang, Kwan Wong and Kevin Durkin proudly display their trophy.

Kwan Wong, Jenny Sang, Kevin Durkin and Collin Larson trained for weeks before leaving for the competition, with help from their faculty adviser Leta Beard and other faculty, students and alumni serving as judges for practice presentations.  The competition was grueling, with three days of preliminary rounds where teams would work on a case for 5 hours, with no internet research allowed, and then present it to the judges. The Foster team was in a bracket with Mahidol University International College  (Thailand) and Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) for the preliminary rounds. UW stepped out to lead the pack early by winning the most points in the first round, then winning the most points in the second round the next day to automatically qualify for the finals before the third round even began!

In the finals, the Foster team was up against some tough competition, including teams from the University of British Columbia (Canada), Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (The Netherlands) and Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business (Singapore), with UBC winning first place and Maastricht winning second place. While the team was excited about finishing in the top three, their friends and classmates at home followed their success online and showed thier excitement through messages of encouragement and Facebook posts. 

Congratulations to the team on a successful competition as well as furthering the Foster School of Business’ reputation of excellence.

Posted by admin - February 15th, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink

2nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition

May the best team win!

May the best team win!

On November 30, 2010, the Association of Black Business Students (ABBS) and ALPFA hosted the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big four accounting firms.  The goals of the Holiday Bash were not only to create interconnections and relationships within the business community but also to invite and unite the general UW population as well.  The event was also created to promote diversity by inviting an expansive range of organizations with various concentrations in business (Ascend, Undergraduate Business Council, Social Entrepreneurship Club) to cultural (Black Student Union, Sisterhood, RETRO, etc.).  By opening the event to the general public, our goal was to attract individuals who may have not had the same opportunities as the business community in being able to explore the business field to their liking. This event enabled both business and cultural organizations to intermingle, creating new networks and bonds otherwise unforeseen. Around 80-90 individuals, including participating organizations, representatives from PWC, and unaffiliated attendees, comprised the spectators at the event. The winning organization was Motivated Undergraduates Succeeding Honorably (Mush), with a double decker house, complete with accessories, such as hot tubs, a sunroof and many other goodies.  The 2010 2ndAnnual Gingerbread House Competition Holiday Bash was created to benefit the UW and served as an enjoyable time for UW’s students and staff before finals and the holiday season.

Louie Tran, Sophomore
Association of Black Business Students – V.P. of Campus Relations

Posted by admin - January 5th, 2011 - 0 comments - Permalink