Student Life

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

Out in the Workplace!

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Out in the workplace Panel @ ECC Do Seattle companies measure up to the city’s liberal reputation? Last Tuesday night, the Ethnic Cultural Center hosted a panel on the queer (or not) friendly environments of several Puget Sound workplaces, not excluding the University of Washington. Other organizations included Amazon, Adobe, Tacoma School District, and Pacific Medical Centers. Panelists D.A. Clements, Nan Leiter, Jill Seidenstein, David Sumerlin, and Thomas Yetman contributed their perspectives. 

What was the verdict? Turns out our corporations, for the most part, do live up to the cities gay-friendly image with domestic partner benefits, non-discrimination policies, and open-minded employees. Highlights: 

1. Before seeking employment, did you research the company culture to specifically understand their stand on sexual orientation? If so, what resources did you use to research?

 a. Numerous panelists utilized, the website for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay and transgender civil rights organization that promotes equal rights in the workplace and community.

2. How do you navigate cultural differences when they arise in the workplace? And by cultural differences I mean the different life experiences held as queer versus straight?

Jill: Not an issue at Amazon. The real problem arises within the queer community itself. There is a lot of misguided animosity and impatience within our environment towards the straight community.

Nan: I’ve had to suppress aspects of myself to conform to the “norm” image. However, people will listen to you more if you’re professional rather than radical.

3. Have you experienced harassment at the workplace?

Nan: Not outright harassment. Rather, I find I don’t have that automatic trust from those other teachers who come from the “straight with kids” lifestyle.

David: I have in past positions, yes. But I find that it also helps to diffuse harassment if you’re out and proud.

A common theme permeated the night: respect. My favorite quote from the evening was “Being out is a manifestation of respect for yourself and your interactions with others.” The panelists made the point that “living out is a political statement.” What statement will we make at Foster? In our futures? Our generation, generation y, is pegged as one that embraces diversity—we were a driving force behind the election of America’s first African American president. Let’s continue to live up to that image, both at Foster and in our future careers, in promoting the rights of all our diverse peers.

-Elizabeth Comley (Senior, Marketing & International Business)

Insider Tour at Safeco Field

Monday, February 1st, 2010
Certificate of International Studies Japanese Track on the field

Certificate of International Studies Japanese Track on the field

Students at the Press Box

Students at the Press Box

On the afternoon of Friday, 22nd of January, 2010, a group of 50 Michael G. Foster School of Business students (including over 25 CISB students) had the opportunity to visit Safeco Field for a meet-and-greet with the team—not the one on the field, but the businessmen and businesswomen who run the company. The visit was jam-packed with insightful Q&A sessions and expert stadium tours. Our gracious hosts—Mr. Gregg Greene (Director of Marketing, UW ’95), Ms. Ingrid Russell-Narcisse (Director of Corporate Business, UW ’88), and Mr. Ken Barron (Interpreter of Ichiro Suzuki, UW CISB ‘03)—gave us the insider tour including the press box, the visitor’s clubhouse, and the field itself.

The highlight of the visit was the Q&A session with our hosts. All three were able to discuss exactly how they rose to their current positions and their path to success. They also stressed the importance of internships and a hard work ethic. Mr. Greene’s story was particularly interesting as it turns out that he originally began his career at the Mariners by helping out a friend who did DJ work for the team. It shows just how important networking is.

All of us would like to thank our gracious hosts again for this great experience—it was an amazing event and we hope that those who missed out can also get the opportunity to see the inside operations of Safeco Field in the future.

- Satomi Wakana (Sophomore, Accounting)
CISB Japanese Track

CISB International Night

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Let's the international gastronomic adventures begin!

International Feasting

On November 12th, Andrea Gomes said a few words, we kicked off the coming Global Biz Week with an all-CISB, buffet style, multicultural dinner.  The evening provided a perfect opportunity to mingle with students from other areas of study as well as experience some culture through food.  Each of the different tracks brought a dish or two to represent their language focus, providing a world tour for the taste buds!  Everything from sauerkraut to quesadillas to pot stickers made brief appearances and were consumed in record time. 

Based on the number written on your nametag, everyone was divided at random into 10 tables of students from different tracks.  After we’d finished eating and socializing it was time for International Trivia.  Each table worked as a team to answer 30 questions, some of which were pretty simple, some of which were not.  For example, Q: After which castle in Germany was the Disney “Sleeping Beauty” castle designed? A: Neusch…. I would give you the answer but for fear of spelling it wrong, you can look that one up yourself.  Congrats to tables 7 and 10 for winning!  Go Team.

One last quick reminder, don’t forget to check out some of the events going on this coming week! If they’re anything like last nights dinner, you won’t want to miss them.   

-Sarah Peterson (Sophomore, CISB- Spanish Track)

CISB presents: Ed Bland of Unitus

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Last Thursday the CISB program invited Ed Bland, the president of Unitus to speak. Unitus is an international nonprofit organization that fights global poverty by accelerating the growth of microfinance. Before he joined Unitus, Ed received an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management and a B.A. from Bowdoin College, and was the General Manager in the Entertainment and Devices Divison at Microsoft.

It was fun and enlightening to hear him speak! The first thing he showed us was a video of how Unitus has helped individuals, so we got to hear about personal stories of how people living in poverty suffered, but then overcame their financial struggling with the help of small loans. One woman, with a $65 loan, showed just how resourceful one could be with a little bit of financial help. She gathered cast-off chicken heads and entrails and potatoes and made “chicken head sausages,” which are now very popular in her village. Pretty innovative, eh? Another woman who joined Grameen Koota received a loan of $200 dollars and started her own dress shop. Before Unitus stepped in, she said that it was difficult to even get one meal a day. Did you know that more than half the world lives on less than $2 a day? It’s definitely not enough to meet even the most basic human needs. An even more depressing fact is that in 2007, 9.2 million kids died before their fifth birthday because of poverty.

If you’re interested in helping alleviate global poverty, Ed says that there are plenty of ways to get involved. There are internships out there that deal with global poverty, like at Unitus, or you could donate money or start your own microfinance institution in the future. Plus, we also have our very own Social Entrepreneurship Club (SEC) and Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition run by the Global Business Center at the UW.
-Nancy Peng (Junior, Marketing & International Business)

Business Undergraduates In Leadership Development (BUILD) Program

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
Toni Driver of Nordstrom speaks during a recent BUILD Program Workshop

Toni Driver of Nordstrom speaks during a recent BUILD Program Workshop

The BUILD Program has had a very successful start to the year with 205 students attending at least one of our Fall events. That’s double the participation rate for the Fall 2008, and there are no signs that we’re slowing down. By now, many students have learned that the BUILD Program hosts leadership workshops and events, and business students can earn a certificate and an invitation to a recognition reception after attending eight BUILD Program events. There is no need to register ahead of time, just attend the events and sign in as requested.

This quarter, BUILD kicked off the year by partnering with the Retail Management Program to welcome Toni Driver of Nordstrom who spoke about communicating correctly in the work place, and how to increase your professionalism.  Larry Flax, the CEO and Co-Founder of California Pizza Kitchen, flew in from California just for our event, and the students enjoyed hearing about his entrepreneurial experiences as much as they enjoyed the free CPK pizza. Toward the end of his speech, Larry asked students to always remember the acronym ROCK– Respect, Opportunity, Communication and Kindness– because in his opinion, you can’t advance in business without them.

 On November 11, many students celebrated the Veteran’s Day holiday by sleeping in, but we had over 60 students join us for the Student Leadership Summit, a day full of workshops, discussion groups and teamwork challenges. An impressive group of students contributed their ideas of what “leadership” really means, practiced communications and conflict resolution skills, learned about dress etiquette, officer roles and resume building and even completed a scavenger hunt around campus while taped together in large groups.

 The BUILD Program is wrapping up the Fall quarter events this week with a video conference sponsored by Global Business Week.  This opportunity will allow undergrads to sit in on an MBA course and observe the class interactions with the Chairman and CEO of Orix, Japan, Yoshihiko Miyauchi. The Global Business Center is providing a copy of the case to be discussed to everyone in attendance.
If you haven’t attended a BUILD Program yet, it’s not too late. There are 11 more events planned for Winter and Spring quarters, most noteably an “Effective Networking” workshop in January, followed by the annual Foster Career Networking Night on January 27. Keep up with all of the BUILD Program events on the website or the facebook page, as new events are continually posted. 
A student contributes to a communication activity during the Student Leadership Summit.

A student contributes to a communication activity during the Student Leadership Summit.

Annual Undergraduate Diversity Services Autumn Quarter Kick-Off Karoake & Games Night 10/22

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Hey: what can i say? I’m a sucker for karaoke.

I can’t sing to save my life, but the Annual Undergraduate Diversity Services Autumn Quarter Kick-Off Karoake & Games Night was all fun.
-oh and more than that:
…there was free food!

Prospective and Current Foster students belt out R & B Hits

Prospective and Current Foster students belt out R & B Hits

-but more than that too:
…there were internship opportunities and academic advancement all over the place!

From PWC Pricewaterhousecoopers [we had a celebrity in the house; current Foster Student, Matt Herring who was on the back of the PWC magazine talked to us! lol] and other organizations were on-hand to meet with students  personally like INROADS, and then Foster student organizations on campus, like the Association of Black Business Students, Hispanic Business Student Assocation and other organizations as well as specific academic programs interested in working directly with students of color. My favorite was learning about getting a Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) to attach to my Business Administration Degree and incorporating study abroad. I also learned about Case Competitions for Foster school locally and nationally – we got the FRESH-men-FOUR going into our first one next weekend, so that will be something to look forward to in future posts!

-Jordan Dacres (Pre-Business, Freshman)

CISB Program Hosts International Business Career Panel

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Last Thursday the CISB program (Certificate of International Studies in Business) hosted an international business career panel featuring four exciting individuals from across the global career spectrum. Panelists discussed their professional backgrounds and international experience as well as provided valuable advice to participants.

Susana Murillo, VP and Country Manager for Latin America, Canada, Spain and Portugal, US Bank
Susana provided a wealth of advice for students. First and foremost–follow your passion! Even if you can’t achieve your dream job right away, invest the time to learn as much as you can. Susana suggests conducting informational interviews to discover how people sitting in your ideal career got to where they are. Also, be persistent. You can be turned away from a hundred jobs, but it only takes one offer to get you on your way.  Concerning international business, she says it is much more than travel. Globalization is about experiencing new people, cultures, and business. Business has the power to do good things—Susana originally was interested in the Peace Corps.

Eric Hsu, Commercial Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce
Eric brought a unique set of experiences to the panel as the only member from the public sector. After a start in the banking industry, he made a move into the Department of Commerce as a Foreign Commercial officer. He has lived all over Asia including Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, and New Delhi. He illuminated the fact that despite popular thought, the government actually provides ample overseas opportunities. Most of these are available as a Foreign Service Officer for the USDA, State Department, or Commerce Department.  His other guidance included having a focus but remaining flexible. You might not be able to get from point A to B in one step, but be patient and adaptable. If you take the time to develop a skill-set, opportunities will come to you.

Coletta Vigh, MBA student
Coletta is one of our very own Husky alumna and Foster MBA candidates. After graduating from the UW with a degree in Japanese language and literature, she moved to Japan for two years to cement her language skills. She says foreign language can be key to gaining access to certain industries—she was able to land a technology related position with no tech experience! It also provides you visibility with people that not might not otherwise be possible and can lead to expedited promotions.
How can an upcoming graduate handle this tough economy? Volunteer! Volunteer positions can open doors….Colletta was offered a position based on her work with a salmon fishery.

Stephen Svinth, CISB Chinese track alumnus, New Product Buyer, Fire Mountain Gems
Carpe diem! Stephen found his first job by calling up a company he saw on a box at Home Depot. He then landed his current position by chatting with the company CEO on an airplane—now that’s networking. For whatever position you end up in, Stephen recommends being analytic and able to build a strong argument.

-Elizabeth Comley (Senior, Marketing & International Business)

CISB PanelistCISB Students Engaged in LectureCISB Panelists