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Foster MBA Admission and Related Blogs

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Foster MBA Admission and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2017, 02:21
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How 6 Foster MBA Students Helped Amazon with Sustainability  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2017, 02:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: How 6 Foster MBA Students Helped Amazon with Sustainability
Image
Foster MBA students. From left to right: Rachel Hester, Mia Wang, Larissa Sponchiado, Seth Bergeson, Melissa Young, Scott Thornbury

About the Authors . . .

Seth Bergeson and Rachel Hester are Full-Time MBA students at Foster. They were winter quarter teammates when they worked on an Applied Strategy project creating recommendations for integrating sustainability into Amazon’s Business platform.

Why were you drawn to this project?

Rachel: We were given a list of clients and projects with impressive local and national companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Dolby, and Paccar, among others. I was drawn to our project (Sustainability on the Amazon Business Platform) because using business to positively impact the environment is what prompted me to return to school for my MBA. Working on a sustainability project with a company that has the global reach and capacity to make an impact immediately was exactly the kind of experience I was hoping to have coming to Foster.

Seth: Growing up in Seattle, I had seen Amazon grow at an impressive pace from a small local company into a global disruptor. I wanted to help Amazon deepen its commitment to sustainability by learning how to enable sustainability credentials on Amazon Marketplace.

Tell us about your team during winter quarter.

Rachel: I was thrilled to work on such a diverse team and learn from our shared experiences. Between the six of us, we brought perspectives from the U.S. military, international supply chain and operations, oil and gas, risk and fraud, non-profit/government, and marketing/media, and geographically represented the Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, China and Brazil. This diversity enhanced the perspectives we brought to the project and to our client.

Seth: Our diverse winter quarter team had to bond quite quickly because during the first week of winter quarter (before we even met with our Amazon client) we were thrown into a case competition at school. We spent a busy 48 hours preparing our recommendation for a client and presenting it to our class. The case competition was a great way to learn about one another’s work styles and strengths, and was very helpful in our Applied Strategy project for Amazon.

What was the project process like?

Rachel: After an initial kick-off dinner with our client, we began scoping the project. We were given the tools we needed through the Applied Strategy class, which featured PwC consultants teaching best practices and in-the-field lessons each week. We quickly chose roles based on our strengths – I was responsible for leading the presentation/white paper deliverable, and we had roles for project manager, client communication, and research. Once we mutually decided on the scope, we got to work.

Seth: We spent the first few weeks of the project assessing the strategic verticals. Our client connected us with his colleagues on various teams throughout Amazon, including their sustainability team. Our conversations with these teams helped us understand Amazon’s B2B platform and its sustainability work. Rachel and I loved the opportunity to talk with sustainability team about how Amazon conceptualized sustainability and their goals for the future. We met with our client every other week to update him on our research and talk about next steps. He gave us a lot of freedom to shape our own project and provided key feedback and advice to help us sharpen our focus.

Rachel: The project lasted about 9 weeks and, in the last two weeks before our presentation, our client helped us edit and refine our white paper. Before our final presentation, we went through the paper line by line and helped us make sure that every word supported our recommendation.

What was your experience presenting your recommendations to the client?

Rachel: Amazon asked us to prepare a white paper for them. We learned that Amazon does not use PowerPoint decks and instead employs white papers–memos of no more than 6 pages with additional appendices that succinctly outline the topic and recommendations.

Seth: On the day of our presentation, our client invited his manager and colleagues to a conference room. After a brief welcome, everyone at the meeting spent 15 minutes reading our white paper and then we launched into a series of questions and answers. Although we were a bit nervous about presenting, we enjoyed the opportunity to talk about our research in the area.

Rachel: A high point was a discussion between our client’s manager’s and one of his colleagues in which the manager said that this was definitely a space in which Amazon should invest.

What was your most significant lesson learned during the project?

Seth: Our project at Amazon was very broad and dealt with several strategic verticals that we needed to assess. In 9 short weeks, we had to assess the verticals, decide on one vertical to focus on, and then develop a go-forward plan.

Rachel: One of the biggest challenges in our project was dealing with a lack of data. Beginning the project, we knew that Amazon was very data-driven, but we struggled to identify data for all our strategic verticals and had to carefully develop a recommendation with the limited data we had to satisfy a highly data-driven client. The experience of crafting solid, data-backed recommendations when the data is not readily available was a great lesson for me. (And a great way to get familiar with the many business/industry databases and resources we have at Foster.)

How has this project shaped your MBA experience?

Seth: Our team became extremely close over the 10-week-long winter quarter. While we were also taking three other core courses and doing much of the coursework together, working on our Applied Strategy project for Amazon drew us the closest together. We recently had a reunion lunch on a sunny spring day and reminisced about our project. We’re still in touch with our client, and one of our teammates was just emailing with him yesterday.

Our client told me to get in touch with him anytime to talk about career question I have–or just to chat about any other issue in life.

Rachel: Working with this team and with our client has been one of my fondest memories at Foster. It was a rare moment when a group of people were able to come together, learn a new subject area, use our strengths to complement each other, and deliver value to our client that would be used to make business decisions for one of the world’s most influential companies. I would gladly work with my teammates again in any school or professional setting, and hope to someday have the opportunity to do just that. And yes, the reunion lunches are an added bonus.

The post How 6 Foster MBA Students Helped Amazon with Sustainability appeared first on Foster Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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How 6 Foster MBA Students Helped Amazon with Sustainability  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2017, 10:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: How 6 Foster MBA Students Helped Amazon with Sustainability
Image
Foster MBA students. From left to right: Rachel Hester, Mia Wang, Larissa Sponchiado, Seth Bergeson, Melissa Young, Scott Thornbury

About the Authors . . .

Seth Bergeson and Rachel Hester are Full-Time MBA students at Foster. They were winter quarter teammates when they worked on an Applied Strategy project creating recommendations for integrating sustainability into Amazon’s Business platform.

Why were you drawn to this project?

Rachel: We were given a list of clients and projects with impressive local and national companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Dolby, and Paccar, among others. I was drawn to our project (Sustainability on the Amazon Business Platform) because using business to positively impact the environment is what prompted me to return to school for my MBA. Working on a sustainability project with a company that has the global reach and capacity to make an impact immediately was exactly the kind of experience I was hoping to have coming to Foster.

Seth: Growing up in Seattle, I had seen Amazon grow at an impressive pace from a small local company into a global disruptor. I wanted to help Amazon deepen its commitment to sustainability by learning how to enable sustainability credentials on Amazon Marketplace.

Tell us about your team during winter quarter.

Rachel: I was thrilled to work on such a diverse team and learn from our shared experiences. Between the six of us, we brought perspectives from the U.S. military, international supply chain and operations, oil and gas, risk and fraud, non-profit/government, and marketing/media, and geographically represented the Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, China and Brazil. This diversity enhanced the perspectives we brought to the project and to our client.

Seth: Our diverse winter quarter team had to bond quite quickly because during the first week of winter quarter (before we even met with our Amazon client) we were thrown into a case competition at school. We spent a busy 48 hours preparing our recommendation for a client and presenting it to our class. The case competition was a great way to learn about one another’s work styles and strengths, and was very helpful in our Applied Strategy project for Amazon.

What was the project process like?

Rachel: After an initial kick-off dinner with our client, we began scoping the project. We were given the tools we needed through the Applied Strategy class, which featured PwC consultants teaching best practices and in-the-field lessons each week. We quickly chose roles based on our strengths – I was responsible for leading the presentation/white paper deliverable, and we had roles for project manager, client communication, and research. Once we mutually decided on the scope, we got to work.

Seth: We spent the first few weeks of the project assessing the strategic verticals. Our client connected us with his colleagues on various teams throughout Amazon, including their sustainability team. Our conversations with these teams helped us understand Amazon’s B2B platform and its sustainability work. Rachel and I loved the opportunity to talk with sustainability team about how Amazon conceptualized sustainability and their goals for the future. We met with our client every other week to update him on our research and talk about next steps. He gave us a lot of freedom to shape our own project and provided key feedback and advice to help us sharpen our focus.

Rachel: The project lasted about 9 weeks and, in the last two weeks before our presentation, our client helped us edit and refine our white paper. Before our final presentation, we went through the paper line by line and helped us make sure that every word supported our recommendation.

What was your experience presenting your recommendations to the client?

Rachel: Amazon asked us to prepare a white paper for them. We learned that Amazon does not use PowerPoint decks and instead employs white papers–memos of no more than 6 pages with additional appendices that succinctly outline the topic and recommendations.

Seth: On the day of our presentation, our client invited his manager and colleagues to a conference room. After a brief welcome, everyone at the meeting spent 15 minutes reading our white paper and then we launched into a series of questions and answers. Although we were a bit nervous about presenting, we enjoyed the opportunity to talk about our research in the area.

Rachel: A high point was a discussion between our client’s manager’s and one of his colleagues in which the manager said that this was definitely a space in which Amazon should invest.

What was your most significant lesson learned during the project?

Seth: Our project at Amazon was very broad and dealt with several strategic verticals that we needed to assess. In 9 short weeks, we had to assess the verticals, decide on one vertical to focus on, and then develop a go-forward plan.

Rachel: One of the biggest challenges in our project was dealing with a lack of data. Beginning the project, we knew that Amazon was very data-driven, but we struggled to identify data for all our strategic verticals and had to carefully develop a recommendation with the limited data we had to satisfy a highly data-driven client. The experience of crafting solid, data-backed recommendations when the data is not readily available was a great lesson for me. (And a great way to get familiar with the many business/industry databases and resources we have at Foster.)

How has this project shaped your MBA experience?

Seth: Our team became extremely close over the 10-week-long winter quarter. While we were also taking three other core courses and doing much of the coursework together, working on our Applied Strategy project for Amazon drew us the closest together. We recently had a reunion lunch on a sunny spring day and reminisced about our project. We’re still in touch with our client, and one of our teammates was just emailing with him yesterday.

Our client told me to get in touch with him anytime to talk about career question I have–or just to chat about any other issue in life.

Rachel: Working with this team and with our client has been one of my fondest memories at Foster. It was a rare moment when a group of people were able to come together, learn a new subject area, use our strengths to complement each other, and deliver value to our client that would be used to make business decisions for one of the world’s most influential companies. I would gladly work with my teammates again in any school or professional setting, and hope to someday have the opportunity to do just that. And yes, the reunion lunches are an added bonus.

The post How 6 Foster MBA Students Helped Amazon with Sustainability appeared first on Foster Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Re: Foster MBA Admission and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 09:38
Hi,

I am a female computer science engineer with 3.2 years of work experience. I am currently working with ZS Associates India as Business Operations Associate. My GMAT Score is 660 and undergrad percentage is 80%. I want to apply to Foster School of Business for Full-time MBA. Could anyone please help evaluate what are my chances of conversion or if I should retake the GMAT.

Thanks in advance,
Ekta
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Joined: 04 Jun 2014
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Location: India
Concentration: Technology, Marketing
GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V33
GMAT 2: 730 Q51 V37
GPA: 3.8
WE: Analyst (Consulting)
Re: Foster MBA Admission and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 10:09
Ekta Teberiwal wrote:
Hi,

I am a female computer science engineer with 3.2 years of work experience. I am currently working with ZS Associates India as Business Operations Associate. My GMAT Score is 660 and undergrad percentage is 80%. I want to apply to Foster School of Business for Full-time MBA. Could anyone please help evaluate what are my chances of conversion or if I should retake the GMAT.

Thanks in advance,
Ekta


Hi Ekta,

I am in almost the same boat as you with a 700 GMAT. I too have an analytics background and work ex of 3 years. When are you planning to apply? Round 1 or 2?

Thanks!
_________________

Many Thanks!
@Golumolu

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Re: Foster MBA Admission and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 10:30
Hey,

I am planning to apply in R1 but not very confident on my GMAT score. And with all the research I have done on Foster, 700 is a good score to get through it.
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Joined: 04 Jun 2014
Posts: 60
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, Marketing
GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V33
GMAT 2: 730 Q51 V37
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Re: Foster MBA Admission and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 10:35
Ekta Teberiwal wrote:
Hey,

I am planning to apply in R1 but not very confident on my GMAT score. And with all the research I have done on Foster, 700 is a good score to get through it.


Hi,

I am not very sure whether 700 would work or not, since most Indians who apply in US colleges have a 700+ score and similar type of profiles. Anyway, wish you luck with your application!!

Thanks!
_________________

Many Thanks!
@Golumolu

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How Foster MBAs Spend Their Weekend: Rocking Out Near the Columbia Riv  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 22:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: How Foster MBAs Spend Their Weekend: Rocking Out Near the Columbia River
About the author: Jenny Nowierski (below) is a second-year MBA student at Foster. She interned at Microsoft as a business development analyst. Before coming to Foster, she worked for Target in Minneapolis.

Washington State has a great music scene.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I went to the Sasquatch! Music Festival with a few classmates. Given that it combined two of the area’s best features – the outdoors and live music – I was confident that I would have a great time.

Our caravan of 8 cars made the two-and-a-half hour drive out to the Gorge Amphitheater. It’s an amazing looking venue that sits just near the Columbia River. The weather forecast called for 90-degree temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

Image

Arriving mid-day on Friday, we spent the early afternoon setting up our campsite, cooking food, and enjoying a cold beer before the performances began.

Image

Image
From left to right: Kelsey Mitchell, Ari Varley, Jenny Nowierski

Around 3, we ventured toward the stage to check out the early bands and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Image

Sasquatch had over 60 performers, including some of my favorites: The Shins, The Head and the Heart, MGMT, and Chance the Rapper.  We even had a surprise performance by Sir Mix A Lot. It was a nice throwback from a native Seattle artist.

Image

At night, we watched the sunset over the gorge. We went from stage to stage exploring new music and enjoying some old favorites. All sorts of bands played, across a wide range of genres (indie, rock, EDM, and hip hop, among others).  There was even a stand-up comedian.

Image

Image

After 3 days at the festival, we headed back to Seattle early Monday morning. Although we had to spend some late nights catching up on school work when we got back, the great music and fun times with friends definitely made the trip worthwhile.

Seattle has an incredible music scene, and it’s always easy to find classmates at Foster who want to join you for a show.

The post How Foster MBAs Spend Their Weekend: Rocking Out Near the Columbia River appeared first on Foster Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Foster Success Stories: From the Mountains of Afghanistan to Goldman S  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2017, 03:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Foster Success Stories: From the Mountains of Afghanistan to Goldman Sachs
Image
Josh Rodriguez is an associate at Goldman Sachs in Seattle, serving high net worth families and institutions. It’s a new career for Josh, but he’s no stranger to service.

Josh graduated from Foster with his MBA back in June. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the United States Military Academy in 2007 and then embarked on a series of deployments (including multiple tours in Afghanistan) across a decade-long career as a reconnaissance officer in the US Army.

“I planned to stay in for 30 years,” he said. “But one day I realized I had two kids and I had only been to two of their birthday parties. It wasn’t an easy decision to leave the military – I was doing very well, and things looked very bright for me. I knew I’d be leaving soldiers, but I had peers that had went and got an MBA, and I learned it was in fact possible to help people outside of the military.”

Location was the initial reason Josh decided to attend Foster. “I lived in 9 different homes in 10 years. Out of all of those, I loved the Pacific Northwest the most.”

With no professional experience outside the military, Josh knew he had his work cut out for him, yet the career management office was eager to receive him.

“Everyone in career management was extremely helpful, especially Naomi Sanchez,” he said. “I started school in September, but by then, I had already met with career management two or three times. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. They were very supportive and welcoming even before I entered the program. With their help, I already had leads for internships by October.”

Foster also helped Josh decide on a career in finance, a choice he admits wasn’t on his mind when first enrolled.

“When I was in the military, I was working on campaigns for thousands of people. I was planning for tactical operations in Kunar and shutting down bases in Afghanistan, all kinds of stuff. With those experiences under my belt, I thought consulting was the route for me.  I thought that’s what I’d end up doing…maybe operations. I never considered finance – didn’t even think of it as an option; however, the finance department at Foster is incredible. Thomas Gilbert, Chris Hrdlicka, Kathy Dewenter – very influential. I couldn’t imagine being better prepared, especially as a career switcher.”

Career management helped connect Josh to Goldman Sachs, where he worked as an intern between his first and second years. “The internship validated everything I wanted to see at the firm. For a global bank that wields the influence it does, it’s fairly small. I felt like I could make an impact. This is a firm that really cares about helping people succeed – coming from combat deployments where the even the small things in life are sacred, this was very important to me.”

“I get to pick my clients,” he explained. “I hope to attract folks that are doing great things for the community. If I can help some of the amazing people in this town do even better, I consider that to be an incredible life that happens to be my job.”

“Of course, I never would’ve made it here if it weren’t for Foster,” he said.

The post Foster Success Stories: From the Mountains of Afghanistan to Goldman Sachs appeared first on Foster Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Foster Success Stories: From Teaching Middle School to Management Cons  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2017, 22:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Foster Success Stories: From Teaching Middle School to Management Consulting
Image
Audrey Almy is a management consultant at Accenture. It’s a drastic departure from the two years she spent teaching middle school science.

“I did Teach for America in a Harlem middle school,” she said. “I was teaching science and math to 6th and 8th graders. Unfortunately, the school I was working at had some challenges. I became more interested in the actual management of the school — things like tracking student data. That’s when I decided to go to business school.”

Audrey came to Foster already interested in consulting. She was able to have her interest validated, and take advantage of a variety of resources while getting her MBA.

“I chose to come to Foster because I wanted a lot of experiential learning. My applied strategy project with Providence Health & Services was really great and actually pretty fun. I joined the Consulting Society, and they helped me with a ton of one-on-one case prep.”

Audrey also credits Foster’s network for her career transition.

“The Consulting Society also opened up a lot of connections. I was able to meet Foster alums at several firms in Seattle because of it. Going into my MBA, I wasn’t well versed in the language of the industry, so having the opportunity to meet and talk with Foster alums doing the job I wanted to do was very valuable.”

Audrey took advantage of Foster’s on-campus recruiting to land an internship.

“Accenture interviewed me on campus and offered me an internship. It was an amazing opportunity. I was working with a software client, and I could speak directly to the client and really own my line of work. I spent a lot of my internship learning about the culture of the company, and found that it was a very good fit. I’m really excited to go back.”

Beyond the practical experiences and internship, Audrey found her time at Foster valuable on an intellectual level.

“My time at Foster really changed how I think. Without it, I don’t think I could’ve made it in management consulting.”

The post Foster Success Stories: From Teaching Middle School to Management Consulting appeared first on Foster Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Foster Success Stories: From Afghanistan to Microsoft  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2017, 02:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Foster Success Stories: From Afghanistan to Microsoft
Image
Earl Kim spent most of his adult life in the US military — first as a cadet at West Point; later as an infantry officer and in military intelligence. He didn’t work in finance, or for a technology company. Yet today he’s a finance manager at Microsoft, a role he started after graduating from Foster in June.

“I knew I always wanted to my my MBA,” he explained. “My initial service commitment was for five years. I planned to leave after that and go back to school, but I really enjoyed what I was doing. Ultimately, I spent four years as an infantry officer and four years in military intelligence before I decided to move on.”

Earl knew he wanted to attend Foster, but by the time he arrived in the fall of 2015, he still wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his career.

“A lot of great companies come to campus,” he said. “Honestly, their information sessions really helped me narrow down what I wanted to do. During my first year, I tried to go to every single event. All the exposure was really helpful. I wish I could point to a specific thing, but there’s just so much going on at Foster it’s hard to narrow it down. My core classes helped. I knew I wanted to be in the finance field because of the analytical and quantitative nature. From the information sessions I found which companies’ culture and environment best suited my personality”

Earl took advantage of Microsoft’s on-campus recruiting, and landed a finance internship the summer after his first year. He loved the experience and decided he wanted to go back.

“It wasn’t just a pure corporate finance role,” he said. “Part of my project had me working with Power BI. I had to understand the larger system and work with developers. It was way beyond what I had expected going in. I thought I’d just be working on spreadsheets. I was amazed by not only the breadth of my projects but also by the flexibility and resources I was entrusted with.”

During his time at Foster, Earl drew on the support of the veterans community at Foster, while leveraging the strength of the Seattle economy.

“I think a lot of veterans come to business school without the right expectations.” Earl said. “When I started business school, I think I wasn’t as prepared for the career management piece as others. The Veterans Association was huge for me. It helped connect me with a lot of alumni, and in particular, veteran alumni that were able to relate to me and give me advice throughout the process. I was able to talk to a lot of people at big companies in the area — Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks. It was really easy to reach out to alumni at those companies and sit down with them face-to-face.”

As settles into his post-MBA career, Earl credits his experiences at Foster.

“The people that Foster attracts — it’s a community of people who are willing to do the work; people who don’t think certain tasks are beneath them. You get a really good baseline of knowledge, but I look back most fondly on the practical experience and the teamwork opportunities. I learned a lot about flexibility and adaptability. I’ve already applied those lessons at Microsoft.”

The post Foster Success Stories: From Afghanistan to Microsoft appeared first on Foster Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Make Anything: My Summer as an MBA Intern at Autodesk  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 04:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Make Anything: My Summer as an MBA Intern at Autodesk
Image
Autodesk Finance Interns

Before coming to Foster, I’d never worked for a Fortune 1000 company. I’d never worked in corporate finance. And I’d never lived in San Francisco.

But that all changed last summer.

Just four days after I finished the last class of my first year at Foster, I packed a few bags, coaxed my cat into her carrier, and hopped on a plane bound for San Francisco. 12 hours later, I walked into Autodesk’s One Market street office and began my summer internship.

At 35, Autodesk is more than a few years older than me. But despite its age, it remains an exciting company. Right now, Autodesk is going through a dramatic change, as it shifts its business model from one centered around selling software licenses, to one dependent on selling subscriptions. As I learned firsthand this summer, that change is affecting virtually every part of the company.

For 10 weeks, I worked in sales finance, building a framework to help project Autodesk’s guidance for this new business model. I analyzed pricing and discount data for hundreds of Autodesk’s products, then designed a method to calculate the revenue Autodesk could expect to realize on each sale. It was a fascinating, though at times challenging, project.

But I didn’t spend all my time working. There were more than 100 interns at Autodesk that summer, and the company went out of its way to make sure we had the opportunity to meet each other and have a great time. Lunch and learns with company leaders were an almost weekly occurrence. There were parties, a trip to the Exploratorium, and a Giants game. Everyone was given the entire July 4th week off. I drove to Yosemite and went hiking.

I think the best thing about Autodesk was just how willing everyone was to make time for me. I had no trouble getting coffee with more than a dozen top people in the finance department — I even spent some time talking with the CFO Scott Herren, who is the nicest executive I’ve ever met. That flows through Autodesk’s culture. Everyone I met at Autodesk was hard-working and dedicated, but was always sure to treat me, and each other, with respect.

Although Foster is known for its strong network in the Pacific Northwest, I found there was no shortage of Foster MBAs in San Francisco, including at Autodesk itself. In fact, my direct supervisor was a Foster grad, along with several of the other Autodesk employees I worked with. I didn’t do many net present value calculations, but I definitely leveraged some of the skills I built in my first year at Foster. I was thankful for the time I spent working on case competitions when it came time to make my final presentation.

Just over two years ago, I made the decision to apply to Foster. My goal was to land a finance job with a major technology company. When I was given the offer with Autodesk I was excited because it checked all those boxes, but my experience this summer blew me away.

It gave me the chance to explore a new city, the opportunity to connect with dozens of amazing people, and the chance to leverage the skills I learned to help grow an amazing business.

The post Make Anything: My Summer as an MBA Intern at Autodesk appeared first on Foster Blog.
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My Summer as an Investment Banking Intern at Deutsche Bank  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2017, 04:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: My Summer as an Investment Banking Intern at Deutsche Bank
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About the author: Lauren Krainski (pictured above, holding the gavel) is a second-year MBA student at Foster.

When I moved from the East Coast to attend Foster, I never expected that I’d be going back for my summer internship. And I definitely didn’t think it would be in investment banking.

Rewind to the summer before my MBA. I attended the annual Forte Foundation Women’s Leadership Conference (that year in Austin, Texas). There, I had the opportunity to meet hundreds of MBAs from across the country — including some of my amazing future classmates — as well as engage with a broad spectrum of large companies.

Coming from consulting, I knew I wanted to pivot my career into something different. Knowing that Foster attracted many West Coast-based tech companies, I used the Forte conference as an opportunity to learn about companies that didn’t fit that mold. I met women and recruiters from multiple investment banks. It seemed like a compelling way to leverage my consulting skills, but I didn’t think too hard about it at the time.

Two months later, I received an invitation to interview at Deutsche Bank for an internship in their New York office. I accepted the interview. Unexpectedly, I received an offer the very same day. I was excited, but it wasn’t an easy choice. I came to Foster to build my career in Seattle, and investment banking wasn’t something I had planned on doing. But in the spirit of taking risks and harnessing the sort of opportunities you only get at a top MBA program, I decided to take the offer.

Going into the internship, I was a little intimidated at the prospect of working alongside other MBAs from more investment finance-focused programs. But my fear was unfounded — I quickly saw that Foster’s incredible finance faculty had prepared me well. In fact, in some cases I felt better prepared than my peers.

In particular, core finance, financial statement analysis, and mergers & acquisitions were all very helpful. I used the concepts I learned in those classes consistently through my summer internship.

The summer was a whirlwind. Over the course of 10 weeks, I worked on nine different projects and served a diverse array of clients, from fintech to satellites to building products. I conducted acquisition math for an infamous cable client. At one point, my full-time colleague was absent, and I was trusted to lead the valuation process for a live acquisition.

Working on Wall Street for a global bank was an amazing opportunity, and I had the chance to connect with a truly diverse group of people every single day.

Looking back at my summer internship, I would encourage incoming Foster MBAs to explore and take risks. Be aware of what your goals are coming in, but be willing to learn about other paths you might not have considered. You too may find yourself with an amazing, but unexpected, opportunity.

The post My Summer as an Investment Banking Intern at Deutsche Bank appeared first on Foster Blog.
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The TMMBA Student Experience: Program Immersion Week  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 14:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: The TMMBA Student Experience: Program Immersion Week
On the Sunday after thanksgiving, the newest cohort of Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) students descended on UW Seattle campus to start their TMMBA journey. Every TMMBA Program starts with seven full days of classroom instruction, team building, interactive learning and, of course, fun on the Seattle and Kirkland campuses.

During the TMMBA Program Immersion students complete six academic credits over the span of seven consecutive days. It is an intense introduction to the program, but it is an excellent way to prepare students for the rigor ahead of them and for student teams to come together and figure out how they will be successful in advance of their first full academic quarter – Winter 2019.

This year students completed three courses: Negotiations, Ethical Leadership and Building Effective Teams. The week was a mix of challenge and inspiration. Several students approached us to say the curriculum was beyond expectation and, in fact, wished they could have more coursework with each instructor. Here are just a few of the comments we received from students:

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“Immersion week was the most fun I’ve had in school. EVER! (And I’ve been in school a long time!) It was crazy tiring fun though — I think if it was one day longer I would have passed out! The professors were great in that they were enjoyable to listen to and engage with and the classes were really interesting. Getting to know classmates over the week was great- it’s funny, when Monday came it was kinda empty not meeting up with everyone.” – Thomas Yang, MD, Swedish Medical Group

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“The biggest thing I noted was that all three instructors were very engaging and passionate. They were eager to share their lessons and continuously maintained everyone’s attention. This is in stark contrast to what one may experience in undergraduate engineering courses where professors may not be as engaging or participatory. Receptive to the passion, the students responded in kind and were equally involved in class discussions and debates. I have never sat in a course with so much involvement and open dialogue – thus making these immersion week classes the most rewarding courses I have ever taken. This is the highest praise I can offer as a student” – Steven Hsieh, R&D Project Manager, Fluke

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“During the immersion week I learned a lot from the three classes, made friends and formed a good team. It was busy, though enjoyable. It brought back good memories from my college time many years ago. I’m looking forward the challenge first quarter now!” Grant Yang, Systems Analyst, City of Seattle

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“After the immersion week, I went back to my husband and said ‘Is it okay to say I love my courses for TMMBA?’ My husband cracked up. Honestly, I did not expect MBA courses could be this good. The immersion week was intense but in a right way. Well planned courses from well organized Ethical Leadership (that being the most grueling but thoroughly enjoyed) to light-hearted Negotiations (that has all the fun quotient) to well-balanced Building Effective Teams (that being both grueling and fun). All in all a great way to lay the foundation for our future quarters. Thank you to all the staff members to making this a sweet journey for all of us.” – Chetana Desai, Technical Product Manager, Expedia

Mid-week, the Dean of the Foster School of Business, James Jiambalvo, stopped by the Kirkland campus to personally welcome this new TMMBA cohort to the Foster School of Business family. He shared his vision for the school, and students were encouraged to ask him questions about the program itself or the Foster school as a whole.

Finally, at the end of a long week, students kicked back with a Casino Night hosted at Anthony’s Forum in Paccar Hall.

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On the final evening of Program Immersion, students celebrate their intense week with some casino night fun.

Kudos for all your hard work, TMMBA Class of 2019! We are excited to see what your 18-month TMMBA journey holds.

Read more about our newest cohort: TMMBA Welcomes Class of 2019

The post The TMMBA Student Experience: Program Immersion Week appeared first on Foster Blog.
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Making Connections: A Summer MBA Internship at Facebook  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2018, 18:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Making Connections: A Summer MBA Internship at Facebook
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Melissa Young (pictured above) is a second-year student at Foster.

Melissa Young will graduate from Foster in June. Afterwards, she’ll be heading down to the Bay Area to take a job as a Client Solutions Manager in the Global Sales Org at Facebook. There she will continue to work with her team from last summer, when she was working as an intern at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus. It was an experience she described as thrilling, challenging, occasionally intimidating, and ultimately, quite exciting.

“Facebook is a big company that feels small,” she explained. “It’s very individual – with little overlap. Everyone on my team was working on national or global projects with major accounts. On my project, it was just me — no one had ever worked on it before.”

For 12 weeks, Melissa was tasked with putting together a business strategy for a new advertising sub-vertical.

“My manager was very supportive. She put me in touch with people who had worked on similar projects in the past. They were very helpful and gave me insight into what they had done to be successful.”

Given its core business, it’s perhaps no surprise, but that element of sharing permeates Facebook’s entire culture.

“I was tasked with putting together a business case and sharing it. Everyone is really encouraged to share information. In fact, it was part of my performance review. But it’s necessary. The work culture is very fast-paced. Everyone is trying to do huge things. If you have a win, you launch it with your customer and share best practices. There just isn’t time to waste.”

Melissa accepted her return offer because of Facebook’s culture.

“The culture is the reason why I’m going back. 100%. It’s the most positive, supportive, empowering environment I’ve ever worked in. The infrastructure and processes are designed to help employees perform at their best. They give you all the resources you need to be successful, and they give you important business opportunities – you don’t feel like a cog in the wheel. Even small things, like using Facebook Workplace — it all feels very personal.”

To succeed, Melissa relied on skills she developed in Foster’s core marketing class, and during her applied strategy project.

“I had to do a lot of research. I knew I was going to be presenting my work to my manager and my team and the other MBA interns at the end. I went back to the cases I had done in core marketing, and used them as a starting point. I used the structures I had learned to frame my thinking. I went back to the work I had done for Amazon during my applied strategy project — I worked on a similar new business opportunity.”

Beyond her project, Melissa found other opportunities for learning at Facebook.

“Facebook hosted intern events throughout the summer which was a highlight of the MBA internship experience. They offered a weekly professional development series on topics such as public speaking and presentation skills. Each week a VP from different areas of the company would host a Q&A with the 25 MBA interns. Then there were of course, a bunch of social events: a field day, a day at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, a Summerfest event, and a cooking class. Every week, Mark Zuckerberg hosts a Q&A and you can sit right in front of him. I heard from Sheryl Sandberg — I sat maybe 10 feet away from her four times this summer.”

The post Making Connections: A Summer MBA Internship at Facebook appeared first on Foster Blog.
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A Summer as a Senior Product Management MBA Intern  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2018, 04:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: A Summer as a Senior Product Management MBA Intern
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Jonathan Ng, Full-Time Class of 2018

Jonathan Ng spent last summer working for Amazon.

“I had the opportunity to meet so many amazing and driven people. They were all working on revolutionary ideas,” he said. “I honestly believe that Amazon is poised to disrupt major industries.”

The full-time, Foster MBA student worked as a Senior Product Management MBA intern for the Seattle tech giant. During an internship that spanned 12 action-packed weeks, Jonathan designed and developed a new product for his team.

“I had the privilege of working with the worldwide deals and events team. They coordinated both the deals page (Lightning deals, Today’s deals) and major events — including Prime Day and Black Friday — globally. I was given a task to aid the team in improving an event performance, which ultimately meant figuring an out innovative solution to drive more online traffic, and acquiring and retaining more customers.”

“It was an amazing and practical experience. I had to dive deep into data to determine and to solve the various Amazon customer segments’ pain points. I was having multiple meetings to figure out how to drive traffic to the events in the morning. In the afternoon, I was collaborating with cross functional teams, including the legal, finance and various product teams to test my concepts. Then in the evenings, I was working on spreadsheets and white papers.”

“While it was intense, I enjoyed the experience because of the freedom I was given. Amazon gave me the leeway to determine and chart my own path throughout the internship. I also enjoyed the fact that interns worked on real business problems and had the opportunity to come up with real solutions. My product is still under development by my team and should be launched sometime this year.”

Despite their heavy workloads, Jonathan’s team members always made time for him.

“That was an eye opener for me. I started in July, during the implementation phase for Prime Day, Amazon’s biggest event! You can imagine the amount of work that goes into it and the pressure of maintaining its success. But despite this, they all set aside time to give me guidance, introduced me to others, and give me frank feedback on my progress. Honestly, they all truly adhered to the Amazon leadership principles. That was something that I saw everywhere in the company. It’s why I believe Amazon will continue to do great things in the future.”

Foster is only about five miles from Amazon’s South Lake Union campus, and Foster interns and alums can be found working all throughout the company.

“I was working directly with other Foster interns as well as other MBA interns. We were bouncing ideas about our projects back and forth. As an example, my classmate, Emily Chen, has a really strong marketing background. She was also an intern at Amazon last summer, and I leveraged her marketing experience to help me with the product I was working on. I also had a chance to meet some Foster alums when I was there. They all gave me some really helpful advice, and were willing to take time out to get coffee in order to share tips on how to succeed at Amazon. The Foster connection is an invaluable asset to have!”

After his internship concluded, Jonathan was given an offer to return. He happily accepted.

“My summer was so great that making the decision to go back was easy. I really enjoyed how everyone at Amazon was always looking for the next idea, that they all wanted to Think Big, a key leadership principal. I’m also really excited about the direction of Amazon.”

Jonathan credits much of what he learned during his first year at Foster with his success at Amazon.

“Looking back, my first year courses set me up for success. I had to generate my own free cash flow and calculate NPV (net present value). I used the 5Ps (product, price, promotion, place, people) of marketing. In particular, I really relied on the data analysis skills I worked on throughout my first year.”

“During my Amazon internship, I had the opportunity to work with a truly diverse, and an extremely bright group of people. In my opinion, that is also one of the main strengths of the Foster program. I would encourage future Foster students to leverage that aspect of the program. It will definitely help you achieve your goals!”

The post A Summer as a Senior Product Management MBA Intern appeared first on Foster Blog.
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My Summer as an MBA Intern at Google  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2018, 19:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: My Summer as an MBA Intern at Google
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About the author: Jordan Ludwig (pictured to the left) is a second-year full-time MBA student at Foster.

Going into Foster, Google was high on the list of companies I wanted to work for after graduation.

I had lived in San Francisco before I came to Seattle, and I had a few friends that worked at Google. They all spoke highly of the company’s culture, and the challenging projects they were able to work on. Then I visited Google’s San Francisco office as part of the Foster Tech Club’s annual Bay Area Tech Trek, and I had a chance to experience it first-hand.

There, I saw a group of employees that all looked happy and engaged, even on a Friday afternoon. Everything I learned during that visit validated what my friends had told me, and I knew this was where I wanted to be.

Before I submitted my internship application, I met with the second-year students that had interned with Google the previous summer. I also set up bi-weekly meetings with Foster’s Career Management team. Together, they helped me understand what Google was looking for in applicants, what qualities were highly valued, and which of my experiences would best illustrate how I fit in with Google’s culture.

Last spring, I interviewed with teams in Ann Arbor and Mountain View. Then a week later, I received an offer.

I spent my summer working on the Managed Agency team, a part of the Google Marketing Solutions organization. My team worked with advertising agencies, helping them use Google’s powerful digital advertising solutions for their clients. I had three projects to work on over the course of my 12-week internship.

My main project was managing a new sales initiative for the approximately 80-person Managed Agency team, including designing and tracking success metrics, and presenting weekly updates to the team’s director. I managed the process with two other project managers in Mountain View and New York. I was also tasked with creating a Google Sheets-based budget projection tool to help the advertising agencies allocate advertising spend for their clients.

For my third project, I worked with a start-up company at Google’s internal incubator that is in the process of building digital marketplace for construction labor in Bangladesh. I conducted market research, competitive analysis, and prioritized product recommendations in two presentations to the company’s founder and leadership team.

During the summer, I leveraged several of the skills I had built and refined during my first year at Foster.

As a Foster MBA student, I was tasked with working closely with a diverse team. The same was true at Google, where I had to work cross-functionally with diverse teammates. Many of the people I collaborated with for my projects were from different organizations at the company, and even some of Google’s international offices.

At the end of my internship, I had to give a final presentation to my group’s entire leadership team – over 20 managers from across my organization. As I prepared for that presentation, I felt thankful for all the presentation practice and public speaking experiences I had during my first year at Foster.

Although the work was challenging, Google did an amazing job of making sure I was enjoying the internship. I became close friends with many of the other interns from schools including Stanford GSB and UCLA Anderson. I had a great time during the all-intern events — a Giants game at AT&T Park, a wine tasting day on Treasure Island, and boat cruise on the San Francisco Bay.

I’m thrilled to say I’ll be going back. After I graduate, I’ll return to Google to work on the same team. During my internship, I was exposed to a lot of interesting problems and opportunities, and I’m looking forward to helping my team tackle them.

The post My Summer as an MBA Intern at Google appeared first on Foster Blog.
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Supportive Community: Q & A with Lacey Wulfe, MBA 2020  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 12:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Supportive Community: Q & A with Lacey Wulfe, MBA 2020
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Hometown: 

San Antonio, TX

Pre MBA Profession: 

Contracts Manager at Alamo Aircraft

Why Foster?
I started looking at Foster because of location and reputation, but I choose Foster because of what I saw and experienced during my visit. The welcoming atmosphere and positive learning vibe you get from walking into a classroom at Foster was nothing like I had ever experienced before. On a class visit, I saw a classroom full of eager students who genuinely loved being there and were involved in the process.

Student Experience
What has been your favorite part of the Foster MBA experience so far?
My team. At Foster, you are assigned a team to work on cases with throughout the classes, but through that process, they become more than that. They become the people whom you go through this with, whom you study with, the people whom you can complain to when things get hard and then help you through it all.  Almost like a second family! My team has been an invaluable part in my experience here at Foster.

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Are you where you thought you would be when you started the Evening MBA?
I am not where I thought I’d be, I’m further! When I started at Foster I was very nervous about not having the traditional business background and thought I would be struggling just to keep up with no time for anything else. Although it’s been hard, I have kept up and have had a blast along the way. Not only have I gotten through my course work, but I have been meeting more people than I ever thought and making great contacts I know I will be useful in the future.

What advice do you have for those considering a work-compatible MBA program?
I know its scary. The BIG question looming in everyone’s head is: will there be enough time? And the answer is yes, mostly. It’s all about prioritizing and getting creative. Everyone in the program is in that same boat, and both your fellow students as well as the professors understand and are very supportive of that. Whether it is Skype-ing in from across the world, or listening to class recordings after the fact, no matter what needs to be done, Foster is willing to work with you.

The post Supportive Community: Q & A with Lacey Wulfe, MBA 2020 appeared first on Foster Blog.
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Foster Students Hold Class at Tableau Software  [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2018, 17:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Foster Students Hold Class at Tableau Software
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Foster is located in the heart of Seattle, a short bus ride from many of the world’s most innovative companies. If you’re a Foster MBA student looking to grab coffee with an Amazon financial analyst or a Zillow project manager, you won’t have to travel very far.

But it also opens many opportunities for greater learning inside the classroom. Management 550: CEO & Board Governance is an elective that benefits from Foster’s location. The class, as it name implies, centers around executive leadership and the nuances of board governance. Should a board have a dual CEO/Chairman, or should the role be split? How should a board deal with activist investors? How do the operations of nonprofit boards differ from those of public companies? These are some of the questions the class considers.

About half the time we spend in the classroom consists of guest speakers, most of whom are legends within their respective fields. The course itself is co-taught by Neal Dempsey — the general managing partner of Bay Partners, a venture capital firm that’s returned over $2.5 billion to investors — and Neil McReynolds, a former executive that’s served on over 60 boards in a wide variety of industries. Speakers this quarter have included Phyllis Campbell (Chairman, Pacific Northwest JP Morgan Chase), Chet Kapoor (Vice President, Google Cloud), and Chris Peterson (head coach of the University of Washington Huskies football team).

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Tableau’s management fields questions from Foster students.

Most of these speakers have made the trek to PACCAR Hall, coming into the classroom to field questions directly from students. But during one special session, the class was held off campus. In April, we traveled to Tableau Software’s headquarters in Fremont, a Seattle neighborhood only about 10 minutes away from Foster’s campus.

Once there, we heard from Damon Fletcher, Tableau’s interim CFO; Keenan Conder, Tableau’s General Counsel; and Matt Nelson, Tableau VP and Corporate Controller. Over the course of nearly two hours, they discussed the makeup and regular operations of the data visualization company’s board.

Tableau’s board is notable in that three of its 10 seats are held by the company’s co-founders, who collectively control the majority of shareholder votes. During their presentation, the Tableau executives discussed the unique challenges the board faces and answered questions from students.

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Foster students Jenny Nowierski (left) and Harsha Vardhan (right) stand outside Tableau’s headquarters with Neal Dempsey (left) and Neil McReynolds (right).

As a graduating second year, it was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had as a Foster student. Certainly, it was a unique opportunity I could’ve only had in Seattle.

The post Foster Students Hold Class at Tableau Software appeared first on Foster Blog.
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Foster Students Compete and Celebrate for Charity in Palo Alto  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2018, 14:00
FROM Foster Admissions Blog: Foster Students Compete and Celebrate for Charity in Palo Alto
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The 2018 Foster women’s volleyball team

About the author: Mukund Rajasekhar is a first-year full-time MBA student at Foster.

Every April, MBA students from 8 business schools on the West Coast make their way to Stanford to indulge in a weekend filled with sports, music, dance-offs and even a battle of the bands. But dig a little deeper and you see that each of these students has done their part in spreading goodwill in their communities. This weekend marks the culmination of an entire year of volunteering and fundraising across the coast and the students meet up to celebrate a year of giving back. Challenge for Charity, or C4C as it is fondly called, is a competition which has no losers. Students from the 8 schools volunteer thousands of hours and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year; with the winning school getting bragging rights and custody of the elusive Golden Briefcase for a year.

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The 2018 Foster band

This year, students from Foster pushed the limits and broke multiple records. We raised more money and volunteered more hours than ever before, and finished third overall in sports, our highest ranking yet. Unfortunately, this was not enough for us to retain the Golden Briefcase.

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The Foster women’s table tennis team.

C4C is taken very seriously at Foster and no one knows this better than the people leading the charge; our C4C presidents. As outgoing C4C presidents, Jenny Nowierski and Abby Schilbach have had the honor of winning the Golden briefcase in 2017. This is what Jenny has to say about C4C:

C4C Sports Weekend is the best weekend of the school year.  It gives you the unique opportunity to celebrate all the hard work we put into volunteering and fundraising for our amazing core charities while enjoying the beautiful weather and meeting new friends.  I feel a true sense of pride cheering on our incredibly talented classmates as they compete in sports, and I’ve never felt more excited to be a Husky. We all work so hard throughout the year and this is the best way to celebrate our accomplishments.

Finishing second this year was a hard pill to swallow but it has only fueled our quest to bring the Golden Briefcase back. This year, our campaign is being led by John Turk, Mallory Green and Monica Haggarty; and with the entire school behind them, it’s just a matter of time until the Golden Briefcase adorns the hallways of Paccar Hall once again.

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The Foster men’s basketball team.

As John says, “C4C is a wonderful opportunity to compete in your favorite sports, cheer on your classmates, and have fun in Palo Alto! We are looking forward to another great weekend next year and to re-claiming the briefcase!”

The post Foster Students Compete and Celebrate for Charity in Palo Alto appeared first on Foster Blog.
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