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Undergraduate Student Experience

What you learn outside the classroom is just as important as what you learn in class. Academics at Foster are the foundation on which you can build a portfolio of experiences to complement and enhance your degree. Students are encouraged to learn and build skills in the classroom, engage with a variety of businesses through structured experiences (internships, case competitions, consulting projects and student organizations), reflect on what they have achieved and apply their new knowledge to future experiences and their careers.

Seize as many opportunities to grow personally and professionally while at the Foster School of Business to create a stellar experience!

There are many ways to meet and network with Foster School students.

Internships give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve learned in the classroom. Learn more about the internship resources Foster has to offer below.

  • The EY Center for  Career Advancement helps students learn the skills needed to select and pursue the right career—from job-search coaching and resume building to talent development and interview techniques.
  • Global business internships abroad or in Seattle (Global Business Center & Certificate of International Studies in Business) allow students to gain valuable skills while spending a summer working abroad or by interning alongside your coursework in Seattle.
  • Summer Internship Program (Consulting & Business Development Center) has interns work with three companies and provide, on average, 130 hours of consulting services over a ten-week period to each firm.

Classes and programs with consulting components pair students with actual businesses to solve real-world issues. Students gain experience in working with time constraints on deliverables, industry research analysis, and business communications—including delivering formal presentations. All skills are immediately transferable to the working world.

Students can get involved with consulting through a number of channels:

  • Academic courses:
    • MGMT 430, a required capstone course challenges teams of student to develop and present a viable solution to a Seattle-based business on a current strategy issue through the Strategy Development Case Competition.
    • Business Consulting Courses (Undergraduate Program Office) teach students the skills needed to become consultants and partner student teams with domestic and international clients to work on real-world business projects.
    • Strategic Consulting & Multicultural Marketing MKTG/MGMT 445 (Consulting & Business Development Center) gives teams of students the opportunity to work with businesses from under-served communities as part of a marketing/management class offered winter quarter.

The Consulting and Business Development Center is a learning laboratory that gives students real-world consulting experience they can use to jumpstart their careers and grow businesses in under-served communities.

The Global Business Center offers you a wide range of opportunities to acquire the global perspective and cross-cultural knowledge and skills valued by today’s employers. You can earn business credit or experience how business is done in another country by studying abroad, or tackle real world global business challenges by participating in a global case competition on- or off-campus, or enhance your global leadership skills through on-campus leadership programs or volunteer positions.

  • The Foster Undergrad Study Abroad Offerings give students the ability to participate in everything from a 3-week Early Fall Start Program, to a Summer Program with Foster Faculty where you earn upper division business credit, to the chance to earn UW credit at one of Foster’s 23 university partners abroad, and more!
  • Foster students have many chances to participate in global case competitions on- and off-campus. See the ‘Competitions’ section below for information about the Global Business Case Competition and Russell Investments International Case Competition.
  • There are also a number of student leadership opportunities in the area of global business:
    • Hovind Global Leaders (HGL) Program which is a year-long cohort-based experience to advance the next generation of inclusive, global leaders.
    • Foster Global Ambassadors (FGA) Program pairs Foster Undergrads with the Foster Inbound Exchange students to build connections and participate in fun events that showcase UW and Seattle.
    • RIICC and UW GBCC volunteer opportunities allow students to help run these large scale case competitions with commitments that range from the whole academic year to just one day.
  • For the most globally-minded students, Foster’s international business major equivalent is called the Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB). This program encompasses global business, language and area studies coursework at UW; global business work experience; a study abroad experience in your second language; and career and networking opportunities through the weekly seminar and tightknit CISB Alumni network. If you want to work abroad after graduation or work in a dynamic global role, check out CISB!
  • Sign up for the Global Business Center Undergraduate Newsletter to stay in the know about all these programs and many more.

The Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship promotes entrepreneurship to students across the University of Washington campus and beyond. Our students become leaders who challenge the status quo and change the way business is done.

Gain hands-on leadership experience through competitions which allow you to solve real-world problems, network with business leaders, and collaborate with peers in an intense team environment.

How do I get involved in competitions?

  • Visit the links below to learn more about the competitions.
  • Talk to faculty about your interest in upcoming competitions.
  • Graduating seniors: Sign up for MGMT 430 and you will do a case competition as part of your final grade.
  • Keep an eye out for postings around PACCAR and Dempsey Halls.
  • Participate in student organizations; many of the clubs sponsor case competitions.
  • Form a team.

Entrepreneurship Competitions

Entrepreneurship competitions offer student teams a chance to tackle a new venture or prepare for starting a new business. Entrepreneurship competitions organized by the Foster School of Business:

  • Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge builds on the strengths of the University of Washington to provide a platform for interdisciplinary student teams to work on new solutions to existing health/healthcare problems, new approaches to helping people live healthier lives, new opportunities for care and treatment, and new product or services to bring to market.
  • Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship) invites interdisciplinary student teams to define an environmental problem, design a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity and the potential for impact.
  • Dempsey Startup Competition (Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship) promotes student start-up ideas and venture creation by bringing together students with judges from the entrepreneurial community in a multi-stage, real-world challenge.

Case Competitions

A case competition is an event in which teams of students have the opportunity to analyze real-life business problems and make recommendations to a panel of corporate executives and business leaders. Analyzing the same case, each team competes against the others to present the most feasible, comprehensive, and creative solutions.

By participating in a case competition you will:

  • Become a better future business professionals through the direct experience of analyzing and making recommendations on real-life strategic issues.
  • Obtain the experience of formally presenting to business managers, answering questions under pressure and receiving feedback about your team’s ideas in relationship with real world expectations.
  • Develop practical analytical skills by performing outside research on the case or business idea.
  • Build your resume with applicable business skills.
  • Practice leadership skills in a team environment.
  • Network with company representatives who may be impressed with you and request your resume.

Case competitions organized by the Foster School of Business:

  • Strategy Development Case Competition (Undergraduate Programs Office) is a required Foster capstone course that is part of Management (MGMT) 430. Students work on forward-looking, customized cases centered on a current strategic issue a Seattle-area company is trying to solve.
  • Consulting Challenge (Consulting & Business Development Center) matches teams of students with businesses from a local underserved community in the Seattle area. The student teams are given a week to analyze the companies’ financial and operating performance and develop a one-year growth plan that includes steps to improve the viability of the business.
  • Russell Investments International Case Competition – RIICC (Global Business Center) is an annual extracurricular case competition in which teams of UW Undergraduate and Masters students apply their knowledge and skills to a real-life international business problem. This competition is open to all UW students and takes place in Fall Quarter. There is even a special track just for freshmen.
  • UW Global Business Case Competition – UW GBCC (Global Business Center) is an annual case competition where the Foster School hosts undergraduate student teams from around the world for one week in Spring Quarter. UW GBCC is a student leadership opportunity with a team of over 30 Foster undergraduates working with the Global Business Center to organize both cultural events to build connections between Foster students and visiting students, and case competition events to tackle global business challenges. Each year there are 10-16 university teams that travel to the UW campus to compete.
  • BCMU 490: Case Competition Course (Global Business Center) – This is a Fall Quarter course focused on learning about how to work with teammates on global business-related challenges. This 2-credit course is great for students who want to compete in case competitions or who want to pursue a career in consulting.
  • Off-Campus Global Case Competition Opportunities (Global Business Center) – The Global Business Center sends teams of undergraduate business students to represent UW Foster at global business case competitions both nationally and internationally. These are fully funded extracurricular experiences where students take a few days away from their regular coursework to meet and compete with business students from around the world. Sign up for the GBC Undergraduate Newsletter to stay in the loop about upcoming opportunities on- and off-campus.