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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.


Class of 2020

JB Simpkins Class 2020 image
JB Simpkins
Hometown; Texas, USA
Pre-MBA Job: Education-Administration
Email JB
Desired Industry: Consulting, Product Management
Why Foster?: Location, small class size, culture
Advice: Don’t overthink the admission process. Be yourself.
Clubs: Consulting Club, Tech Club, Outdoor Sports Industry Club, Leadership and Management Society, Net Impact
Austin L Montgomery
Hometown: Kirkland, WA
Pre-MBA Job: Utilities Manager, Military
Email Austin
Desired Industry: Finance, either investment banking or corporate finance
Why Foster?: Foster offered a great sense of community.
Advice: If you can, visit your prospective schools, sit in on classes and talk to current and former students. Look beyond rankings and really try to get an idea of what the community is like.
Clubs: Foster Research Partners, Finance Society, Diversity in Business, Foster Veterans Association
Ruchi Class 2020 image
Ruchi Singh
Hometown: India / Singapore
Pre-MBA Job: Strategy & Account Management, Financial Services
Email Ruchi
Desired Industry: Strategy/Management Consulting, Investment Management
Why Foster?: I was looking to focus on building my academic toolkit and wanted a program with a high level of engagement in the classroom, both from the students and teachers. A class visit confirmed that both the students and teachers really wanted to be in the room and valued a healthy discussion. I couldn’t ignore how Foster ‘felt’ right when I came to visit on-campus. All my interactions with faculty, staff, and students were very genuine, so I knew what I was getting myself into, and it just felt right.
Advice: Be true to yourself. Figure out what you’re looking for in the next 2 years during b-school and the kind of activities, opportunities, and people you’d like to surround yourself with. Once you determine these ‘non-negotiables’, stick to them and seek these out when you visit campuses and interact with people from different programs to determine the best fit for you. Don’t ignore your gut feeling!
Clubs: Consulting Society, Women in Business, Strategy Club, Finance Society, MBA Association
Aaron Class 2020 image
Aaron Sachs
Hometown: New York
Pre-MBA Job: Technology Consulting – Product Manager
Email Aaron
Desired Industry: Work in a product management capacity at a HealthTech or BioTech startup – possibly one with an AI/ML application.
Why Foster?: Being able to make quality and closer connections was really important. My conversations with students and faculty prior to joining were among the best that I had among all the schools that I was considering (the most genuine, and I got the sense that students truly cared about the successes of their classmates). Moreover, the Seattle tech/healthcare scene community is up and coming and known to be manageable, approachable, and not as overwhelming or hard to enter as some of the more well-known markets.
Advice: Don’t get caught up with the rankings, focus on your career goals and what location/community is right for you to learn and network best in. Talk to students and faculty who are taking advantage of some of the resources that you might see yourself getting involved with.
Clubs: Healthcare and Biotechnology Association, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club, Challenge 4 Charity, Venture Fellows
Mariana Class 2020 image
Mariana Xu
Hometown: Hong Kong(China)
Pre-MBA Job: Financial Service Wealth Management
Email Mariana
Desired Industry: Marketing Strategy
Why Foster?: Foster is a small program with strong branding. It is in a great location with access to many companies in the IT industry.
Advice: School culture and location may affect your decision more than the rank.
Clubs: Marketing, Women in Business
Tim Class 2020 image
Tim Li
Hometown: China
Pre-MBA Job: Supply Chain Operations
Email Tim
Desired Industry: Strategical Sourcing, Product Management, Consulting
Why Foster?: Foster offers lot of networking opportunities within Seattle’s strong tech environment.
Advice: Be aware of what you want, stay focused and be aggressive in finding what you need to make a decision.
Clubs: Consulting Society, Tech Club, Strategy Club
Sean Class 2020 imageSean Kim
Hometown: Korea/Guam
Pre-MBA Job: Corporate Strategy in Travel and Hospitality industry
Email Sean
Desired Industry: Transition into the Tech Industry
Why Foster?: I figured that Foster School would yield the biggest growth for myself throughout the MBA journey, as both Foster and Seattle are rapidly growing. I also appreciated the spirit of collaboration that was felt throughout Foster. I realized that Foster classmates would go above and beyond to help each other in many ways, whether it is helping one another in settling down at a new city, or in finding their dream career. This very idea of lifting each other up is what makes Foster very successful in achieving top job placement rates and in growing an intensive alumni network.
Advice: Spend time thinking about how you want to grow during the next two years in MBA. By identifying your priorities, you’ll have an easier time choosing the school that provides the opportunities you are seeking. If you have any unique personal or professional experiences, be ready to tell your stories. Being able to articulate your experiences can be crucial. Most importantly, contact us if you want to learn more about Foster!
Clubs: Technology Club, Foster Research Partners, Consulting Club, Level Up
Aditi Class 2020 imageAditi Narayanan
Hometown: Ann Arbor Michigan
Pre-MBA Job: Consulting
Email Aditi
Desired Industry: Product/Brand Management in Tech.
Why Foster?: I wanted a smaller class and access to the Seattle tech ecosystem.
Advice: Take your time and find a school that you believe fits your goals as a person and professionally.
Clubs: Women in Business, Marketing Society, Strategy Society, Operations Club
Shama Class 2020 imageShama Rangnekar
Hometown: India
Pre-MBA Job: Banking & Finance
Email Shama
Desired Industry: Tech & Finance
Why Foster?: Smaller class size, favorable location of Seattle and proximity to tech players were some of the main reasons to join Foster. Foster’s career services, the diversity of incoming students and the very approachable professors and staff also played a part in my decision.
Advice: Do not just go by the ranking of the schools you look at. List out your priorities and expectations from the two years of MBA. Do only a few things and do them right.
Clubs: Consulting Club, Finance Club, Tech Club
Abhro Class 2020 imageAbhro Pal
Hometown: India
Pre-MBA Job: Technology, Engineering
Email Abhro
Desired Industry: Technology, PM
Why Foster?: Tech Industry in Seattle and my love for this city!
Advice: Foster is great school for a future career in Tech.
Clubs: Foster Tech Club, Foster Consulting Society
Katie Class 2020 imageKatie Rose Mennemeier
Hometown: California
Pre-MBA Job: Project Manager – Technology
Email Katie
Desired Industry: Product or Brand Manager
Why Foster?: I chose Foster because of its collaborative culture, focus on community, small class size, and proximity to leading technology companies.
Advice: Take the time to reflect on why you want an MBA and what it can offer you. The MBA program is a two-year investment in yourself and your future, and you’ll make the most of the program if you know what you want from those two years. Focus on schools that send graduates to companies you’re most interested in, and choose a school with a culture that resonates with you.
Clubs: Women in Business, Foster Tech, Leadership & Management Society
Mike Class 2020 imageMike Lahoda
Hometown: West Deptford, New Jersey
Pre-MBA Job: Nonprofit, Program Management and Marketing
Email Mike
Desired Industry: Brand Management in the CPG or Outdoor industry.
Why Foster?: I chose Foster because of the collaborative and welcoming community, smaller class size, established relationships in the industries and function I am interested in, and my love for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, where I have lived for the past seven years. After visiting several other business schools, it was obvious that Foster was where I felt most at home. Coming from a nonprofit background, I was confident that my experiences and perspectives would be valued while I would also be able to learn from an incredibly diverse and intelligent group of peers that are eager to help one another grow personally and professionally.
Advice: The application process is challenging – hang in there! Be sure to take time to think carefully about your goals before and during the process and solicit feedback often. I highly recommend visiting the schools you’re interested in (especially Foster, of course) to get a feel for the culture and to picture yourself as part of the community. I also found it incredibly helpful to speak to current students, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’re more than happy to do what we can to help you along your MBA journey!
Clubs: Foster Marketing Association, Outdoor and Sports Industry Club, Net Impact
Shane Class 2020 imageShane Schrader
Hometown: Kansas
Pre-MBA Job: Tech/MFG; Process/Project Engineer, Systems Engineer
Email Shane
Desired Industry: Strategy/Finance/Product Management in Tech
Why Foster?: The culture at Foster was a perfect fit for me. Students and staff were honest and up-front about what they didn’t like and I didn’t feel like I was being sold something. The school’s focus on and support for career management was also a key driver; many “higher ranked” schools have far fewer resources for students or even limit the face-time you have with your career coaches. I wanted to attend a program with strong ties to tech, a high employment rate, strong starting salaries, and a focus on student development. Foster checked all those boxes and more.
Advice: Really reach out and talk to students. Get a good idea of the fit because you’ll be spending the next two years here. Don’t focus on rankings or prestige above all else; if the school doesn’t fit what you want, don’t go there.
Clubs: Tech Club, Consulting Society, Finance Society, Strategy Club, Huddle, Creative Club, MBAA, and Net Impact
Nora Class 2020 imageNora Bright
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Pre-MBA Job: Recruiting, Small Business & Nonprofit
Email Nora
Desired Industry: Human Resources, Marketing
Why Foster?: I chose Foster because of its very collaborative culture and location in Seattle
Advice: Talking to students is the most effective way to learn about a school!
Clubs: WiB, Net Impact, Marketing, Diversity in Business and Leadership & Management Society
Rekha Class 2020 imageRekha Mathew
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Pre-MBA Job: Healthcare Strategy at Kaiser Permanente
Email Rekha
Desired Industry: Technology, Healthcare
Why Foster?: Foster MBAs are exposed to a beautiful city, collaborative community, and thriving technology industry.
Advice: Clearly identify what you want to get out of the program before beginning it. This will help you prioritize your efforts and personalize your experience.
Clubs: Foster Tech Club, Consulting Society, Healthcare & Biotechnology Association, Women in Business, Global Study Tour
Ciro Class 2020 imageCiro Gonzalez
Hometown: Mexico
Pre-MBA Job: Corporate Banking and Consulting
Email Ciro
Desired Industry: Open my own fund in a 8 year time frame
Why Foster?: Foster, as a small class, has the opportunity to
make your experience tailor-made. I had the opportunity of visiting Foster while I was applying
and attended one class. I was amazed by the closeness of the professor with each of the
students. It was amazing how this closeness made the learning experience more intimate and
worthwhile. I wasn´t even a student, yet the professor dedicated her time to talk to me about
my goals and what I wanted to learn. That unique moment made me realize that Foster is
deeply engaged with each student which for me is the greatest learning environment..
Advice: Come to Foster!
Clubs: EVCC; Finance Society; GBA;
Alina Class 2020 imageAlina Okhotnikova
Hometown: Russia
Pre-MBA Job: Marketing
Email Alina
Desired Industry: Product Marketing for a Seattle-based Tech company
Why Foster?: I was excited by the great connections Foster has with Seattle based tech companies, the recruitment statistics and many opportunities to obtain practical experience. I believe in learning by doing and here at Foster there are plenty of options to try different things. Due to the small class size admissions team, faculty, career management professionals know you very well and are willing to help you grow and be successful!
Advice: Come and visit, talk to the students, have a chance to feel the atmosphere. Start your preparation early! Work on resume, cover letters and think of target companies during the summer.
Clubs: Women in Business, Marketing Association, Foster Tech


Class of 2019

Nicholas Ferderer
Nicholas Ferderer
Hometown: Vancouver, WA United States
Pre-MBA Job: Federal Government Relations
Email Nicholas
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.

Jillian Jackson
Jillian Jackson
Hometown: Birmingham, AL United States
Pre-MBA Job: Operations and Process Management
Email Jillian
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!

Yangyang Pan
Yangyang Pan
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan China
Pre-MBA Job: Engineering and consulting
Email Yangyang
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
Email Nimit
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.

Keqin Zhou
Keqin Zhou
Hometown: Changzhou, Jiangsu China
Pre-MBA Job: Engineering
Email Keqin
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.