Skip to main content


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.
  • Internships abroad (Certificate of International Studies in Business) allow students to gain valuable skills while spending a summer working abroad.
  • 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. Foster School students can also participate in programs offered by the UW Study Abroad Office.

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:

  • 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.
  • Business Plan 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:

  • 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.
  • Global Business Case Competition (Global Business Center) is an annual event which builds on the traditional business school case competition model by bringing together students from multiple disciplines including business, engineering, and health sciences in a competitive environment. Instead of addressing a typical management or supply chain issue, students will instead tackle a critical global health challenge.
  • Global Health Business Case Competition (GHBCC) (Global Business Center) is an annual event which builds on the traditional business school case competition model by bringing together students from multiple disciplines including business, engineering, and health sciences in a competitive environment. Instead of addressing a typical management or supply chain issue, students will instead tackle a critical global health challenge.
  • Russell Investments International Case Competition (Global Business Center) is an annual event in which teams of students apply their knowledge and skills to a real-life international business problem.
  • Strategy Development Case Competition (Undergraduate Programs Office) is a required capstone course. Students work on forward-looking, customized cases centered on a current strategic issue a Seattle-area company is trying to solve.