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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 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 a 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

Andrea Cerna

Andrea CernaClass 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!

Matt Bonna

Matt BonnaClass of 2021
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Current employer: The Boeing Company
Job Title: Test and Evaluation Project Leader
Previous Degrees: Aerospace Engineering
Email Matt.

 

Why you chose Foster: When considering different MBA programs, aligning with your current goals is critical. I choose the Foster Evening MBA because it is a world class MBA that has in person classes and allows me to keep my day job. Additionally, there are a vast number of extra-curricular events, clubs, trips that round out your classroom time. I recently went to China to study Asian capital markets on a Study Tour, which is a sentence that would have been completely foreign to me a few years ago. The possibilities from a Foster MBA are limitless

Advice to prospective students:
1. Get involved early and often
2. Don’t worry too much about individual grades.

Three years sounds like a long time but it goes by very quickly. When I talk to recent graduates, more often than not I hear “I wish I would have done X” as opposed to “I wish I had not.” As far as grades, you will likely get some you are proud of and some you are not, but an MBA is so much more about the experience and lifelong memories you will make with your cohort and MBA teams. A more helpful question to ask is: how have you learned to work with others and developed as a leader yourself?

Alex Cutler

Alex CutlerClass of 2021
Hometown: Olympia, WA
Current employer: Nordic Consulting Partners
Job Title: Senior Consultant
Previous Degrees: BA – International Studies
Email Alex.

 

Why you chose Foster: Culture, Opportunity, Reputation
Culture: I might be biased as a “Double Dawg”, but I believe the University of Washington fosters a truly unique culture and the Foster School is no exception to that. Everyone- the staff, faculty, and students- exhibit a genuine passion for excellence through teamwork and diversity, and the program is stronger because of it.
Opportunity: The Foster Evening Program allowed me to continue my career while pursuing a world-class MBA experience. Very few schools offer this kind of immersive experience to their part-time programs, which makes the Foster program that much more special.
Reputation: From a networking perspective, Foster is an invaluable tool. The Foster name is well respected, and you’ll find our graduates in leadership roles at all of the top companies across the Pacific Northwest.

Advice to prospective students: Be intentional about what you are looking for from an MBA, and do your research to make sure you find the best fit for you. Program structure, cost, and culture vary widely- it’s crucial to find the one that meets your needs. Getting your MBA is a huge time and financial commitment, so that extra research now is well worth it. Campus visits and meeting with current students is a great place to start if you need some help!

Allison Pan

Allison PanClass of 2021
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Current employer: Gobo Enterprises
Job Title: Account Manager
MBA Field of Study: Marketing, Supply Chain and Operations
Previous Degrees: Law
Email Allison.

 

Why you chose Foster: Foster was the best way for me to acquire business skills, join a phenomenal network, and test my strengths before rejoining the workforce as a working mom. With the Foster part time program, I get to live in my favorite city, spend time exploring my interests, and study hard on a challenging curriculum in the evenings.

Advice to prospective students: Foster looks for a diverse cohort of students with vastly different backgrounds, including stay-at-home moms who had given up a fulfilling career for an important job – raising the next generation. For this, I am eternally grateful to Foster, and want to give back by encouraging applicants to think deeply about how any of their experiences can contribute to the rich Foster MBA journey that each student enjoys.

Tyler Sterling

Tyler SterlingClass of 2021
Hometown: Renton, WA
Current employer: Boeing
Job Title: Structural Design Engineer
Previous Degrees: B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Email Tyler.

 

Why you chose Foster: I wanted to be a part of a school whose name can and always will be recognized anywhere my career takes me. It is one of the most reputable business schools in the country and with it comes students with diverse and accomplished backgrounds that I now get to learn from! These peers offer a unique perspective to solutions to complex problems, expand my method of thinking and make me a more well-rounded individual and employee. The evening MBA program at Foster, in particular, appealed to me because of its flexibility with my busy work schedule. You can’t go wrong with Foster!

Advice to prospective students: Start by taking advantage of as many MBA related events as you can to get an understanding if the Foster experience is for you. This can include a class visit, campus visit night, reaching out to a current student and/or other methods that Foster offers to prospective students. The resources are endless to ensure you feel as comfortable and confident throughout the application process. You are in good hands here at Foster. Trust it and apply.

Vihita Janarthanan

Vihita JanarthananClass of 2021
Hometown: India & Indonesia
Current employer: Microsoft
Job Title: Program/Product Manager
MBA Field of Study: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Previous Degrees: B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Email Vihita.

 

Why you chose Foster: To me the Evening MBA program at Foster gave me the best of both worlds I’ve always wanted – I get to work and study full-time. Foster School of Business provides me to an incredible number of opportunities to constantly stretch myself and go beyond my academics. I strongly believe that an in-person MBA program adds more value to my learning experience. I want to be able to apply what I learn in school directly into my day job translate them into achieving my short and long term professional goals and I can confidently say that two months into the program and I already feel like I am learning a ton. I constantly find myself inspired and amazed by my professors, classmates and grateful for the events and activities coordinated by the program staff. I am very happy with my decision to pursue this program.

Advice to prospective students: There is never a perfect time to do an MBA; if you’re passionate about pursuing it now is always the right time! The sooner you immerse yourself into this experience the more you can get out of it! While it is a challenging program, Foster does the very best to equip you with everything you need to be successful. So do your research thoroughly, and if you’re interested pursuing an MBA program while continuing your full-time job, I don’t believe that there is a better program. Attend as many admission events as possible and get to meet as many people as you can, never stop building your network!

Mike Ringenburg

Michael RingenburgClass of 2021
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Current employer: Cray
Job Title: Principal Engineer
Previous Degrees: Math (BA), Computer Science (PhD)
Undergraduate Degree: Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Email Mike.

 

Why you chose Foster: I visited evening classes at Foster twice, and both times I was impressed by both the students and the faculty. The students bring diverse perspectives to the course discussions, and the faculty make the material relatable and relevant. The culture at Foster is also highly collaborative – the students, faculty, and staff all want you to learn and succeed!

Advice to prospective students: Don’t rush – take the time to visit classes, meet with students, and learn about the application process. I didn’t apply until two years after my first visit, and I don’t regret the wait at all. It gave me the time to fully explore all my options, learn about the different programs offered by Foster and other schools, and feel very confident in my decision to apply to the Foster Evening MBA program!

Kelly Wood

Kelly WoodClass of 2020
Hometown: Pewaukee, WI
Current employer: The Boeing Company
Job Title: Financial Planning Analyst
MBA field of study: Finance, Strategy
Undergraduate Degree: Economics and Psychology
Email Kelly.

 

Why you chose Foster: The idea of a full-time MBA experience in a part-time program is what sold the Foster Evening Program to me. I wanted to make the most out of my MBA experience, not just “check the box” on my resume. Foster offers so much beyond classroom learning that enhances the MBA experience, from clubs, to tailgates, to networking events! The Foster culture also creates a community that will last far beyond my time spent in the program.

Advice to prospective students: Immerse yourself in what Foster has to offer to see if it’s the right fit for you! Every information session, class visit, and campus visit night I attended made me more certain that Foster was the place I wanted to be. I highly recommend the application webinars put on by the Admissions office! They are extremely helpful for the application process. Also – don’t feel overwhelmed by all that Foster has to offer. There are so many things you can be involved in – pick a few to start that are important to you!

Yue Tu

Yue TueClass of 2020
Hometown: Tianjin, China
Current employer: Microsoft
Job Title: Energy Project Manager
MBA field of study: Global Business, Entrepreneurship
Undergraduate Degree: Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Email Yue.

 

Why you chose Foster: The quality of the peers, faculty and staff is exceptional. The evening program structure minimizes opportunity cost of obtaining a MBA and maximizes immediate application of the learning. I want to be part of a cohort and collaborative community as I learn and challenge myself. The program is rigorous and structured to ensure that students are fully engaged.

Advice to prospective students: 1, Attend a class visit. 2, Meet current students and ask them questions that you care about. 3, Understand your motivations, other priorities, and opportunity costs. 4, Apply early and decisively.

Lacey Wulfe

Lacey WulfeClass of 2020
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Current employer: Alamo Aircraft
Job Title: Federal Contracts Compliance Specialist
MBA field of study: Supply Chain Management
Undergraduate Degree: Applied Learning and Development
Email Lacey.

 

Why you chose Foster: Initially I considered Foster based on its reputation and location. Seattle has great opportunities and Foster is highly respected within its community as well as around the world. When I came in for my class visit, however, I was blown away and knew Foster was the best fit for me. The small size of the program made the classroom feel personable and welcoming. I saw qualitative discussion and could sense that this was a community of people who were passionate and dedicated to learning from each other as opposed to just getting the grade.

Advice to prospective students: Do your research! Attend as many admissions events as you can and make sure to do a class visit. Another thing I would recommend would be to continually evaluate how you are organizing your tasks. It is easy to compartmentalize so I have found it very helpful to have a weekly list of things I need to do for school, work, and life in general – be sure to include fun things like going out with friends or date night with your boo.

Praveen Kumar

Praveen KumarClass of 2020
Hometown: Chennai, India
Current employer: Expedia
Job Title: Software Engineer
MBA field of study: Finance and Strategy
Undergraduate Degree: Mechanical Engineering
Email Praveen.

 

Why you chose Foster: The quality of professors, peers, network and program structure. The Evening Program specifically provides students a great opportunity to maximize their learning experiences by directly applying classroom learnings to work, and vice versa. I started work at Amazon about a month before my first quarter in the Evening program and within the first few classes we did an analysis of Amazon’s annual financial statements. As simple as that sounds it taught me so much about my company and gave me a new perspective on how my department (Video) fits in to Amazon’s overall business.

Advice to prospective students: Don’t be Intimidated if you don’t have a “traditional” background. One of the greatest things about Foster is its diversity. Get involved in your application process. Come sit in on a class. Talk to a current student. Attend the online information sessions. Email questions to the admissions staff (really, they are so friendly!). These steps will help you guide your thinking and find out if Foster is a good fit for you.

Lindsey Hoeft

Lindsey HoeftClass of 2020
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Current employer: The Boeing Company
Job Title: Program Manager
MBA field of study: Finance, Strategy
Undergraduate Degree: Master of Public Health, BS Dietetics
Email Lindsey.

 

Why you chose Foster: I am pursing the MBA degree as a career accelerator. The Foster culture was a big sell to me, as I wanted an environment that was collaborative and not competitive. I also value Foster’s ties to the businesses and the community in the Puget Sound. There are endless opportunities to learn and build your network outside the classroom.

Advice to prospective students: Taking on a graduate program while working full-time and raising kids can seem daunting, but there will never be a perfect time. The Foster cohort structure is a built-in support system that will help you navigate school and balance whatever work and life challenges that happen during the program. If you are contemplating applying, come to one of the admissions events to see if the culture seems right for you and then seize the moment!

Chad Delrose

Chad DelroseClass of 2020
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current employer: Accenture
Job Title: Mergers & Acquisition Manager
MBA field of study: Finance, Strategy
Undergraduate Degree: Finance, International Business
Email Chad.

 

Why you chose Foster: Cultural fit. I visited numerous programs to: attend information sessions, sit-in on classes, and talk to current students. At no other program did I feel the sense of inclusion and community that I did at Foster. The focus on collaboration and working in teams is a standout differentiator which provides a vast support network throughout the program. Additionally, the diversity of the program, quality of the instructors, and career opportunities in a booming city like Seattle made Foster the right choice.

Advice to prospective students: Be thorough in your research and make sure you know what you are signing up for. A class visit is a great place to start to get a feel for what the Foster community is like. Also, the admissions team and current students are more than willing to help with your search so don’t hesitate to reach out!