Student Life

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 Week of Service 2011

Monday, February 28th, 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.

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

CISB International Business Career Panel

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010


On October 28, the CISB program invited five distinguished professionals from the international business community to speak about working globally and to give advice on how to make an internationally oriented career.

Melissa Peabody, a graduate of the Foster School and CISB, spoke about her time at Bryant Christie Inc. and how starting at a smaller firm gave her the confidence and the network to go after larger challenges when she moved to Starbucks in June of 2006. She said that in order to work internationally, one must be flexible: there will be conference calls at odd hours and there will be times where clear communication is key.

Pedro Piedra described his motivation for pursuing an international career starting when working next to the foreign exchange desk at one of his first jobs.  He saw the huge amount of activity and extremely active nature of the foreign exchange department and decided that is where he needed to be. Years later, Pedro has worked for many international firms in New York, Tokyo, and London.  Currently he works as the Vice President of International Foreign Exchange at Key Bank.

June Chino grew up in both the United States and Japan and so working internationally felt like the obvious choice for her.  This made her pursue a job at the Washington State Japan Office, a perfect fit for someone with familiarity of both Seattle and Japan.  As the sole representative of the public sector at the career panel, June said focusing more on the people and what you are doing, rather than the salary makes jobs in government extremely rewarding.

Steven Grimmer is the Vice President of Account Management at Expeditors International of Washington.  Steven talked a lot about the importance of networking and making a name for yourself in the community where you want to seek a career. He said that, when interviewing job candidates, the one thing that puts people over the top in his book is writing a personalized, hand written card after the interview to follow up and thank the potential employer for the opportunity. He said the personal touch can sometimes make all the difference.

Last, but certainly not least, Jess Estrada, a fellow UW graduate, talked about her career in marketing and the importance of social networking.  She said that if an employer can look you up on Google and find a blog you’ve written, or even just posts on Twitter about things that interest you and get a feel for what you are all about, it adds a whole other dimension to your application.  In 2008, Jess started a blog about local events, business, fashion, music, and other things that interest her. 

All of the panelists acknowledged the importance of getting involved and networking when pursuing a career in international business.  It never hurts to at least introduce yourself.


–Brian James, Senior, Finance and CISB (Custom Russian Track)

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.

Dawg Daze Afternoon

Monday, December 13th, 2010

The 2010-2011 school year kicked off on Tuesday, September 28th, with the annual Dawg Daze Ice Cream Social. Foster Undergraduate Programs Office staff scooped ice cream and doled out a variety of toppings as the line stretched out the doors of the “campus entrance” on the second floor of the brand new Paccar Hall. Students, faculty and staff wandered around the new space as more than 450 people were served free ice cream sundaes during the one-hour event.

Dawg Daze, sponsored by UW First Year Programs, happens prior to the start of classes each Fall quarter and acts as the UW’s official welcome week.

The line winds outside of Paccar Hall

Congrats Foster Grads!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
Congrats to the Class of 2010!

Congrats to the Class of 2010!

  Over 500 Foster graduates participated in the annual Undergraduate Graduation Celebration on June 6, 2010 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Families and friends watched as keynote speaker Ken Denman spoke about his experience and passed on words of wisdom to the audience. Student speaker Buddy Waddington encouraged his classmates that the Class of 2010 can ”go with the flow of the current and still create our own wake”  and the Senior Class Gift Committee presented the deans with their collected total. The graduates crossed the stage to thunderous applause, some with creative designs on their mortarboards or leis around their necks. Foster faculty and staff were excited to congratulate the graduates and mingle with the families, and GradTrak photographers were on hand to commemorate the day.

Grads get ready to walk into the ceremony.

Grads get ready to walk into the ceremony.

Associate Dean Sefcik speaks to the crowd.

Associate Dean Sefcik speaks to the crowd.

Front row grads excited to get started.

Front row grads excited to get started.

Senior Class Gift Committee with the Deans

Senior Class Gift Committee with the Deans

Student speaker Buddy Waddington delivers his message.
Student speaker Buddy Waddington delivers his message.

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.