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Applied Strategy Projects

Applied Strategy projects provide first year MBAs the opportunity to gain real, hands-on experience by connecting student teams 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 non-profits—to ensure that students work on projects that are meaningful to them, and to help further each student’s individual career journey.

The teams of 5-6 MBA students work on the project one quarter while learning how strategies are created and executed. Through these projects, students put into practice their classroom learning and develop the soft skills that employers value most in MBA hires: 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

Read about previous Applied Strategy projects

See a select list of past client companies below.

Alaska Airlines
Alliance of Angels
Boys & Girls Club
CDK Digital Marketing
Code Fellows
Dell EMC
Dry Soda Co.
Eddie Bauer
Egencia, an Expedia Company
Evolent Health
Expeditors International
F5 Networks
Foss Maritime
Getty Images
GM Nameplate
Group Health Cooperative
Holland America Line
Isernio’s Sausage
K2 Corporation
La Panzanella
National Park Service
Outdoor Research
Planetary Power
Providence Health & Services
Puget Sound Energy
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Seattle Opera
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Talking Rain
Volt Athletics
Wells Fargo Bank
West Monroe Partners
The project descriptions are organized by functional area.


  • Customer lifetime value (CLV) analysis and recommendations to increase CLV.
  • Develop market strategy including design, packaging, and distribution channels for new product.
  • Communications and marketing plan for software training and referral program.
  • Customer journey-mapping and recommendations for improving customer experience.
  • Define target customer segments and determine market size for a new product or service offering.
  • Analyze potential channel conflicts for new product or service.
  • Competitor marketing analysis and messaging recommendations.
  • Develop a strategy to launch and open a national franchise store in the Seattle area.
  • Market research and positioning for a product or service.

Finance/Business Planning

  • Benchmarking of industry payment terms and recommendations for optimal policy and practice.
  • Develop a financial model for optimization of asset lifetime value.
  • Conduct a landscape assessment and provide recommendations for how to increase profitability.
  • Develop a strategic growth plan for an organization to expand presence internationally.
  • Design a financial model to optimize cash flow management.
  • Identify carbon offset programs and develop a strategy to stabilize emissions with carbon-neutral growth.

Operations & Supply Chain

  • Develop ways to reduce expenses and improve accountability when using express delivery services.
  • Assess production processes and develop operations improvement plan.
  • Create a strategy to increase vendor options for the company.
  • Conduct an in-depth operations process analysis.


  • Develop recommendations for improving employee satisfaction and long-term retention of part-time employees.
  • Analyze current state and best practices to provide recommendations on improvements in service delivery.
  • Create a career progression guide and training plan for employees.
  • Develop metrics for a team performance dashboard and a toolkit for improving team performance.