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Student Ambassadors

The student ambassadors below are just a few of the many current students who generously volunteer their time to answer your questions about the Foster MBA program.

  • To connect with MBA student ambassadors, please contact mbalink@uw.edu.
  • To connect with veteran MBA students, email the Veteran Outreach Coordinator at mbavets@uw.edu.
  • You can also connect with our Alumni Ambassadors at mbaalum@uw.edu.
  • Questions about diversity at Foster? Contact Houston Gossett, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator, at hgossett@uw.edu
  • Contact the Women in Business Club, at wibmba@uw.edu

 

Class of 2018

Oluyinka Awobiyi - Full-time 2018
Oluyinka Awobiyi
Hometown: Lekki, Lagos Nigeria
Pre-MBA Job: Marketing
Aspirations after MBA: Consumer Goods, Technology, & Consulting

Club/Leadership Involvement: C4C, Foster Tech Club, Foster MBA Marketing Club, Diversity Club

Why did you choose Foster?: My major attraction to Foster was the right balance of academic rigor and hands-on opportunities for leadership development. The rigorous core curriculum coupled with the customizable 2nd year curriculum, provided me an opportunity to hone my technical skills and the option of exploring more than one area of Business for my MBA concentration.

Also, the strong career management team which provides extensive support to candidates through a career coaching and mentoring program, gave me the confidence that my potential in business school would be translated to a thriving career post-MBA. These in addition to opportunities to learn by doing through the consulting programs, Board Fellowships and other experiential learning programs, provided me the perfect mix I need to realize my short and long term career goals.

Advice to prospective students: Congratulations on your decision to pursue an MBA! Although it requires a great deal of effort, the end-point is quite rewarding both personally and professionally. In a world with endless choices of Business schools and countries where one could acquire an MBA, it is important to begin with an end in mind. This would guide your selection of an MBA Program best suited to your career choice and desired experiences. With an end in mind you would also come across as focused and decisive; a key attribute I found a lot of reputable Business Schools look out for.

Sam French - Full-time 2018
Sam French
Hometown: Winston Salem, NC United States
Pre-MBA Job: Teacher and School Administrator
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting (with non-profits eventually)

Club/Leadership Involvement: Net Impact & Consulting Society

Why did you choose Foster?: I was excited about the opportunity to work at both Foster and the Evans School. I was also attracted to the diverse, vibrant, and collaborative community at Foster.

Advice to prospective students: Spend time at Foster during the application process. Get a feel for the culture and community.

Kyle Graves - Full-time 2018
Kyle Graves
Hometown: Auburn, CA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Military
Aspirations after MBA: Seattle startup scene. Global Health, technology, consumer products. More important to be part of a small startup with the desire to inspire change.

Club/Leadership Involvement: Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Club/Venture Fellows, Marketing Club, Strategy Club, Net Impact, Women In Business

Why did you choose Foster?: I wanted to be a part of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle’s amazing startup and venture capital scene. Foster and the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship have invaluable connections to the Seattle startup scene and the major players in the area that are available to me as a student. The choice was easy. Foster is simply the best possible place I could be.

Advice to prospective students: Make sure your finances, family, and healthcare are in order prior to starting business school so that you can concentrate on your schoolwork and career search as early as possible.

Brain James - Full-time 2018
Brian James
Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA United States
Pre-MBA Job:
Product Management
Aspirations after MBA: Healthcare

Club/Leadership Involvement: Healthcare & Biotechnology, EVCC, Net Impact, Strategy, Consulting

Why did you choose Foster?: I chose Foster because of the small, intimate class size and the incredible diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of the student body.

Advice to prospective students: Understand what you want to accomplish by getting an MBA and try to hit the ground running as much as possible!

Elaine Ji - Full-time 2018
Elaine Ji
Hometown: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province China
Pre-MBA Job: Project Manager and Analyst
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting, Consumer Goods, Technology, Healthcare

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting Society, Technology Club, Strategy Club, Marketing Association, Operations Club, Net Impact

Why did you choose Foster?: Apart from being a top-ranked academic program and having a smaller class size, the Foster MBA program really differentiated itself by providing amazing student support and services. Everyone I talked to during the application/admission process was very attentive and it just felt like they truly cared about the students, that we aren’t just a number.

Advice to prospective students: Talk to as many current students or alumni as possible in your application process! School websites are informative, but interacting with actual students from the program will give you a much better sense of whether or not a particular MBA program is the best fit for you. Remember it IS a two-way street! When the school is determining whether or not you are a good fit, you should be doing the same thing by evaluating the program’s fit for you.

Min Kim - Full-time 2018
Min Kim
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV United States
Pre-MBA Job:
Investment Accounting
Aspirations after MBA: I’d like to become a product or project manager in a well-structured corporation, overseeing the entire business cycle from planning to execution.

Club/Leadership Involvement: Student Investment Fund, Finance Society, Challenge for Charity, Marketing Association, Foster Foodies, Operations Club, Diversity in Business

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster’s potential was what attracted me as it has great exposure to well-known companies locally, nationally and globally. Also, the program was well structured to provide guidance for the MBA students looking to switch careers.

Advice to prospective students: You should never be afraid to explore what’s out there. Even if you are fully satisfied with what you currently possess, it’s always worth it to know what your options are.

Lauren Krainski - Full-time 2018
Lauren Krainski
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Management Consulting, Corporate Strategy
Aspirations after MBA: Technology, Consumer Products

Club/Leadership Involvement: Women in Business (Forte Fellow), Finance Society, Marketing Association, Technology Club, Entrepreneurship/Venture Capital Club

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster hosts a close-knit community while providing many opportunities for leadership, team-building, and practical experience. The Pacific Northwest is a fast-growing region, and Foster has an incomparable network with the exciting companies in the area.

Advice to prospective students: Find a program that genuinely “fits” with your post-MBA goals (i.e., has a strong network with your industry and functional objectives) and during-MBA goals (i.e., culture, community, leadership opportunities).

Alessandro Longhi - Full-time 2018
Alessandro Longhi
Hometown: Itu, Sao Paulo Brazil
Pre-MBA Job: Operations
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting or Technology

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting Society, Strategy Club, Finance Society, Student Investment Fund, Foster Tech

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster offers a perfect fit to my current interests and development goals. There’s also a strong team-building culture due to small class sizes and the program focus on real-world experiences, which can get you more prepared even before you start your full-time job.

Advice to prospective students: First of all, you should choose the business school that most suits your career interests. You can always have access to the business school website, current students and alumni, who can help you through this decision. Another piece of advice is never underestimate the application steps and only submit your application when you feel that you have great essays, good test scores and recommendation letters from the right people.

Masha Makarenkova - Full-time 2018
Masha Makarenkova
Hometown: Tashkent/Moscow, Uzbekistan/Russia
Pre-MBA Job: Executive Search/Recruiter
Aspirations after MBA: Aviation/Airline, Retail, Tech

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting Club, Net Impact, Marketing Club, Woman in Business Club, Diversity Club

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster has great diversity among students, professors, faculty and it’s a great place to learn every day.

Advice to prospective students: Be yourself, be collaborative and open minded. It will pay off!

Prateek Rana - Full-time 2018
Prateek Rana
Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Pre-MBA Job: Financial Analytics
Aspirations after MBA: Strategy and Operations Consulting

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting society, tech club, strategy club

Why did you choose Foster?: I was attracted by the small class size and access to business opportunities in the growing Seattle market.

Advice to prospective students: Do enough research!

Abby Schilbach - Full-time 2018
Abby Schilbach
Hometown: Riverside, CT United States
Pre-MBA Job: Fundraising/Marketing
Aspirations after MBA: Marketing or marketing consulting, possibly in tech.

Club/Leadership Involvement: Marketing, Tech, Strategy, C4C, Net Impact (and Women in Business, Consulting, Part II)

Why did you choose Foster?: The supportive culture, the small class size, the amazing people, and the chance it gives people to reinvent themselves.

Advice to prospective students: Absolutely come and visit to see a class and meet current students. It seemed so scary on the other side, but once you see that students are people just like you, wanting to learn and redirect their career, it will make you all the more motivated to start your MBA (and come here)!

Ami Shastri - Full-time 2018
Ami Shastri
Hometown: Indore, Madhya Pradesh India
Pre-MBA Job: Consulting
Aspirations after MBA: Consumer Technology and E commerce.

Club/Leadership Involvement: Technology, Consulting, Marketing, Women in Business, Forte Fellow

Why did you choose Foster?: The strong relationships the school has with recruiters
, location in Seattle/Pacific Northwest, the strong alumni network, and the increasingly strong Foster brand as demonstrated by improving rankings.

Advice to prospective students: Choose a school which helps you build a career of your choice, evaluate all parameters holistically!

Gillian Van Der Schaaf - Full-time 2018
Gillian Van Der Schaaf
Hometown: San Diego, CA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Operations
Aspirations after MBA: Retail, Tech

Club/Leadership Involvement: MBAA, Strategy Club, Operations Club, C4C

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster has an amazing, supportive community that provides the opportunity to work on highly motivated teams who focus on winning together

Advice to prospective students: Choose a program where you can be yourself, and will be challenged in ways beyond the classroom setting.

Alex Zverev - Full-time 2018
Alex Zverev
Hometown: Irkutsk, Russia
Pre-MBA Job: Digital Marketing
Aspirations after MBA: Tech

Club/Leadership Involvement: Foster marketing association, Foster tech, Net Impact, Outdoors and sport industry club, Strategy club, Operation club

Why did you choose Foster?: Great culture, exposure to a growing tech industry, strong academic focus, location.

Advice to prospective students: Be yourself, do not afraid to challenge yourself, be confident and humble.

Class of 2019

Andrew Caponi
Andrew Caponi
Hometown: Chicago, IL United States
Pre-MBA Job: Applied Data Scientist for a tech startup
Aspirations after MBA: Lead an in-house predictive analytics team for a small to medium sized organization

Club/Leadership Involvement: Foster Marketing Association, Foster Tech Club, and Outdoor and Sports Industry Club

Why did you choose Foster?: I chose Foster because of the small class size, focus on diversity and collaboration, and the Seattle location.  Professionally, Seattle offers me a tremendous amount of opportunities in the tech and analytics space, and on a personal level the Pacific Northwest makes getting out an enjoying the best of nature very easy.

Advice to prospective students: Identifying what you would like to get out of your MBA, and what you value most in an education will make evaluating MBA programs a lot easier.  Your MBA is a great time to experiment and try new things – find a program that you feel will allow you to grow personally and professionally.

Wenqi Carol
Wenqi Carol
Hometown: Guangzhou, GD China
Pre-MBA Job: Strategy for a social enterprise in China / Operation and Supply Chain in Colombia
Aspirations after MBA: Social sector, Tech industry

Club/Leadership Involvement: Net Impact, Consulting society, Women in Business, Operations management, Strategy club

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster’s core values; Location of Foster; The amazing service of career management; Tight community.

Advice to prospective students: Come to visit the school, join a class or talk to current students, all these will help you to understand Foster and also get to know the essence of Foster culture.

Nicholas Ferderer
Nicholas Ferderer
Hometown: Vancouver, WA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Federal Government Relations
Aspirations after MBA: Finance

Club/Leadership Involvement: Finance, EVCC, DiB, MBAA, Operations, Marketing, Strategy, Foodies, Creative

Why did you choose Foster?: To be closer to family and because Washington State is the greatest state in the union!

Advice to prospective students: First, come to Foster. Second, dive in and talk to as many people as you can. Third, try to remember to enjoy your journey.

Monica Marie Haggarty
Monica Marie Haggarty
Hometown: Redmond, WA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Account Management
Aspirations after MBA: Healthcare

Club/Leadership Involvement: Healthcare/Biotech, Strategy, Women in Business

Why did you choose Foster?: -Top healthcare organizations in Seattle (Providence, Kaiser/GroupHealth, Seattle Children’s, SCCA, etc.)

-Small and welcoming community

Advice to prospective students: Current students are very open and helpful in answering any/all questions!!

Jillian Jackson
Jillian Jackson
Hometown: Birmingham, AL United States
Pre-MBA Job: Operations and Process Management
Aspirations after MBA: Sales

Club/Leadership Involvement: Women in Business, Operations Club, MBAA, Net Impact, Human Capitalists

Why did you choose Foster?: I chose Foster for a number of reasons. From the extensive alumni network always willing to help out current students to the exceptional internship and job placement rate, Foster stood out from all the other schools I considered. I also knew early in my business school search that I wanted to find a close-knit and collaborative community that would challenge and support me at the same time. I didn’t want to just join a business program; I wanted to join a family and that is exactly what Foster offers. Moreover, Seattle is an amazing city with so much to do!

Advice to prospective students: Be self-aware! Recognize your assets and what value you can bring to both the classroom and the community. Be able to articulate what drives you and how you hope to grow over the next two years, whether it be personally, professionally, or both. Also, visit campuses, meet current students, and make sure you can envision yourself there!

Michael Kerper
Michael Kerper
Hometown: Rochester, NY United States
Pre-MBA Job: US Army
Aspirations after MBA: Sustainable development

Club/Leadership Involvement: Net Impact, Veterans

Why did you choose Foster?: Want to live in PNW.

Advice to prospective students: Keep an open mind on what you want to do after MBA when you enter.

Vibhas Kumar
Vibhas Kumar
Hometown: Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh India
Pre-MBA Job: Head of Development / Software Product Manager
Aspirations after MBA: Software / Tech

Club/Leadership Involvement: Foster Tech Club, Foster Consulting Society

Why did you choose Foster?: My choice of business school hinged on factors such as the community, close knit alumni , alignment with post MBA goals and an environment that would help me display and build my skills as well learn from some of the brightest minds in the country. As a school, Foster ticked all of these boxes and became my business school of choice.

Advice to prospective students: My advice for any prospective student would be to go beyond rankings while choosing your business school . Choose a school that aligns with both your values and career goals. Talk to current students as well as alumni to figure out if Foster would be the perfect school for you.It would be better if you could drop by for a visit wherein you would have a chance to see the campus, meet current students as well as sit in on a lecture to get the true Foster experience.Meet people from the career office and figure out if Foster would be your perfect business school.

Afa Malu
Afa Malu
Hometown: Jos, Plateau Nigeria
Pre-MBA Job: Policy
Aspirations after MBA: Tech Industry

Club/Leadership Involvement: Tech Club, Strategy Club, Consulting Club

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster had the perfect blend of location for the industry I want, location for the part of the country I want to be in, reputation, and cost.

Advice to prospective students: The MBA application process can be a lot, but if you break it down into little actionable goals you’ll be done in no time.

Asal Mirsalimi
Asal Mirsalimi
Hometown: Seattle, WA United States (Born and raised in Tehran-Iran)
Pre-MBA Job: Accounting
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting, Technology

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting Society, Foster Marketing Association, Strategy Club, Women in Business, The Part II Club

Why did you choose Foster?: I had lived in Seattle after living in NYC and LA, I completely fell in love with Seattle, everything it has to offer as a city, as well as the amazing professional opportunities in the tech industry. Foster’s extensive network of alumn, rankings in job placement, and location were the main reasons I picked Foster.

Advice to prospective students: Attend the welcome weekend, and sit in one of the classes. Everyone I met during welcome weekend were so amazing that I could hardly wait to start the program. Summer gets quickly busy, so I recommend taking a few months off before August, to have enough time to prep for school and take a trip.

Yangyang Pan
Yangyang Pan
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan China
Pre-MBA Job: Engineering and consulting
Aspirations after MBA: Tech industry, engineering and chemicals

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting society, Foster Tech, Global Business Association

Why did you choose Foster?: Very supportive Foster culture, outstanding job placement rate, Proximity to Tech industry, Seattle, of course Seattle.

Advice to prospective students: Think about what industry you want to go after school. Think about what kind of people you want to be around when in school. Talk to program, students and alums to get an idea what you like or dislike about the program. If you are thinking about joining a business community instead of shining just on your own, come to Foster. This is a hub of talents who care about each other, and are truly contributing to the greater community.

Nimit Pathak
Nimit Pathak
Hometown: Chicago, IL United States
Pre-MBA Job: Index Derivatives Trading
Aspirations after MBA: Corporate Strategy and Social Responsibility, Social Enterprise

Club/Leadership Involvement: Net Impact, Challenge 4 Charity, Healthcare & Biotech, Outdoor Sports Industry Club, Consulting Society, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club, Marketing Club

Why did you choose Foster?: The supportive culture, the amazing people, and the chance to learn, grow, and gain relevant practical experience throughout the program. It’s an incredibly close-knit community where you truly get the opportunity to know everyone and build wonderful and lasting relationships from day one.

Advice to prospective students: Start early and thoroughly define your reasons for going to school. This is an experience that you will only get to have once, so make sure you understand your ‘why’ before you worry about your ‘where.’ When you define your goals and the kind of people that you want to be around and work with, the right path tends to reveal itself fairly organically. Metrics like culture and fit are often thrown around second to rankings, but the truth is if you want to make the most of this experience, seek out a place that resonates with you beyond the numbers…because regardless of where you go, you’ll only get out of the experience what you’re willing to put in.

Giulia Pellegrino
Giulia Pellegrino
Hometown: Pasadena, CA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Administration
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting

Club/Leadership Involvement: Marketing Association, Consulting Society, Women in Business, Foster Creative

Why did you choose Foster?: Location, opportunities in Seattle, and tight knit community.

Advice to prospective students: Really think about where you want to live during and after your MBA – invest in that network.

Mukund Rajasekhar
Mukund Rajasekhar
Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Pre-MBA Job: Operations
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting , Product Management , General Management

Club/Leadership Involvement: Consulting, Technology, Strategy, C4C, Huddle, Foodies

Marshelle Page Slayton
Marshelle Page Slayton
Hometown: Camas, WA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Operations
Aspirations after MBA: No preference

Club/Leadership Involvement: Women in Business, Consulting Society, C4C, Operations Club

Why did you choose Foster?: Seattle job market, small class sizes.

Advice to prospective students: Take the summer to self search!

Li-Ann Yap
Li-Ann Yap
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Pre-MBA Job: Non-profit Development Officer/Program Coordinator
Aspirations after MBA: Social impact focus with a role in Operations, Strategy, or Business Development

Club/Leadership Involvement: Diversity Club, Net Impact, Operations Club, Outdoor Sport and Industry Club

Why did you choose Foster?: I applied to Foster because of the emphasis on diversity, small class size, and location. Seattle’s dedication to social impact/the greater good was a big sell for me, but what solidified my decision was the warmth and generosity of people from Foster. During Welcome Weekend, staff greeted me by my name and hand wrote personalized welcome letters to me, and current students reached out to introduce themselves. While researching MBA programs, I found this level of engagement to be special and rare.

Advice to prospective students: Be honest and authentic with yourself throughout the application process. Know why you want to do an MBA and what you want from it – from there, choosing schools will be less daunting and writing applications will seem more like a journal entry than an application.

Brent Young
Brent Young
Hometown: Detroit, MI United States
Pre-MBA Job: Logistics
Aspirations after MBA: Consulting

Club/Leadership Involvement: Operations, Consulting, Part 2

Why did you choose Foster?: Location and reputation.

Advice to prospective students: Study really hard for the GMAT.

Keqin Zhou
Keqin Zhou
Hometown: Changzhou, Jiangsu China
Pre-MBA Job: Engineering
Aspirations after MBA: I’m interested in a role of product management in a tech company after gradation.

Club/Leadership Involvement: Marketing club, finance club, consulting club

Why did you choose Foster?: Foster has one of the most collaborative environment I’ve seen, and this really cultivates innovation and team bonding. This is really important to me.

Advice to prospective students: Reach out to current student and admission team to understand more about Foster culture and find your Foster fit before applying.