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Evening MBA Student and Alumni Ambassadors

The culture of the Foster School of Business is characterized by a strong sense of community in which every MBA student has their own story. The MBA Ambassador program is designed to introduce prospective students to the Foster community. Evening Ambassadors share their perspectives regarding admission, classes, faculty, and life as an MBA student.

Connect with Evening MBA Ambassadors

  • Chat: Get to know our Evening MBA Student Ambassadors. Chat with a Foster MBA student ambassador via email at [email protected]
  • Visit: Attend a Foster MBA class hosted by a Foster Evening MBA student ambassador
  • Connect with Alumni: Find out what life is like after the Foster MBA. Chat with an alum via email
  • Connect with Veteran MBAs: Learn about our strong veteran community and veteran MBA success. Chat with an MBA Veteran via email
  • Diversity at Foster: Chat with the Diversity Initiatives Coordinator and current MBA or our Director of Diversity and Inclusion to learn more about our community
  • Sign Up: Go to the Admissions Events page

Meet Our Evening MBA Student Ambassadors

Class of 2023

Katrina Chan

Katrina Chan
Class of 2023
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Current employer: T-Mobile
Job Title: Senior Paid Search Specialist
Previous Degrees: Marketing, Operations and Supply Chain Management
Email Katrina

 

Why you chose Foster: I knew I wanted to return for my MBA after receiving my undergraduate degree at Foster. I didn’t just learn about business; I learned how to be a well-rounded individual and how to be confident with my abilities. These intangible skills have helped me stand out in my career. The community and collaborative culture in Foster have led me to build relationships that have challenged, mentored, and championed for me. I decided to join the Evening program so I can apply what I learn in class at work and continue advancing my career.

Advice to prospective students: Take time to figure out why you want to pursue an MBA so you can be intentional about your goals and time. The program can be challenging, so it’s important to know why you want this degree. Take advantage of all the resources available from attending campus/class visits, admission events and talking with current students. Once you are in the program, bring your diversity and true self because what enriches the MBA experience is the different backgrounds and perspectives of your classmates. Lastly, build a support system, they will be your biggest cheerleaders throughout your journey!

Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Cole
Class of 2023
Hometown: Oak Harbor, WA
Current employer: Aveda, Estee Lauder Companies Inc
Job Title: General Retail Manager
Previous Degrees: English & Licensed Hairdresser
Email Jennifer

 

Why you chose Foster: When I was looking at getting my MBA, I knew I wanted to be a part of a community that valued student diversity and academic excellence equally. I spent 5 years visiting and researching schools and programs because I wanted an environment where I would be proud to invest my time and money. That meant that I also had my eye out for an active alumni network that would allow me the opportunity to give back after completing my degree. Foster checked all those boxes for me! From coffee chats, evening class visits, and alumni panels, the energy and sense of comradery at Foster are contagious. As I’ve heard from many students and alumni during my application process, the community and experiences you build at Foster will literally be life-changing. 

Advice to prospective students: We need everyone at the table. As someone from a very unorthodox background–hairdresser turned general retail manager—I have definitely had moments of imposter syndrome. Do I fit in? Can I add value to these conversations? Let me tell you, after having been in this program for a short while, EVERYONE goes through that! Your diversity and your unique experiences will enrich your small study groups. Lean into that fear and discomfort. When you write your application to Foster and when you meet your new classmates, don’t be afraid to embrace your true self. So, do the scary things. Go network with groups you’d never usually hang with. Financing? Consulting? Get in there!

Marat Galeyev

Marat Galeyev
Class of 2023
Hometown: Kazan, Russia
Current employer: Microsoft
Job Title: Senior Software Engineer
Previous Degrees: Computer Science
Email Marat

 

Why you chose Foster: The Foster school provides several options for MBA programs, which are all great, but I ultimately chose the Evening MBA. Their structure, accommodating schedule, and environment of like-minded student-professionals provides a holistic, hands-on experience that I can apply at work and leverage to reach my goals. Additionally, Foster provides many specialty programs, a vast entrepreneurship network, and business development foundations, which will surely help anyone thinking of starting a business.

Advice to prospective students: Deciding to pursue an MBA and choosing a specific school are decisions that should not be taken lightly. Make a plan. First, start by answering the three “W” questions: Why do you need an MBA? What are your goals? Which programs would be a good fit? These will help to identify the scope of your exploration process. Second, engage with the program(s) you are interested in! Reach out to admissions, gather information, book a class visit, or meet students. Following these steps will help you to make a conscious choice and make you a stronger candidate in the admissions process.

Jonathan Goodin

Jonathan Goodin
Class of 2023
Hometown: Bucksport, ME
Current employer: Liberty Mutual
Job Title: Associate Surety Underwriter – Core Contract
Previous Degrees: Engineering, Psychology
Email Jonathan

 

Why you chose Foster: The tight community and smaller class sizes in conjunction with the world-class education you receive seemed like the best fit for me. While Foster provides a highly competitive and top-ranked MBA program, I have always been a firm believer that school rankings are just a small, subjective aspect of picking a school. What you put into your education is what you get out of it, no matter where you go. Knowing yourself and how you learn new material to apply to real-life scenarios is what’s truly important. I believe Foster does an excellent job of taking classroom instruction and directly applying it to real-world events. This program prepares students to be the business leaders of tomorrow and I wanted to be a part of that.

Advice to prospective students: Understand that pursuing your MBA is not simply about getting good grades. By attending Foster you are making an investment in yourself so you can be a better leader, employee, employer, and person. Be a team player, focus on learning the material, and just do your best.

Rupali Katole

Rupali Katole
Class of 2023
Hometown: India
Current employer: Collabera Consulting
Job Title: Clinical Research Data Analyst
Previous Degrees: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Email Rupali

 

Why you chose Foster: For an International Medical Graduate like me, it was a very big decision to choose an MBA for my Masters program, and I chose Foster for many good reasons. The most important of them is the help of the Foster community in building my network in the healthcare IT industry, as my focus is on healthcare innovation. Honestly in the past few months, Foster has very well discovered my strengths within these hurdles. I have reaped the benefits of the comprehensive courses that the Foster School of Business offers. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my passion with all my classmates and learning from their strengths to make myself into a whole individual. As a working mother of 2, the Foster Evening MBA program gives me a perfect opportunity to continue my education further to transform my career goals into my passion.

Advice to prospective students: I would advise prospective students to get in touch with the ambassadors or with current students to talk about their individual post-MBA goals. Attend virtual admissions events, and engage with the admissions team. Do your research on the different programs in the area (which will hopefully help you decide that Foster is the best)! I am confident that the Foster Evening MBA program will support you and your goals; you will get to learn from this dynamic environment as well as the brilliant faculty. Join our community and turn your dreams into reality for a better together, better tomorrow.

Madisen Kovell

Madisen KovellClass of 2023
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Current employer: Leisure Care
Job Title: Manager of New Business
Previous Degrees: Health; Long Term Care & Health Services Administration, Business
Email Madisen

 

Why you chose Foster: Honestly, there are too many reasons to list them all here, but when I decided to pursue an MBA, I had developed a very specific list of criteria I knew I needed to be successful in an MBA program. Foster not only hit them all, but also added more to my checklist. I am an application-based learner so being able to continue working and apply class material to my current role was key for increasing my knowledge depth. I also wanted a program that had a sense of community and an established culture. The relationships with classmates, faculty, and program staff will be part of your network forever and opportunities to connect and engage with them on a regular basis are essential. 

Advice to prospective students: Be you! The number one thing I cannot stress enough to students applying or coming into the program is to be you. Don’t compose essays, answer questions, or build your resume based on what you think Foster wants to see; make sure your authentic self is present in every part of your application. Is it important to understand what the program is looking for in an applicant so you can ensure to highlight that part of your experience? Absolutely! Should you sacrifice your authenticity to fit a mold of what you think the program wants? No! And if you don’t know, reach out to an advisor to get your questions answered. There are so many amazing resources available to help guide you through this process.

Scott Shapiro

Scott ShapiroClass of 2023
Hometown: East Rockaway, NY
Current employer: Qualtrics
Job Title: Principal Product Marketing Manager
Previous Degrees: Psychology with an emphasis on Business, Systems, and Organizations
Email Scott

 

Why you chose Foster: When considering an MBA in general, and ultimately choosing Foster, it was important to figure out what mattered to me and what I hoped to experience in the program. As a “noncareer switcher,” I realized I was looking to expand my skill set, grow my network and challenge myself academically to grow into a leader professionally. Foster’s emphasis on collaboration, not competition, and the Professors’ focus on real-world skills, not getting lost in a GPA, were extremely appealing to me. The Evening MBA program is the unique chance to learn something in class then apply it within days to test and learn professionally, while taking risks academically. 

Advice to prospective students: Take the time to understand why you want to pursue an MBA, the application process is a journey that will hopefully lead to insightful self-reflection. When you apply to Foster, be confident in your point of view and decision but if you enroll, be open-minded to what the experience will truly be. Have guiding principles of what you want to experience and what you want to accomplish in order to prioritize, but I encourage you to also trust and follow your passions as you discover them.

Zach Stoddard

Zach Stoddard
Class of 2023
Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Current employer: Boeing
Job Title: Structural Design Engineer – Product Development
Previous Degrees: Mechanical Engineering
Email Zach

 

Why you chose Foster: I knew I wanted to return to school to get my MBA when I graduated from the UW with my ME degree and started working at Boeing. The UW Evening program provides students with extraordinary opportunities and in the top ranks of evening programs in the country.

Advice to prospective students: Plan the work, work the plan! Taking the necessary steps to get a graduate degree may at first be overwhelming. But, just like many other challenging projects either at work or in life, you should create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based) in order to break down break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Class of 2022

Andrea Cerna

Andrea Cerna
Class of 2022
Current employer: BlackRock
Job Title: Associate
Previous Degrees: Business Management and International Business (CISB)
Email Andrea

 
 

Why you chose Foster: Community – I’ve experienced first hand within a month of being in the program how supportive faculty and fellow classmates are with each other. While it is really competitive to get into the program, once you are in you see pretty quickly that everyone is helping each other move forward. At Foster lifelong friendships and connections are built!

Advice to prospective students: I’d highly recommend speaking with current and/or former MBA students about their experience and advice on how they were able to balance a full-time job, being a student again and other responsibilities. In addition, be sure to be yourself as much as possible throughout the application process!

Jon Lamperth

Jon LamperthClass of 2022
Current employer: Former U.S. Navy
Job Title: Command Master Chief
MBA Field of Study: Finance
Previous Degrees: BSBA in Accounting
Email Jon

 

Why you chose Foster: I chose Foster because of the Foster culture. Foster is a very collaborative environment where everyone is willing to help each other achieve their goals. Also, Foster has such a positive vibe, which enhances the learning environment. From top to bottom, the Foster faculty, staff, and students are top-notch and world-class. Choosing Foster was one of the best decisions in my life.

Advice to prospective students: I’d recommend that prospective students visit Foster and meet with current students and staff to get an understanding of the program and culture. When I was a prospective student, I went to numerous info sessions, coffee chats, class visits, and informational interviews with the admissions office. By attending those events, I was able to ascertain that Foster was the perfect environment for me to get the competence, confidence, and connections that I would need to pivot my career from the military to the private sector.

Ashley Wain

Ashley WainClass of 2022
Current employer: Carta
Job Title: Valuation Analyst
MBA Field of Study Operations Management
Previous Degrees: Systems Engineering
Email Ashley

 

Why you chose Foster: I wanted to be in the Pacific Northwest because of my personal interests, and from everyone I talked to at the school, it was clear that Foster students had a great sense of community. The sense of community is a huge thing for me; I believe that the best work is done when it is done together. The smaller class sizes and collaborative attitudes were attractive to me. Additionally, it was important to me throughout my school search that I was in an area with a large technology presence. The access to the companies around Seattle area was a huge selling point.

Advice to prospective students: Start your search early and be open to changes. Definitely try to get to know a school by researching it, but give yourself time to talk to current students to understand the type of person the schools attract and character traits each program fosters. Make sure you know if you are looking for certain things in schools, and if you have any “must-haves” or “must not haves”. It is important to stay true to yourself while you go on this amazing journey!