Out in the Workplace!

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 hrc.org, 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)

Posted by admin - February 1st, 2010 - 0 comments - Permalink

Insider Tour at Safeco Field

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

Posted by admin - February 1st, 2010 - 0 comments - Permalink

Marketing makes the world go round – YEOC Marketing Session

Marketing makes the world go round—well, at least the business world. And marketing just so happened to be the focus for December’s Young Executives of Color program. As one of my focuses at the Foster School, I was especially excited to lead this month’s session. Marketing is an incredibly dynamic subject, encompassing nearly all of a company’s strategic decisions making it incredibly difficult to decide what to include in an hour long introduction to the topic. The final product touched upon the basics—4P’s, target markets, mission statements—then moved on to the more specific areas of brand management and advertising. Students were also able to take a peek into the research of Brian Wansink and Robert Cialdini, prominent academics in the marketing world.

Peter Doubleday, a partner at Ernst & Young, as well as his colleague Bob Hilton, graciously made a visit to the YEOC group again leading an analysis on the visual identity of their company. With them were fellow Ernst & Young’ers Debbie Shih, Valerie Burris, and Kiyosha Baird who spoke about the importance of personal branding and networking. Although students should always be true to their personalities, they learned that certain elements could be emphasized depending on the situation—professional, social, academic. You wouldn’t joke around the same way with your boss as you do with your friends, would you?

Building on the earlier marketing lecture, students were able to employ what they learned about advertising in order to construct a commercial for future YEOC recruiting efforts. In true competitive spirit, teams had only 20 minutes to design a one minute video that would be used to attract new YEOC applicants. Musical numbers, classroom reproductions, and program value-adds all made appearances.

The college admission process again took the lead as our college prep topic. Seniors completed a workshop on writing personal statements with Jennifer Shoen. While Pamela Lacson and Jessica Rush led sophomores and juniors on the elements of analyzing and admitting college applicants – the roles were reversed and students decided who got admitted or denied into a mock university through an admissions case study.

Until January, wishing everyone a wonderful and restful holiday from the YEOC group!
-Elizabeth Comley, YEOC December Session Leader (Senior, Marketing & International Business)

Posted by admin - January 26th, 2010 - 0 comments - Permalink

Working the Room

Jack Rhodes talks to students about how to "work a room".

Jack Rhodes talks to students about how to "work a room".

The BUILD Program kicked off the Winter quarter on January 20th with a workshop on effective networking. Jack Rhodes, Director of the Sales Program, spoke to a packed room of 75 students about the importance of expanding and building networks.

The hour-long program was full of tips like preparing an “elevator pitch”,  how to remember names (repetition!), how to extricate yourself from a conversation, and some basic networking etiquette.  Jack also stressed the need to follow up after meeting someone for the first time, as relationships are about give and take. Hand written notes, gifts or even articles sent to your contacts can be thoughtful ways to stay in touch. “Remember the past is really your foundation for the future,” he said.

Freshman through seniors signed in for the event, and the high attendance was no surprise as networking is one of the most popular workshop topics each year. Many students heard about the program through friends or in class, and others were there to prepare for the annual Foster Career Networking Night , which will be held on January 27th, where undergraduates are invited to network with Foster alumni who have graduated in the past ten years.

Posted by admin - January 22nd, 2010 - 0 comments - Permalink

CISB International Night

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)

Posted by admin - November 30th, 2009 - 0 comments - Permalink

CISB presents: Ed Bland of Unitus

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)

Posted by admin - November 30th, 2009 - 0 comments - Permalink

YEOC – Ethics

Femme Fatale Plus Deux on the steps of the Quad.

Femme Fatale Plus Deux on the steps of the Quad.

On November 7th, the Young Executives of Color Program (YEOC) held its second session of the 2009-2010 school year. November’s theme was Ethics and with the support  of Ernst & Young, Jilberto Soto—a YEOC mentor—led an amazing day. After introducing students to the six pillars of ethics and sample frameworks, Jilberto started off the morning by asking students to create their own ethical mission statements. Creating statements allowed students to process the information as well as evaluate their own moral priorities. They then broke out into college prep groups for focus topics on UW admissions, planning for college, and academic success strategies.

Ernst & Young took center stage in the afternoon with presentations on resume building, negotiations, and ethics in the workplace. Students paired up and put their negotiation skills to the test – assuming the roles of a buyer and car salesperson. Teams were required to compromise on key issues with the ultimate goal of enlarging the pie for everyone involved. Some sellers drove a hard bargain though and buyers are still bitter today……. Ultimately the negotiation was a fun learning experience for students, showing them the importance of fair dealing and lifetime customers—if a seller wanted repeat sales—versus short term profits. How amazing is it that high school students can gain first hand experience with key business terms such as “distributive barganing” and “logrolling”?

The session concluded with announcement of team Femme Fatale Plus Deux as winners of October’s photographic scavenger hunt competition. Cleary the group to beat!

 A big thanks to Jilberto our project lead for the session!!

 Thanks also to EY contributors: Yhoni Keleta, Annie Graebner, and Robiel Isaac! 

And our college prep presenters: Jennifer Rance, Toka Valu, and Pam Lacson :D

Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is is politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.

–Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted by admin - November 30th, 2009 - 0 comments - Permalink

Business Undergraduates In Leadership Development (BUILD) Program

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.

Posted by admin - November 17th, 2009 - 0 comments - Permalink

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

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)

Posted by admin - November 13th, 2009 - 0 comments - Permalink

2009 DECA Leadership Conference – Reflections from a Undergrad


Although the DECA Leadership Conference, held on Monday October 26, was early in the academic year, the early timing didn’t hold back the eager high school DECA students. With business hopes and dreams, the students came loaded with questions looking for advice and any knowledge they could attain.

A DECA leader and national champion myself, I remember the fall being an overwhelming time of year, applying to colleges and putting time into the DECA competitions.  Representing the Foster School our team gave students relatable guidance as many of us were in their shoes only a few years ago.   Without a huge difference in age we were able to help build their confidence at a stressful time of the year and talk to them about the Foster School of Business.  It was nice to be able to give them the advice I  wish I had received.  I am very thankful for the experiences I had being part of DECA and hope to see them on campus in the near future!

Submitted by Brandon Barron’12 – Foster School of Business Student Ambassador

Posted by admin - November 9th, 2009 - 0 comments - Permalink