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