Student Leaders

Retail Day 2011: On The Hunt

Friday, April 22nd, 2011


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

UMCA/E&Y Case Competition

Monday, April 11th, 2011

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 ( 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.

Foster Undergrads Place 3rd in New Zealand!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

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.

Young Executives of Color Ethics & Business 101 Session

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

YEOC Blog #2

Cheers to another amazing YEOC session!

Thank you to our Young Executives for giving up a sleep filled Saturday and joining us yet again for our November 20th  session. Our guests from E&Y and BEDC Fellow/YEOC mentor, Sabrina, offered engaging insights into the world of ethics. We hope that next time you are caught in an ethical dilemma, you will think back to Sabrina’s valuable photocopy video and do the right thing :)

The breakout team activity (Drawbridge Activity) taught us that ethics are situational and differ from person to person. This is an important fact to remember in all facets of life. Ethical behavior in the workplace can be defined by a different set of rules than in other areas of your life, so constantly be aware of your environment and the behavioral standards you are being held accountable for.

Our November session also provided Young Executives with a wealth of knowledge concerning their education. We hope students gained valuable insight to reference as they plan for their futures. (YEOC Seniors, please utilize the information and guidance provided during your workshop as you work through your college applications. Remember that the UW application deadline is Wednesday, December 15, 2010. Reach out to your mentors with any questions or need for clarification. We are here to serve you! Another important thing to note as you are completing your college applications (specifically for UW) is that you should select Business Administration as your major of choice.)

Our next session focused on Marketing  is just around the corner and we are very excited to see our Young Executives bright and early on December 11th.

Alexandria Hunter, Senior
International Business & Finance
BEDC Fellow

2010-2011 Young Executives of Color

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011




October Teambuilding Session

October Teambuilding Session

 Let’s Get it Started!!!

Congratulations 2010-2011 Young Executives of Color students!  Session one got us all off to an amazing start on October 16th  that was coupled greatly with the double overtime Husky Football Homecoming victory. 

Major kudos  to all of the Young Executives for showing such fantastic enthusiasm throughout the entire session, despite our insanely early start on a Saturday morning.  All of the mentors were extremely excited to get settled into our individual groups and spend time getting to know their mentees.  The creative spirit was clearly alive and well throughout the entire day. The freshness these high school students showed during our first team competition, the photo scavenger hunt, proved to be immensely entertaining.  It was exciting to see the originality each team displayed in capturing each photo’s theme assignment. 

Our next session is not until November 20th but the BEDC fellows will be keeping in regular contact with Young Executives - this is what makes the YEOC program such a unique program.  Good luck to our YEOC Seniors on your upcoming exams, SAT/PSAT, big games, etc.  Work hard, believe in yourself, and have fun!  See you next month!

‘One can never consent to creep when one feels the compulsion to soar’. Helen Keller

Alexandria Hunter, Senior
International Business & Finance
BEDC Fellow


BUILDing Leaders

Monday, December 13th, 2010
Students participate in a discussion group based on leadership topics

Students participate in a discussion group based on leadership topics.

The second annual BUILD Leadership Summit brought together business and pre-business students of varying experience for one day of workshops and networking. While many at UW took the day off, Foster freshman through seniors participated in discussions, communication activities, a campus scavenger hunt and various workshops held during the Veteran’s Day holiday.  

The day-long event was part of the popular BUILD Program (Business Undergraduates in Leadership Development) and earned student participants two  BUILD credits– 1/4 of what is needed to earn a BUILD Certificate.  Students who earn 8 BUILD Program credits throughout the school year can earn a certificate and an invitation to a VIP reception at the end of the year. The BUILD Program hosts five events per quarter.

Alumni volunteers came back to help Undergraduate Programs Office advisers facilitate discussion groups and activities aimed at improving students’ leadership skills. Each student walked away with new contacts of peers and alumni, as well as a certificate of completion for participating in the day’s events.  

Mandy Baker helps guide her teammates through a communication exercise.

Mandy Baker helps guide her teammates through a communication exercise.

Foster Business Week 2010

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

UBC members sell t-shirts and tickets at the BizBQEach year, the Undergraduate Business Council coordinates the largest student-run event at the Foster School each May. Foster Business Week is made up of individual events– from speakers to barbeques to awareness events– all put on by Foster clubs and organizations in order to raise awareness of the business school on campus, and to celebrate our Foster community.

This year, Michelle Choe won the FBW Theme Contest with her submission of  ”Work it Harder, Make it Better, Do it FOSTER, Makes us Stronger” and the planning kept rolling from there. By the time the week was over, events included: Musical Chairs Tournament sponsored by ABBS;  the 2nd Annual Ethics Case Competition sponsored by MUSH and UBC; the  Spring Cruise sponsored by AKPsi; Salsa Dance Lessons sponsored by HBSA; Sales Career Fair sponsored by USC and the always popular Foster Pub Crawl on the Ave sponsored by UBC.

This was the last year that the annual BizBQ was held at Balmer Hall, due to the building’s scheduled demolition in the Fall. Undergraduate Programs Office staff flipped burgers and veggie burgers for the 12th year in a row, and all of those burgers fed over 450 people in two hours– including some of the construction workers who are completing the new Paccar Hall!

The week was a huge success, and plans are already under way for Foster Business Week 2011!

Members of UBC and MUSH with the winners of the 2nd Annual Foster Ethics Case Competition.

Members of UBC and MUSH with the winners of the 2nd Annual Foster Ethics Case Competition.

Students scramble for seats at the Musical Chairs Tournament sponsored by ABBS.

Students scramble for seats at the Musical Chairs Tournament sponsored by ABBS.

Ernst & Young/UMCA Case Competition

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

 Ernst & Young



On April 9th 56 students participated in the first annual Ernst & Young and UMCA case competition.

Case Competitions provide an excellent opportunity for students to work together in groups and practice their business skills, analytical thinking, and public speaking.  In the Fall of 2009 the Undergraduate Management Consulting Association (UMCA) decided that as a consulting organization it needed to offer a case competition so that students could actually get their hands on analyzing and solving a business case; just like they would in consulting.

There are numerous case competitions on campus but few that are hosted by the “all-star” companies that numerous students try to get jobs with.  This was where UMCA reached out the Ernst & Young.  As it turned out Ernst & Young was more than eager to partner in setting up a case competition.  The partnership between UMCA and Ernst & Young allowed for both entities to focus on what they specialize in.  UMCA focused on reached out to students and organizing logistics and Ernst & Young set out to find judges and a case.

14 teams, making a total of 56 students, analyzed a case related to how Pandora Radio can generate profit.  The judges were impressed with what solutions the students came up with, ranging from hardware devices to online advertising.  Ultimately the judges were most impressed and awarded first place to Vance Rouch, Venkat Rao, Elaine Raymond, and Cameron Chin.  These students will get the opportunity to have dinner with numerous Ernst & Young Partners and Recruiters.

The first annual Ernst & Young and UMCA case competition was a huge success and with numerous teams on the waitlist this year, we are eager to expand the case next year.

-Peter Fantham, Senior, Marketing/Info Systems

Global Business Brigades Spring Break

Monday, April 5th, 2010
29 UW students traveled to Panama with Global Business Brigades

29 UW students traveled to Panama with Global Business Brigades

A spring break somewhere warm is the ideal for the average college student in the northwest.  However, for a group of 29 UW students who traveled to Panama this past spring break as a Global Business Brigade, the experience was less about laying on the beach and more about working on the farm.

Global Brigades is an international non-profit organization that sends groups of students into developing countries to sustainably improve living conditions for impoverished populations, and the UW chapter of the business brigades just returned from their second trip this past week.  The group of mostly Foster School of Business students lived and worked for one week on an agricultural cooperative near the village of Machuca in the Cocle region of Panama, conducting workshops, learning about the lives and livelihoods of the farmers, and investing $2900 in the business in order to improve the quality of life of the members in the long term.

Students listen and take notes at a meeting on the farm while in Panama.

Students listen and take notes at a meeting on the farm while in Panama.

The cooperative consisted of 7 families operating 3 businesses: chicken farming, goat farming, and agricultural production of various crops.  The students learned firsthand how the farmers made their living, in the process learning how to milk a goat, process a chicken, farm staple crops, and administer a rural farm.  Through working alongside the proprietors, the group was able to understand the farmers, their business, and how it could be improved, and through this knowledge tailored accounting and marketing workshops to the farm, and strategically invested in the community to best improve the farmer’s quality of life in the long term.  Infrastructure development and continual business practice improvement were the top priority for both the community and the students, and the money invested in a new chicken coop and other resources to better serve customer demand will help ensure the success of the cooperative.

See the Daily article on GBB here:

–David Almeida, Junior

BOLD Talent Networking Forum @ Museum of Flight

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Museum of Flight
UW undergraduates representing the Foster School
UW undergraduates representing the Foster School
Foster students engage with Gwen Houston, GM Global Diversity & Inclusion, US HR Diversity
Foster students engage with Gwen Houston, Microsoft GM Global Diversity & Inclusion, US HR Diversity

I was fortunate enough to attend the BOLD Talent Networking Forum along with over 50 undegraduates representing the UW Foster School of Business on Monday, March 1 at the Museum of Flight.  This experience was educational, enriching, and a rare opportunity to network with high level executives.  The panel that was featured for dialogue and questions included CEO’s from Seattle’s top companies such as Puget Sound Energy, JP Morgan Chase, Alaska Airlines, Retail Lockbox Inc., and of course, Microsoft.  I was amazed and surprised at the CEO’s willingness to speak candidly with us on what they are looking for in an employee.  Words that were thrown out there include initiative-oriented, persistent, driven, strong work-ethic, and a willingness to learn and grow every day.  Along with these attributes, they each expressed how their companies are continually seeking diverse backgrounds of diverse cultures to come and work for them.  This was a true testament to me on how much companies nowadays are fervently seeking minorities with diverse upbringings to come in and offer new and fresh perspectives.  It was a great thing to see and hear for my own eyes and ears and it came directly from the leaders of these fortune 500 companies. 

The next portion of the night was dedicated to Small Group Networking where we were able to sit in a more intimate group with top level HR managers, recruiters, and other executives and have a discussion about the best ways we can advance ourselves along with the next steps we might be able to take in regards to an internship or job opportunity.  These managers were so helpful in identifying the keys to success in the application, interview, and follow-up process.   A story from one of the HR managers from Alaska resonated with me.  She explained how she started at Alaska in the call center and everyday she would ask to learn something new.  Finally, she had learned everything possible within that department and upper management took notice and sent her to corporate where she assumed a supervisor role in the company.  Ever since, she’s been moving her way up and now is a senior director.  Stories like this are inspiring and give me a great perspective on what makes a successful employee. 

Overall, this event was a huge success for me and I was able to put my face and name in the front of very important decision makers in their respective companies.  I would definitely encourage students next year to keep an eye out and to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. 

Special Thanks to:

BOLD Member Companies
Alaska Airlines & Horizon Air, Boeing, Costco, Eddie Bauer, Group Health Cooperative, JP Morgan
Chase, Liberty Mutual/Safeco, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, REI, Retail Lockbox, Russell
Investment Group, Starbucks, The Seattle Foundation, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Weyerhaeuser

BOLD Talent Partners
Act Six / Northwest Leadership Foundation, College Success Foundation, Rainier Scholars, University
of Puget Sound, UW Foster School of Business Business Economic Development Center (BEDC), UW Foster School of Business Undergraduate Diversity Services

-Vance Roush
Junior, Marketing & Information Systems