Work-Compatible MBA Programs

Peter Olagunju: Added his MBA to a biotech background to power the search for cures
Sarah McCaffrey: Marine Corps-trained data analyst got her MBA to power online ad analytics at Disney
Dr. Morris Chang: Neurological science and an MBA power the business of this sleep specialist
Molly Moore: Combining deep industry knowledge with her MBA to power healthcare innovation
Bhaskar Dutt: Adding his MBA to technical skills as a developer to power tech leadership
Kevin Conroy: Leveraging entrepreneurial experience and his MBA to power a successful start-up
Seattle is home to a unique, dynamic and innovative business community. Foster's relationships with iconic companies and a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem help power the Northwest's economic engine. Foster offers much more than an excellent business education—it teaches teamwork optimization, offers immersive learning opportunities, and provides access to top scholars who excel as teachers. With more than 13,000 MBA alumni, most of whom call the Puget Sound home, Foster invites you to help power an unparalleled network.

Compare Work-Compatible MBA Options
Program Evening Hybrid Technology Management Executive
Duration 24-33 months 21 months 18 months 21 months
Schedule Two evenings per week during core, flexible during electives 95% online,
5% on-campus
One evening per week and Saturdays Full-day classes: weekly or monthly schedule
Cost $73,190 $65,000 $81,200 $100,500
Location Seattle campus Online and Seattle campus Kirkland campus Seattle campus
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We offer four MBA programs for working professionals in addition to our Full-time MBA Program. To get info about upcoming events, stay apprised of application deadlines and see what some of our students and alums are doing with their MBA degrees, please fill out the form below.
Peter Olagunju
Senior Director of Vendor Management, bluebird bio
Evening MBA (2009)
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Peter Olagunju began his career as an assistant research scientist in 2001. Showing promise in biotech, he began rising quickly through the quality assurance ranks with a focus on compliance and operations. "I had a good career in QA, but I had this dream of leading an organization someday and I felt an MBA would help that dream come true," says Olagunju. "I was a scientist, so I felt some uncertainty about taking a deep dive into business. But I really wanted to know how ideas get launched—so I sought out a 360-degree view of business from accounting to finance, marketing to management."

Not only did Peter become immersed in business, but he also had hands-on learning opportunities in numerous areas, including entrepreneurship. Following a class in entrepreneurial finance, he participated with some classmates in Foster's Business Plan Competition, which he calls "the perfect capstone." A marquee event running for nearly two decades, the Business Plan Competition guides students through venture creation and has awarded $1.2 million in prize money to 139 student companies.

"Our team won," says Olagunju. "Our concept for a device that could help pharmaceuticals bridge the blood-brain barrier turned into a company called Impel Neuropharma. I'm not part of the company today, but I'm still good friends with the management team."

Asked what he most liked about the program, Peter hones in on what he learned about—and from—teams. "The curriculum actually teaches how to optimize teams for success. The culture facilitates investment in each other's success. Everyone brings a unique perspective to the work at hand, and even as you're applying what you learn, you're also bringing your experience that benefits others."

His business acumen led him from compliance manager at ZymoGenetics to director of global operations at Dendreon. He's recently been recruited by a gene therapy company called bluebird bio, with offices in Seattle, Cambridge (Mass.), and Paris. He and his wife Maria (MBA 2012) moved to Cambridge this summer and are looking forward to exploring the Northeast.

Peter's proud of the great companies he's had the opportunity to work for, but don't be surprised if he ends up realizing that dream of leading an organization.
Sarah McCaffrey
Online Advertising Analyst, Disney ABC Television Group
Technology Management MBA (2014)
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What do the US Marine Corps and the Disney ABC Television Group have in common? Sarah McCaffrey, whose passion and skill with data analytics led her from active duty to an MBA to a promising career with Disney.

You could say it began when she joined the Marines and got her Military Occupation Specialty (MOS), which turned out to be in aviation data analytics. As McCaffrey puts it, "you don't choose your MOS, but you can certainly make the most of it and create future opportunities." While serving in the Corps, she did undergraduate work at UW in information/networking technologies and web development. One of her dreams was to come back to UW for graduate school—"a stretch goal" and "big dream."

Eight years later, as she's crossing the bridge into the private sector, she found out about a work-compatible MBA program called the Technology Management MBA. Run out of UW Foster School's Eastside Executive Center in Kirkland, and aimed at a broad tech audience, the program fit McCaffrey's needs perfectly.

"The teaming that happened in the program was amazing," says McCaffrey. "Learning to assess how a team can work toward its highest potential in business felt like a familiar goal, which helped a lot in the transition to civilian life." A transition, not incidentally, that she likens to moving to another country.

Equipped with a deep understanding of core business disciplines, empowered by a strong network, and able to call synthesize the training she received in the military with her MBA, McCaffrey hired on at Disney ABC Television Group. While her role focuses on analyzing site metrics for the visual media publishing industry, she's been adding ad-specific knowledge to her portfolio.

In the meantime, as far as her two young daughters are concerned, having a mom who works at Disney makes McCaffrey a bit of a rock star in her family.
Morris Chang, M.D.
Physician Sleep Specialist
Executive MBA (2016)
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Problems with sleep are not uncommon, and an advanced medical degree is not a trivial endeavor, so you might wonder why Morris Chang is completing his MBA in Foster’s Executive MBA Program. He’s practiced for 14 years in his own practice, which has been very successful. But Chang has always been forward-thinking and he wanted a more sophisticated understanding of his finances and the evolving business environment in which he practices.

“The healthcare market is counterintuitive,” says Chang. “It’s highly regulated, it’s changing at an unbelievable rate, and some forecasters suggest an impending crisis. Learning more about management, accounting principles, operations, entrepreneurial management—and also just the language of business itself—gives me a little more control over my destiny.”

Healthcare delivery has become immensely complicated, which is one of the reasons why Chang doesn’t pander to the debate about whether medicine is really a business. “You can’t afford to get too philosophical about it,” he says. “The economics of health care are very unique and often misunderstood. You’ve got a patient need and a service provider, but now there are so many complexities that sit between them. Yet the physician retains more and more responsibility and liability.”

Halfway through his MBA studies, Chang has already changed the way he thinks and talks about his practice. “Contracts, billing, financial planning, executive boards…the material I’m learning is helping me in all of these settings,” he says.

He adds that it’s probably not for everybody, but believes that the two years he’s spending to earn his MBA are a small investment relative to the lifetime of return he’ll get applying better business principles. “Despite all the crazy changes,” says Chang, “knowledge is power.”
Molly Moore
Business Development Manager, Cambia Health Solutions
Evening MBA (2012)
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Investing in healthcare start-ups isn't what you'd expect as a function of the parent company of Regence BlueShield. But that's just what Molly Moore does, and she'd be the first to tell you that her Evening MBA helped get her there.

"When I entered the MBA program, I worked for Regence BlueShield negotiating provider contracts and managing specialty provider networks," says Moore. "I had been in similar roles for Aetna and United Healthcare dating back to 2002."

Moore moved forward with two things in mind: 1) She had acquired a deep knowledge of the healthcare industry over 17 years and wanted to stay in the field, 2) She wanted options for pursuing a different role than what lay ahead.

Her success in meeting both goals is evident in her role at Cambia Health Solutions, the parent company of Regence BlueShield in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. As part of a special division called Direct Health Solutions (DHS), Moore has a key role on a health care investment team.

DHS invests in (and builds) healthcare companies that create a more economically sustainable and person-focused health system. Her role within DHS is to work with invested companies, building the value of the portfolio. "I help our companies explore business opportunities with the Regence health plans, other Blue plan partners, consumers and employers within our four-state footprint," says Moore.

Promising healthcare start-ups attract a lot of potential investors, but one of Cambia's differentiators is taking the long-term investment view. DHS needs its business development people to be versed in everything from sales and channel development to acquisitions and partnerships. Moore's years in the business play a big part in getting it right. What she learned as an MBA student has paid dividends as well.

"The two aspects of the Evening MBA Program that most prepared me for my current role were my participation in the UW Business Plan Competition and Lance Young's entrepreneurial finance class," says Moore. "When my job opportunity came along, I was fluent with the financial discussions as well as the healthcare context. I felt confident in tackling all the other aspects of the role such as interacting with the C-suite of my company, presenting to large rooms of people, strategic planning and project management."

Now, Moore's work powers innovations in healthcare, builds returns for investors and creates opportunities for new businesses.
Bhaskar Dutt
Senior Technology Lead, Expedia, Inc.
Technology Management MBA (2012)
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Bhaskar Dutt didn't always see himself as a leader.

A decade into his development career, Dutt decided to pursue an MBA via Foster's Technology Management MBA Program. "The thing I valued most about my professional life was the flexibility I attained by intentionally diversifying my development experience," says Dutt. "Going forward, I wanted to broaden my view of the organization and enterprise, but planned on staying close to what I was used to."

He was used to being a successful developer at Microsoft. Having a bachelor's degree in math and computer science, as well as a master's in the latter, Dutt had a terrific technical background. His plan was to complement his skillset with a rigorous business education, graduate and see where it could lead.

"Two-thirds of the way through my MBA I realized that the program had become so much a part of my life that I was no longer worried about making a job change while continuing my studies," says Dutt. "I had the support of my student team, I was learning a lot and I was gaining confidence."

Within a month of looking at new opportunities—in the time he had between classes—he received four offers for program manager jobs at Microsoft and chose the most promising. During the interview process he found himself talking about marketing frameworks and could envision having an impact in leading a team in a new role. He thrived as a program manager for several years before asking what's next.

What's next turned out to be a combination of his passion and his new skill set. As Senior Technology Lead at Expedia, Dutt is again playing in the development sandbox—but this time as a team leader where his vision, communication, and leadership skills are at the forefront.

"Beyond all of the great things I learned," says Dutt, "it's impossible to overstate the value of the network at Foster." He is also quick to point out the learning that goes beyond the classroom, including everything from building a highly functional study team to honing presentation, organization and negotiation skills.
Kevin Conroy
President and Founder, Blue Rooster
Executive MBA (2004)
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Kevin Conroy grew up in California, earned an undergraduate degree, and went to work for a large company. But what he really wanted to do was be an entrepreneur.

"The driver for an entrepreneur, the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, is the target size of your company—where are you trying to get to?" says Conroy. "But the more important number is what's on the balance sheet. I needed to shift my focus from a top line number to a bottom line number.

"A primary reason I went back to school was to increase my business knowledge in a few specific areas. Generally speaking, I wanted to add to my bag of tools so I could be more agile in the face of change. I had previously launched a company and experienced positive growth, but that venture ultimately failed. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, but I didn't have a finance or accounting background and I wanted to improve my ability to read economic conditions and respond accordingly."

Conroy launched Blue Rooster, a technology company focused on helping Fortune 500 companies build globally connected enterprises, in 2000. Two years later he joined the Foster School's Executive MBA (EMBA) Program.

When the recession hit in 2008, it threatened to undo everything he had built. "We made a lot of changes in 2008—changes driven by what I'd learned. We changed the strategy and direction of the company. We did a significant layoff, and we decided to focus on one piece of the market, do it really well, and charge a premium for it."

Blue Rooster not only survived, but tripled its business, growing to 50 employees and attracting large, globally distributed clients. Conroy works tirelessly to nourish the entrepreneurial spirit in those big companies, in his local community and at the Foster School, where he regularly serves as a judge in business plan competitions.

Conroy sees small businesses as the prime engine for job growth and he passionately supports the momentum that's turned the U-District, Fremont and South/North Lake Union neighborhoods into hubs for new businesses. "Whether it's networking with other businesses, helping aspiring entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground or growing my own company—I'm using my knowledge and experience to power business success."