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Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!

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New post 23 Jun 2015, 08:31
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Re: Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2015, 16:54
Hey!
In for Round 1 for sure.
Thanks
Celestial






Narenn wrote:
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New post 30 Jul 2015, 10:47


Dear Applicants,

We are excited to announce that GMAT Club and UW Foster Admissions Team will be jointly conducting Live Q&A sessions for Foster applicants. There will be 3 such sessions in this application season in which Megan Lewis - Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Foster (Washington) will dialogue with prospective applicants in GMAT Club Chat Room and answer their questions about admission process. We are also trying to include current Foster students in these chats. Event dates are as follows.

  • August 04, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time
  • October 01, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time
  • November 03, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time

Visit this thread to view complete schedule of Live Q&A sessions for 2015-16. live-q-a-with-b-school-adcoms-2015-season-174827.html
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New post 04 Aug 2015, 04:46
The first session of UW Foster Live Q&A series is happening today in which Megan Lewis - Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Foster- will chat with prospective applicants and answer their questions about Foster's MBA program. So save the event in your Google calendar and be in the chat room at 8 AM Pacific Time with your questions.

Join GMAT Club Chat Room to attend this session

August 04, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time

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Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2015, 00:59
Narenn wrote:
The first session of UW Foster Live Q&A series is happening today in which Megan Lewis - Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Foster- will chat with prospective applicants and answer their questions about Foster's MBA program. So save the event in your Google calendar and be in the chat room at 8 AM Pacific Time with your questions.

Join GMAT Club Chat Room to attend this session

August 04, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time


Hello Guys,

We had to cancel above chat as Foster adcom could not attend it due to some unforeseen circumstances. She has tendered her apology. I am quoting here the message she passed for those who were in chat session.

MeganLewis wrote:
Dearest prospective Foster students,

Please accept my sincere apology for not arriving at the chat session to provide you with answers to your questions as I had promised. I regret that I was unable to connect with you. I hope you will join Foster’s next GMAT Club session on October 1. If you have inquiries that require more immediate attention, I welcome your email correspondence at lewismr@uw.edu.
- Megan Lewis, Associate Director of MBA Admissions at UW Foster


There are two more chat sessions scheduled with Foster team which will take place on their scheduled dates. (Check schedule here) We regret the inconvenience caused to applicants due to cancellation and assure that Foster team will answer all your questions in upcoming chat session.
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Making an Impact: Sustainability Resources at Foster  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2015, 07:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Making an Impact: Sustainability Resources at Foster
Interested in using your MBA experience to be a force for social good? It’s my pleasure to introduce this guest post by Phoebe Lipkis (Class of 2016), our 2015-2016 Net Impact Club President. She’s a truly inspired leader and an amazing classmate. This is her guide on all the resources available to Foster MBA students who are interested in maximizing their social impact.

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The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed of social entrepreneurs, environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and do-gooders. New Foster students looking to use their MBAs for social or environmental good will find an abundance of resources at their fingertips. Here’s a guide to make it easier for you to navigate these resources and create new opportunities.

Net Impact Club Resources
The mission of the Net Impact Club is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

  • The Net Impact Conference is the leading forum for students and professionals who want to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. Autumn
  • Net Impact Case Competition: This competition, held by the University of Colorado Boulder, is the premier Net Impact case competition. Applications are typically due in late November and the final round in Colorado occurs in January or February. Autumn/Winter
  • Net Impact Service Corps: The chapter hosts Service Corps projects during the winter quarter that connect teams of Foster students to local non profits looking for management consulting expertise. Each team gets an advisor from a management consulting firm (Deloitte, McKinsey, etc.) and they work with organizations that have been identified and vetted by local organization, Social Venture Partners. Winter
  • Ongoing Net Impact events, tours, meetings, and symposia. Join the Net Impact Club to get announcements! Autumn/Winter/Spring
Foster Resources
  • Foster’s core sustainability class is “Cases in Sustainability” with Professor Elizabeth Stearns, and is typically offered in the Winter quarter. An “Impact Entrepreneurship” course was offered recently as well, and may return! For additional class offerings, look below at UW Resources.
  • The Applied Strategy Project is a core curriculum requirement that first years do during the second quarter. Students get to choose to do consulting projects for various companies, and there are usually opportunities to help non-profits or local companies do social good. Winter -The Board Fellows Program places MBA and MPA students as non-voting board members of local nonprofit organizations. Autumn/Winter/Spring
  • The Burke Center for Entrepreneurship offers tons of resources for MBA students, including the Entrepreneurship Certificate. One of the coolest things they do is give stipends to students who wish to work with non-profits over the summer through the Social Entrepreneurship Summer Fellowship program.
  • The Environmental Innovation Challenge is a fun, cross-disciplinary challenge that brings together students from across UW schools to innovate and help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Autumn/Winter
  • The Foster D-Prize is a competition for those who want to launch a new social enterprise in the developing world. Each team needs to have at least one Foster MBA student! Winter
  • In your second year, the Global Consulting Project offers students with an interest in international business and social impact to get overseas experience. The students get to work on the ground in India with Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) – a well-respected organization in India that supports women’s businesses. Autumn/Winter
  • Other clubs with overlapping missions include the Healthcare and Biotech Club and the Outdoor and Sports Industry Club.
University of Washington Resources
  • Non Profit Management Certificate (in partnership with the Evans School of Public Affairs)
  • Environmental Management Certificate (in partnership with the Program on the Environment)
  • Check out class listings at the Evans School, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of the Environment, or other schools at UW. Full-time MBA students can take up to 4 classes (16 credits) outside of Foster. Talk to second years to find out which classes offer the most value.
  • UW Office of Sustainability has tons of university-wide information, including course lists and a mailing list.
  • Check out UW’s very own farm that sources to its own farm-to-table restaurant, Cultivate, and runs an annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program from June to October.
Community Resources
Seattle has TONS of people, organizations, and resources for people interested in social impact. Here are just a few to fuel your search:

Most importantly, make sure that you are pursuing opportunities that are meaningful for you and your career. Find something that interests you and go for it. Good luck!

Let’s hear from you – what other resources would you recommend?

About the Author:
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Phoebe Lipkis is delighted to be back in school after 8 years in nonprofit leadership roles in New York, London, Minneapolis, Louisville, and Los Angeles. At Foster, she is focused on leveraging economics, organizational behavior, strategy, and leadership for social and environmental change. Most recently she worked with public utilities in Los Angeles to create a shared plan for stormwater management for the region. As the Director of Development for an anti-violence organization, she led major strategic planning, change initiatives, and fundraising campaigns. Phoebe grew up in Los Angeles, and received her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz.
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The Venture Capital (VC) Fellowship – How two MBA students are connect  [#permalink]

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FROM Foster Admissions Blog: The Venture Capital (VC) Fellowship – How two MBA students are connecting Foster MBAs and the Seattle VC community
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Meet Ken Horenstein and Rob Skatrud, two first-year MBA students who are partnering with the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship to start a Venture Capital Fellowship for future Foster MBA students. They met through the Venture Capital and Investment Competition class at UW, which prepares students to compete in the global competition. UW won the Silicon Valley region and placed second in the in world in 2015!

Tell me a little about your background and where you guys want to go after the MBA?
Ken Horenstein: Before the MBA program I was working in finance in the Bay Area for almost 3 years, and Chicago before that. When I was in the bay, I did a Startup Weekend on a whim. Literally signed up that week and did it that weekend. I remember having this moment after the first night of Startup Weekend. It was 11 pm and I was walking home, and had to call and wake up my dad to tell him that this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I want to work in small companies, and try to figure out problems in a new way…compared to the old finance paradigm where everything’s solved, and you just need to plug in the numbers and figure it out. So after that day I tried to decide how I was going to facilitate this transition, and that’s when Foster and the MBA sort of presented itself. This great entrepreneurial ecosystem brought me back up to the northwest.

Rob Skatrud: Before school, I worked for a couple of high-growth software companies. After doing that for 8 years, I realized that I had been working really hard to make other people a lot of money, and like Ken I wanted to go back to something a little earlier stage. So for me, coming back to the MBA was a way to network around Seattle’s entrepreneurial environment, and take a step back and find the right fit for me.

How did you guys get to know each other?
Rob: I think we met each other through the Venture Capital and Investment Competition (VCIC) class that was in addition to our core requirements in the Fall. It just happened to be on Thursday nights, so we would wander over to Pub Club right after. I’d say through that we got to know each other pretty well.

Ken: We weren’t on the same team in that class, but since there were only a few first year students in there, we tended to huddle together.

Tell me the problem that you guys are trying to solve? What gave you the idea?
Rob: The one thing that I wanted out of my MBA experience was seeing the deal side of startups. I was deciding between UT-Austin and Foster, and UT has a program called the Venture Fellows. They select a few of the first year students and get them project work with VC firms, Private Equity firms, and Angel investors, so that the students can get first-hand, tangible experience in that space. But I feel that Foster has this great community, too. It’s in the middle of Seattle, which has such a great ecosystem. A lot of the Seattle VCs are already on campus, and we have great relationships with them through the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship. It seemed that there was a huge opportunity to combine all the different pieces of the puzzle.

Ken: Rob was the one who initially broached the idea and brought up this UT program. So the more that I started to look into that, the more that I thought that it was really viable to do something similar here. It’s funny because neither of us said that we wanted to get into venture capital…both of us want to go on the company side. However, when you become an entrepreneur, you have to know both sides. In addition to the company side, you also have to understand what the investment market wants, and how they invest. Through the VCIC, we were able to meet a lot of people in the area, including prominent angel investors and VCs, and they’re all here on campus. We kept hearing this story that you’re not going to get a job in VC right out of school. We asked ourselves: “if we can’t change this in the immediate future, then what needs to be done in the long term, and what things can we start now that could enable that down the road?” We’re not saying that this program is supposed to get students jobs in VC, rather it’s specifically focused on getting exposure to how the VC industry works and opening those networking doors. We are focusing on what we can we do right now that could remove these barriers and open doors for future students.

Tell me about the VC Fellowship. What will students get out of this? What’s your vision for the future?
Ken: We’ve recruited a pretty great board, and we’re going to reach out to our first set of VCs to describe the program and the different projects that we can do. This fall, we are going to interview and recruit our first class of 3-5 first-year students. They’ll need to complete additional classes like the VCIC course, which is a great intro to what VCs look for and also a great opportunity for initial networking. After getting a strong foundation in the fall quarter, they’ll be placed with a VC for 3-6 months for an opportunity to work on things like market sizing or valuation projects. These projects might be more mundane to a VC, but would be an incredible experience for a first-year MBA to see. They’ll get to see the process first hand and learn how they make decisions.

Rob: To build on the importance of experience, I’ve been doing a self-sourced project this quarter, and it’s been very beneficial. I probably got my internship this summer because I was able to speak to the experience that I got through this project. We see this as a way to get students this experience in their first year, so when they go out and start interviewing for jobs or their summer internships, they’ll already have this experience under their belt.

Ken: It’s very much an educational opportunity, a way to get experiential learning by working on extended projects. The Buerk Center has been tremendous in supporting us and giving us ideas. It’s been important for us to work together with them because there’s so many different programs on campus right now and we don’t want to overlap.

How has the response been with the VCs so far?
Rob: We’ve received really positive responses from the VCs that we’ve talked to so far. At first, Ken and I were really focused on figuring out what the value added is for the VCs. A handful of VCs that I spoke to down in Austin kind of laughed at that. They told us that “you guys are a bunch of MBAs from a top institution, you’re asking for pennies on the dollar to come work…what do you mean by value add?”

What do you hope to get out of this, in terms of your career goals?
Ken: I think for me, this is just like a startup. We started with nothing, just this concept. We verified it with people on both sides of the equation, and confirmed that there is value to all the people involved. And then we had to find the right team that was going to execute on this vision. It’s been a tangible experience, to see what it’s like to start something new, and to get it off the ground and work with all the stakeholders. But we are also thinking about how we want to remember our time at Foster. In 10 years, it would be incredible to look back and know that this Venture Capital Fellowship is in place because we were willing to start it. We were willing to find all these people who shared the same passions, and we were able to put our sweat and work into it and build something that improved the Foster community.

Rob: To take that thought one step further…for me, the benefit is raising the profile of the Foster MBA. I think having this in place is really going to pull a different kind of candidate towards this program, and 5-10 years from now, people are going to look at the brand on both of our resumes and recognize the value that we bring to the table.

How can we help?
Ken: First, we love spreading the idea and talking to people about it, so if they want to get a hold of us we’d love to talk. We would also love opportunities in the corporate venture capital as well. That would increase the types of experiences this program could offer and increase the draw to the student fellows. We want this to be something that any student from any background and any skillset can see this as an opportunity to learn something, no matter what their end goal is.

Rob: I would also like the readers to know that we have a great list of contacts, but we don’t know everyone that could be of benefit to the program. If this fellowship sounds interesting to you, please reach out to Ken or me. We would love to have a conversation.

Ken: We’re also planning on organizing monthly networking and training events. We would love to talk with anyone who’s willing to share insight into life/work as a VC. Whether it’s an informal chat over lunch, or over a glass of wine, that’ll help us open those doors for our fellows.

Thank you so much for your time, I’d love to follow up with you guys in the Winter and see how you are doing.
Rob: Oh, we will be in the weeds this Fall for sure.

Image
] Rob Skatrud, Class of 2016

Image
] Kenneth Horenstein, Class of 2016

For more on the Venture Capital Fellowship, contact Rob Skatrud via LinkedIn or Ken Horenstein via LinkedIn. Learn more about Foster entrepreneurship at the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship here and the Graduate Entrepreneurship program here.
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Re: Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2015, 14:33
Does anyone have solid intel on career paths for Foster grads? Are there Seattle consulting opportunities or do they recruit elsewhere and import the talent to Seattle? Boutique, lifestyle oriented marketing firms? Easy to hook up with start ups? Does REI every hire MBAs? I do not want to be a middle manager at Amazon or Microsoft. I do want to be in Seattle and will likely get into schools in the 7 to 15 range. Not from Seattle but do have connections there.
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The 2015 UW Business Plan Competition: Co-chair perspective  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2015, 16:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: The 2015 UW Business Plan Competition: Co-chair perspective
Last year, I had the pleasure of serving as one of the two MBA co-chairs for the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship’s annual Business Plan/New Venture Competition. This was a priceless experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering working in an early-stage startup or starting a new venture.

Follow your Passion
“Just follow your passion.”

That’s the career advice I’ve heard countless times. Follow your dreams, and the rest will come. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. When I was in the Air Force, I thought about life on the outside and imagined how great it would be to be your own boss, to be in control of your own destiny. I devoured stories about people starting their own companies, and learned how veterans can be amazing entrepreneurs.

Trouble is, I didn’t know what I was passionate about. I didn’t have one singular problem that I wanted to solve. So I was hoping that a full-time MBA would help me find that problem, and lead me on the path toward becoming the next great entrepreneur. I dove headfirst into the Seattle entrepreneurship community, and went to all the events that I could find through the University of Washington’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

That’s when I got involved with the UW Business Plan Competition. And it would change my life forever.

The Business Plan Competition (BPC)
Every year for the last 18 years, teams of student entrepreneurs from all over the state of Washington have gathered in Seattle to follow their passion with the UW Business Plan/New Venture Competition (BPC). They compete for the chance to win seed money for their new venture, to get their business off of the ground. Throughout the competition, they receive coaching and valuable feedback from some of the top entrepreneurs and mentors in the Seattle area. They are introduced to a network of potential co-founders and investors. But most importantly, they get to experience what it’s like to take the entrepreneurial leap. They get to experience jumping out of a plane and assembling the parachute on the way down…in addition to managing their progress toward a college degree.

I didn’t have anything that I wanted to jump out of an airplane for, so I dove into research even before the MBA program started. What kinds of problems would an ex-Air Force engineer be uniquely suited to solve? It was like being a solution in search of a problem.

I grappled with this issue for several months until a classmate approached me about being a co-chair for the BPC. The two MBA co-chairs help the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship prepare, organize, promote, and run the entire BPC process. In exchange, I’d get face-time with many of Seattle’s entrepreneurs, attend all the events, and get an inside look into the judging process. The downside is that I wouldn’t be able to compete in the competition this year.

It was only November, still a long time until the BPC actually started in the following Spring Quarter. That’s plenty of time to get that business idea and build a team, or to join another team as their business expert. But then I thought about the value of being on ‘the inside’ and about all the people I would be able to meet, and decided that being a co-chair would put me in a great position to compete the following year. So I applied, interviewed, and was lucky enough to be offered one of the two co-chair positions.

The 2015 BPC in full swing
The Fall and Winter quarters went quickly. Amy (the BPC program manager), Rosalinda (the other MBA co-chair), and I worked tirelessly to promote the BPC and organize networking events. As a result, we had a record 103 student teams apply when the applications opened in the Spring quarter.

Out of the 103 applications, 37 business ideas were selected to move to the Investment Round. The Investment Round was the first in-person event of the competition, where each team gives pitches in a tradeshow environment. Each judge had a limited amount of points to invest on each venture, and the 16 teams with the most points would move on. For me, this is when the BPC felt real, and I got to see firsthand the level of enthusiasm and energy that each student team had for their idea. It was really inspiring.

Image

After the Investment Round, the top 16 teams were selected to move onto the Coaching Round. From here on, the teams have 15 minutes to present a pitch deck to a small group of coaches and mentors. It was invaluable to hear some teams pitch and observe the feedback that the coaches had for the teams. In these meetings, I saw how truly great coaches and mentors provide constructive criticism and feedback.

The Sweet 16 Round and Final Round were a blur. The 16 student teams from the Coaching Round each pitched in the morning, and by the afternoon only 4 teams remained for the Final Round. Once again, it was remarkable to see the quality of feedback that the teams received, and I was amazed by the depth of discussion that the entrepreneur judges had in evaluating each team.

The student teams were also truly inspiring. Each team pitched their idea with a level of conviction and confidence that I had never seen before. These were truly multi-million dollar ideas, with the right teams to make them happen. Some teams already had traction: ranging from kickstarter campaigns, sales contracts, all the way to six-figure grant awards.

The Dinner and Awards Ceremony
The Awards Ceremony was held immediately after the Final Round at the scenic Bell Harbor Conference Center, just steps from Seattle’s iconic waterfront. Finally, the winning teams would be revealed, and $77,500 in prize funding would be handed out. Seattle restauranteur Linda Derschang (and founder of The Derschang Group) gave a spectacular keynote and described her entrepreneurial journey.

Image

I sat with a team of student entrepreneurs who failed to advance to the Final Round, but had shown up because they were eligible for other prizes. I spoke at length with one of their members, a young lady who had been working with this BPC team for the past year. She talked about how many businesses she helped start, even as a child. She described all the success and traction that her BPC team is experiencing, and how she’s planning on pursuing this venture full-time after graduation. She talked about how her team was going to make a difference. I saw that inner fire that you need to commit to a life of entrepreneurship. I realized that all the student teams that I spoke to shared that same desire…and I didn’t.

I knew then that I don’t have ‘it.’ I felt like the floor had disappeared from underneath me, and I suddenly saw a chapter of my life ending. It felt like the end of a journey that I set on when I decided to leave the Air Force. I just found out if I had what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Turns out, I don’t. At least not right now.

So what next?
Co-chairing the BPC was enlightening. I met and worked with some amazing people, saw how great entrepreneurs think, and learned how they evaluate opportunities. I was able to scratch an itch that I’ve had for some time, and start a new chapter in my life. While it’s sad to see something end, this feels right for now.

But who knows? There’s always next year’s competition!

About the Author
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Nelson Tang, Class of 2016, is an 8-year Air Force Veteran who is now focusing on marketing and brand/product management. Find out more about Nelson at www.nelsontang.com. For more on the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship and the UW Business Plan Competition, click here!
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One Person’s Experience: Was an MBA worth it Financially?  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2015, 16:00
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FROM Foster Admissions Blog: One Person’s Experience: Was an MBA worth it Financially?
We have a great guest post today! Brennen Ricks (Class of 2016) wrote a 4-part series on his blog, 1personsexperience.blogspot.com, to answer the question: “Was the MBA worth it?” We’re featuring one of his articles here on the Costs vs Benefit of the full time MBA. Read his answers below, and be sure to check out more from Brennen on his blog!

Was an MBA worth it financially? What about all those costs you have to make up?
Tomorrow is the deadline for my very last payment in the MBA program: my graduation robe & hat. It makes me think about the total cost of doing this.

Going back to school was the financially riskiest thing Christine and I have done together so far, because the costs are relatively certain but the reward can be influenced by a lot of things outside of our control… a classic Cost & Benefit, or Risk & Reward story. I want to define what the costs and benefits were for Christine and me, and tell how those costs and benefits played out.

I’m not going to talk about salaries because telling people how much money you make is tacky, but I am going to talk about the time it will take to make up all our different costs. I’ll have another post specifically about the benefits of the MBA.

There are 2 kinds of costs: ‘Real’ cost and ‘Opportunity’ costs. The real costs come out of the bank account such as tuition, fees, student club dues, moving and travel, books, software, HBS Case Studies (etc). Our costs were a pretty unique situation. Tuition for out-of-state residents is a healthy 5-digit number per quarter. I thought this was unavoidable because I didn’t have any type of scholarship, but once I started school I learned about scholarships that could be earned during school, research assistantships (tuition money for helping a professor do research) and teaching assistance ships (tuition money for helping a professor teach & grade, and deflect dumb questions…yes, there is such thing).

I was very fortunate to be asked if I would like to be an accounting teaching assistant after doing very well in my accounting class, asking for meetings with professors and continually following-up. You’re probably thinking to yourself “Self, Brennen is probably a nerd because accounting is for nerds” which would be totally correct. BUT it just happened to be that the accounting department needs a ton more TA’s than all the other departments, so there’s barely any chance to be a TA for anything other than accounting. That worked out nicely. Either way, being a TA was a huge deal because it provided Christine and I with a full tuition waiver plus a small stipend during each quarter as TA. I’ll end school having TA’d for 4 quarters, which is equivalent to having a 2/3rds scholarship plus some cash each month. This put us in an amazingly very fortunate position in terms of costs, because we will only end-up paying for two quarters of tuition out of the six. In short, our costs were dramatically lowered because I jumped on the TA opportunity, but had to sacrifice a lot of time and didn’t get to take a class or two that conflicted with my TA schedule.

The second type of costs are opportunity costs – the value of everything you have to give up – such as not working full-time for a 1 year and 7 months & all the work-benefits that go along with it. I chose to quit my job, we chose to live nearly 1,000 miles from the closest direct family member, Christine chose to work remotely for the same company rather than quit & find a new job in Seattle, we chose to rent an apartment farther from campus & commute 1-2 hours a day, etc. …Lots of costs and missed opportunities had to be made.

I added up both costs: the regular costs plus the missed opportunities that make sense to put a dollar value on.

We’ll make up all the tuition costs plus all the opportunity costs in less than 2 years and 4 months. In other words, after 2 years and 4 months we will have broken even from all the things we gave up like work benefits and salaries plus all the costs of school. The financial aid from TA’ing plus having a much lower pre-MBA salary (aka low opportunity cost) than the average student kept that pay-back time pretty low compared to averages for even the most inexpensive schools like BYU or Texas A&M.

We’ll make up just the ‘real’ costs (tuition, books & moving costs etc) during 2015. I think this is a misleading statistic, but it’s a stat you’ll probably read about from magazines and websites that try to evaluate how fast graduates break-even after going back to school. It’s misleading because it assumes you’re putting every single dollar you make towards your tuition costs or student debt. No one does that. In a perfect world you should take the money left over after your cost-of-living, and see how long it will take you with that money to pay off all of your school costs. No one reports that number because it’s hard, and cost-of-living is a little unpredictable. But I did for Christine and me because I’m a nerd, and I like to budget do things in excel. Assuming Christine didn’t work and we saved for retirement, it will take about 3 years to pay off the cost of school using just the money “left-over.”

Overall, we got a great deal. A very great deal. Partly because of being a TA, partly because I was lucky to find & land a good job, but fully because Christine was supportive, because we both worked very hard to make things happen, and because we were blessed.

Christine worked really long weeks and almost weekly all-nighters to be able to keep up with her job working remotely. Working remotely is way less efficient when you can’t talk to people easily, and get left out of the loop. I did okay in a demanding program where basically everyone is smarter than me all while working 15-20 hour/week job, traveling all around the country pursuing an internship or full-time job, holding leadership responsibilities in my church, maintaining a healthy marriage. I’ll be proud of my mediocre grades with my diploma, because it took quite a bit of work & sacrifice on our part. And if you are a recovering MBA grad, a current MBA student, or thinking about an MBA, you should plan on being proud too. It was hard and we had to pay a lot of costs, but there was much more to benefit from it.

There are a lot of rarely discussed benefits to a getting a master’s degree. Everyone wants to talk about salary. There’s a plethora of better reasons (and piñatas!) that I didn’t fully understand until after the fact. I’ll tell you about them next time.

About the Author:
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Brennen Ricks (Class of 2015) left training new brokers at Fidelity Investments to complete the Foster MBA Program. While at Foster he co-launched the Foster Student Investment Fund, achieved Level-2 Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) candidacy, and earned an average 4.9/5.0 student rating throughout his second year as an Accounting teaching assistant. He accepted an offer at USAA Federal Savings Bank serving our nation’s veterans and families, and currently manages various marketing analytics projects as part of an MBA Career Development Program.

Read more from Brennen on his website, 1personsexperience.blogspot.com
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The Nordstrom MBA Internship Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 08:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: The Nordstrom MBA Internship Experience
Today we have a great guest post by Dan Tadiarca (Class of 2016)! Dan had the opportunity to spend the summer as a MBA Finance Intern at Nordstrom, one of the best fashion retailers in the world. Read more about his experience below:

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]2 The 2015 Nordstrom summer intern class!

If you enjoy shopping for things (clothes, food, tech, you name it) as much as I do, it’s easy to see how landing an internship at renowned retailer Nordstrom over the summer can make you giddy with anticipation. Known for its best-in-class customer service and a generous return policy, Nordstrom embodies a culture of collaboration and diversity. So when I received an offer for the MBA Internship in Finance this summer, I jumped at the chance, despite some hesitation around returning to a Finance role. That decision to keep an open mind and take on challenging opportunities led to one of my best summers in recent memory. Ever, perhaps.

Individual Impact
I joined 11 other students from top-tier MBA programs across the nation, three of which were fellow Foster colleagues. We were placed into different teams across several functions, including Strategy, Marketing, Technology, and Finance, to name a few. Within those teams, we were assigned individual projects set to challenge our abilities while having a real business impact with the results. My main individual project was to develop a dynamic financial model that would facilitate decision-making in meetings with senior leadership. Building such a tool was challenging in that it required me to interact and gain approval from various stakeholders across different business units and departments within Nordstrom, not just within the main Finance group. However, this interaction inherently exposed me to different sides of the business, and allowed me to learn about Nordstrom through the eyes of folks who have been there for 20+ years. It was an amazing experience to be able to present my project to three of the directors in Finance, as well as a VP of Finance – it was so well received that they decided to put the model into action just two weeks later in a meeting with senior leadership.

Collaboration
But being an MBA intern at Nordstrom isn’t just about what you accomplish as an individual; as part of the program, the interns are grouped into teams of four to work on a Capstone project to tackle a current business issue facing the company. This format is extra challenging because it often requires teams to interview and learn from several different stakeholders and resources, from salespeople to regional managers to leadership in the different business units – all while learning to function seamlessly as a team and managing each member’s individual project timelines. Although I can’t reveal many details of my team’s Capstone project, I can say that it was a technology-focused business problem that was so key to the company that we presented our final recommendation to Blake Nordstrom himself.

Experience
Nordstrom has developed a strong MBA internship program that focuses on providing a comprehensive look at the company, with the individual and Capstone projects being bolstered by several lunch and learns with key individuals like Olivia Kim, Director of Creative Projects, and Mike Koppel, CFO of Nordstrom. Managers maintain a healthy balance between challenging interns with projects that force them to stretch and providing the support and learning opportunities along the way. I also have to say that never have I worked in a company before where everyone is so willing to take at least 15 minutes out of their day to share their personal journey at Nordstrom. In all, the summer internship was a wonderful experience, and I made a great number of friends and connections throughout!

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]3 The view from Nordstrom’s HQ

About the Author:
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Dan is coming to Foster off a 3.5 year run doing brand and media strategy for Jack in the Box at Horizon Media, an ad agency in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he worked as a CPA, focusing on tax services for hospitality and real estate partnerships. At Foster, Daniel is using his advertising and accounting background as a foundation for getting a deeper understanding of business and broadening his marketing skills. Outside of the classroom, he’s President of Foster Talent and loves tinkering with graphic design.

Read more about other amazing Foster internship experiences here!
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My Summer Trip in San Francisco (as a TripIt MBA intern)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2015, 19:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: My Summer Trip in San Francisco (as a TripIt MBA intern)
Today we have a superb guest blogger: Anika Gupta (Class of 2016)! Anika had the opportunity to spend the summer at TripIt as a Senior Product Marketing Manager intern. Anika is already an accomplished marketing maven, but this was her first experience in a tech startup. Read more about her experience below!

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This Summer 2015, I had the amazing opportunity to intern as a Senior Product Marketing Manager at TripIt by Concur an SAP company, in their Channel Sales team. My main objectives of this internship were to understand how to maximize the B2B sales channel for growth in user acquisition, get a better understanding of the company structure and culture post acquisition by SAP and make the most of my first summer in San Francisco.

This was my first full-time stint working in the US and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Coming from a career in high stress agency and corporate work, I was completely thrown off by the tech start-up scene in San Francisco. I had never known what it was to work in an employee-driven market, where companies really understand that their people are the key to their success, and therefore, take REALLY good care of them!

It is hard to call TripIt a startup since they were acquired by Concur and SAP, which makes them part of a successful global conglomerate. That said, they still try to maintain a startup feel, with a small team in SF, flat corporate structure and a welcoming and casual corporate culture. They encourage employees to keep innovating and there are no closed doors or ideas that are off limits.

For example, while I was interning at TripIt, I had the chance to experience and partake in Hack Day – a two-day event where people across functions collaborate to conceptualize and develop new business ideas. This experience really showed me how much the company encourages ideation and creativity. My team comprised people across levels, functions and geographies and we collectively worked towards enhancing consumer experience and left with an award and a promise of implementation!

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]2 Hack Day!

Even as an intern I was given tremendous authority to enhance the work experience, and run with my ideas. After hearing much said about the challenges of being a women in technology – a male driven market, I thought it was important for the women in our office to take the time to discuss their experiences and challenges dealing with such issues. TripIt has an impressive set of inspiring female leaders, and I was excited to learn about their journeys and ask for advice on how to succeed. With the help of my manager, I was able to set up the first “Women in Technology” panel at TripIt with representatives from Concur corporate, Concur global and the TripIt leadership team. The event opened up the floor for discussions on various subjects from promotions to managing motherhood while being a high performer at work. The event received great feedback and has now been incorporated as a recurring monthly event.

TripIt’s employees make the experience a truly unique one. Over this summer I’ve had lunch with very senior executives just by reaching out to them and asking for a short casual chat. They are passionate, encouraging and want to enable you to achieve. This summer, I have made unbelievable memories and some amazing relationships that I will definitely take forward with me for a long time!

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]3 TripIt Interns!

About the Author:
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Anika was born in London and spent most of her life in different cities across the USA and in Mumbai, India. She worked in Strategic Marketing Communications and Marketing for over 6 years, leading international communications teams at top global agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather and Lowe and Partners Worldwide. Anika managed multinational clients across an array of industries such as Rolls Royce, Etihad Airways and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Anika is a trained Hip-hop and Bollywood dancer and loves to travel!
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Advice to First Years from the Class of 2016  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2015, 14:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Advice to First Years from the Class of 2016
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We’re officially second-years!
Flashback to June 2015: We had just finished final exams and final projects for Spring Quarter…which meant that we were done with the first year of our MBA program. We were officially second years! A couple of students from the Class of 2016 were asked to talk about what the first year of our MBA program was like, and if we had any advice for the Class of 2017. I had the opportunity to meet many of them when they were prospective students, and I saw that Foster is attracting some truly remarkable people. I strongly believe that it is our role to pass on the lessons that we’ve learned through our career journey. In other words: our ceiling should be their floor. So, it was a no-brainer to help with the video, which you can check out below:



It’s September now, and the Class of 2016 is holding on to the last vestiges of the summer break. Most of us are finished with our amazing summer internships, where we applied our hard-earned MBA knowledge in new industries and new careers. At my internship at Nike, I was presented with plenty of business challenges and problems. Prior to the MBA, I would probably have had no idea how to even get started! Instead, I saw a ton of opportunities and solutions, and understood the tradeoffs for each approach. Our class called this the “thank god for (insert Professor’s name here) moment.”

For the last several weeks, the Class of 2017 has been receiving a firehose of information through a bevy of pre-MBA preparation courses. Hard to believe that we were in their shoes a year ago. We were still getting to know each other, spending every night at club happy hours, and meeting our first-quarter teams. I remember having some of the best conversations of my life with my classmates during that time.

In addition to the advice in the video above, I would highly recommend that you read the following letter that’s been passed around Stanford GSB for the past 20 years or so. The advice in this letter holds up over time, and I used it quite a bit to guide my priorities during my first year. Thanks to this letter, I really don’t have any regrets for the first year.

Our first year of the MBA is still fresh in our minds, but we’ve come a long way. The arrival of the new class truly allows us to gauge how much progress we’ve made in just a short amount of time, and reinforces just how valuable this MBA has been for me. Best of luck to the Class of 2017, enjoy the ride!

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Nelson Tang, Class of 2016, is an 8-year Air Force Veteran who is now focusing on marketing and brand/product management. Find out more about Nelson at www.nelsontang.com.
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#Swooshlife: My summer internship at Nike  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2015, 07:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: #Swooshlife: My summer internship at Nike
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Nike. The swoosh. The brand. The company. I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to be there this summer. So what was it like to intern at one of the best brands on the planet?

The Internship
The IGNITE team (Nike’s collegiate recruiters) did a fantastic job in curating the internship experience. We had it all: an executive speaker series (including the CEO, Mark Parker!), lunch and learns, MBA executive speakers, and fun stuff like whitewater rafting and a Portland Timbers game. However, if you wanted to learn more about a particular part of the company, it was easy to meet with just about anyone. People there are really generous with their time and love to help out interns.

I worked in the Procurement department, which helps Nike deliver better sourced products. It was really fulfilling to know that my projects had a significant impact on Nike: I helped influence the way that Nike’s factory partners make footwear, while reducing costs and growing capacity. I had to apply a lot of my new-found business knowledge, analytical skills, and time management skills in this role. Definitely thankful for our first year of the MBA.

I also had a cross-functional intern project with both graduate and undergraduate interns. I was lucky to have a fantastic team that was highly motivated and worked well together. We were tasked to come up with a global product strategy recommendation, and we ended up also designing and developing actual product samples to showcase to senior leaders!

I got a chance to work with a lot of remarkable, brilliant, and motivated people from all over Nike. What attracts such talent to come work in Beaverton? I think that’s where their culture comes in.

The Culture
In Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Jim Collins wrote that visionary companies have “cult-like cultures” focused around a very strong core ideology outside of maximizing profit. This summer, I got to see the power of culture first-hand.

Nike’s mission is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” (And if you have a body, you’re an athlete). From the outside, you can see how this mission underpins Nike’s inspirational messaging and honoring of athletes through TV ads, YouTube videos, and so on. From the inside, you can see how Nike’s values and mission are designed into the very fabric of the company: from the way the way the campus is designed, the branding on internal company presentations, and even the words that people use in casual conversation.

Innovation is also baked into the culture here. The company still feels very young and full of potential, despite its size. They revere stories of its founders, who started the company on a handshake. They celebrate entrepreneurial employees like Sam McCracken, who saw an opportunity to help his native community reduce obesity and diabetes by giving them access to sports. As a young warehouse clerk at a Nike distribution center, he proposed the idea of the N7 product line, which devotes all of its proceeds to inspire native youth and help them get access to sports. His story is truly amazing, and I encourage you to read more about him!

Storytelling
I saw Sam McCracken tell his story first-hand during the second week of the internship. That experience blew my mind, and made me realize the importance of storytelling. At Nike, most briefs and presentations resemble TED talks — no podiums, but lots of polish. Storytelling is essential to how Nike communicates its message both internally and externally, and you can really learn from the best at this company.

Storytelling is critical to success within Nike. The company is relatively flat and heavily matrixed, so it relies on teamwork and collaboration to get things done. If you have a strong vision and can communicate that vision effectively, you can bring together a lot of different people and achieve great things. Sam McCracken’s work has changed entire communities and improved people’s lives. He has dozens of volunteers who work for him, not because they are getting paid, but because they want to be part of that story.

The Veteran Connection
I can hardly believe that it’s been almost 10 years since my last non-military job. Like other career changers, I found it challenging to translate my past experience into a new career and new industry. It’s like people on the ‘outside world’ are speaking a completely different language. I was also worried that the skills that I developed in my ‘past life’ were useless. It turns out that these fears were unfounded. Thanks to a great manager and some fellow veterans, I soon realized just how much my ‘past life’ was applicable to working at Nike.

The Nike Military Veteran network was instrumental to this transition. They provided mentors for each of the veteran interns over the summer, and made sure that the interns felt included in the community. I met with my mentor every other week to work through the transition together, and he really helped me learn how to translate my past experience for different audiences.

Nike’s internship experience did not disappoint. It helped me gauge my progress after one year in the MBA and it tested my newfound knowledge and skill set. I connected with a lot of amazing people from all over the world, and I helped the team make an impact in just 10 weeks. Most importantly, it helped validate my decision to leave the Air Force and get my MBA. To anyone looking to make the leap:

Just do it!

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Nelson Tang, Class of 2016, is an 8-year Air Force Veteran who is focusing on marketing and brand/product management. Find out more about Nelson at www.nelsontang.com.
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Re: Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2015, 06:31
Hello Everyone

Today we have a chat with Foster Admissions director - Megan Lewis - and current Foster student - Nelson Tang in our chat room at 8 AM Pacific time. This is best opportunity for all applicants to get answers to your application questions and learn more about Foster's MBA program. So save the event in your Google calendar and be in the chat room at 8 AM Pacific Time with your questions.

October 01, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time


GMAT Club Chat Room: http://gmatclub.com/gchat/
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Re: Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2015, 07:47
We shall start the chat in 10 minutes. If you are around, join the chat room. http://gmatclub.com/gchat/
Narenn wrote:
Hello Everyone

Today we have a chat with Foster Admissions director - Megan Lewis - and current Foster student - Nelson Tang in our chat room at 8 AM Pacific time. This is best opportunity for all applicants to get answers to your application questions and learn more about Foster's MBA program. So save the event in your Google calendar and be in the chat room at 8 AM Pacific Time with your questions.

October 01, 2015. 8 AM Pacific Time


GMAT Club Chat Room: http://gmatclub.com/gchat/

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Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Dec 2015, 07:06
Hey hi all Indian aspirants. I am having a tough time understanding the guidelines to convert GPA to 4.0 for Foster. My undergrad college gave a CGPA on a scale of 10 and subjects were graded with A,B,C or D. Can anyone please help ?

Originally posted by vgmat2015 on 11 Oct 2015, 03:27.
Last edited by vgmat2015 on 05 Dec 2015, 07:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2015, 21:57
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Submitted App for R1.. Good luck everyone.. :)
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Re: Calling all UWA-Foster Applicants: (2016 Intake) Class of 2018!!   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2015, 21:57

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