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Applied Strategy Projects

Applied Strategy projects provide first-year MBAs the opportunity to gain real, hands-on experience by connecting with companies to deliver creative solutions to critical business challenges.

Foster partners with a range of organizations — from iconic businesses like Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, and Google, to smaller start-ups and nonprofits — allowing students to work on meaningful projects in teams of 5-6 focused growing knowledge, skills, and experience.

During winter quarter of their first year, students bridge theory and practice through active problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. Students draw from their prior work experience and new MBA skillsets, bringing an outside perspective and immediate value to the sponsoring organizations.

The experience proved to be a tremendous learning opportunity and I learned to prioritize and execute on the fly, a skill that I have used both at school and in my summer internship at Amazon.
Mukund RajasekjarMBA 2019
My Applied Strategy project was the most valuable experience I’ve had at Foster thus far. As someone trying to transition into the tech industry with no prior tech experience, it was a great way to gain relevant experience. My team hit the ground running and was able to impress our sponsor with the depth of our recommendations.
Tim LukMBA 2019
The entire project was a great experience. We learned how to create structure to solve an ambiguous problem and gained experience on a real business problem. These experiences were an invaluable asset when it came time to begin interviewing for internships.
Jeff OldenMBA 2017
See a select list of past client companies below.

Adobe
Alaska Airlines
Alliance of Angels
Apptio
Avvo
Amazon
Boeing
Boys & Girls Club
CDK Digital Marketing
Code Fellows
Concur
Costco
Dell EMC
Disney
Dolby
Dry Soda Co.
Eddie Bauer
Egencia, an Expedia Company
Evolent Health
Expeditors International
F5 Networks
Foss Maritime
Getty Images
GM Nameplate
Google
Groundspeak
Group Health Cooperative
Holland America Line
Intel
Isernio’s Sausage
K2 Corporation
Landesa
La Panzanella
Marchex
Medamonitor/LEVL
Microsoft
National Park Service
Nike
Outdoor Research
PACCAR
Philips
Planetary Power
Providence Health & Services
Puget Sound Energy
REI
Saltchuk
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Seattle Opera
SightLife
Skanska
Starbucks
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Talking Rain
T-Mobile
Vulcan
Volt Athletics
Wells Fargo Bank
West Monroe Partners
Weyerhaeuser
Wunderman
Xbox
YMCA
The project descriptions are organized by functional area.

Strategy

  • Strategic business development
  • New business and product assessment, including design, packaging, and distribution channels
  • Customer/user experience journey mapping
  • Identifying socially responsible and sustainable business solutions
  • Cost benefit analysis of strategic initiatives

Finance/Business Planning

  • Pricing optimization
  • Industry payment terms benchmarking for policy and practice optimization
  • Asset lifetime value optimization
  • Landscape assessment and recommendations for increased profitability
  • Strategic growth plan for international expansion
  • Cash flow management optimization
  • Carbon offset program identification and emissions stabilization strategy with carbon-neutral growth

Market Research / Marketing Strategy

  • Customer lifetime value (CLV) analysis and recommendations for growth
  • Communications and marketing plans for strategic initiatives
  • Optimized target customer segmentation and market-sizing
  • New Product or service channel optimization
  • Competitor marketing analysis and messaging recommendations
  • Strategic launch and store openings
  • Market research and new product positioning

Operations & Supply Chain

  • Cost optimization for supply chain delivery services
  • Production efficiency and efficacy assessment with recommendations for improvement
  • Assess outsourcing opportunities and third-party risk management

Organization Governance/HR

  • Employee satisfaction and long-term part-time employee retention optimizations
  • Succession planning guide and employee training plan
  • Performance metrics scorecard/dashboard toolkit
  • Organization structure assessment

Read about previous Applied Strategy projects