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Careers by Option

Click on the options below to read perspectives from alumni, professors and current students on why they like their option and what types of careers Foster students can have when they graduate. Also, get insight on what companies hire particular options! A list of jobs and internships can be found on Handshake.

Accounting

What is Accounting?

Often referred to as the language of business, accounting is the development of the financial information necessary for management decisions in both the private and public sectors. Accounting communicates this information to management, investors, creditors, financial intermediaries, consumers, and employees. In addition to preparing financial statements and recording business transactions, accounting also includes computing costs and efficiency, participating in mergers and acquisitions, overseeing quality management, and more. Apart from more technical aspects, accounting helps develop skills applicable to any line of business, such as critical and strategic thinking, problem solving, and decision-making abilities.

Audit

Auditors evaluate the validity of companies’ financial statements, and ensure these statements have been prepared and reported accurately. Internal auditors provide the board, audit committee, and executive management with an analysis of the corporation’s risk management, control, and governance processes. External auditors assure investors and creditors that audited corporations’ financial statements are accurate and in accordance with accounting laws.

Tax Accounting

Tax accountants prepare tax returns and create tax strategies for both individuals and corporations. When working with corporate clients, tax accountants focus on the U.S. corporate income tax return, form 1120; when working with individual clients, they focus on form 1040. Other issues that tax accountants help clients with include determination of taxable income, determining the applicable tax rate, recording appropriate deductions, and computing deferred tax credits and liabilities.

Managerial Accounting

Managerial accountants use accounting information to help managers make day-to-day and short-term decisions. The practice extends to three areas: strategic management (advancing the role of the managerial accountant as a strategic partner), performance management (developing the practice of business decision-making and managing the performance of the organization), and risk management (identifying, measuring, managing, and reporting risks to the achievement of the organization).

International Accounting

International accountants are concerned with applying accounting principle practices in different countries. This encompasses patterns of accounting development overseas, international and regional harmonization, foreign currency translation, foreign exchange risk, international comparisons of consolidation accounting and inflation accounting, and evaluation of foreign subsidiaries.

Public-Sector Accounting

Public-sector accountants help government agencies and municipalities record financial transactions on a local, state, or federal basis. In particular, public-sector accountants help track funds generated from tax revenues and expenditures related to projects. They make sure that revenues are received and spent in accordance with laws and regulations, as well as examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation.

Financial Accounting

Financial accountants prepare financial statements and other financial disclosures for the companies they work for, as well as analyze the financial information of outside companies for strategic purposes; for example, to consider investing in a firm, entering a joint venture, or pursuing an acquisition. A financial accountant must be aware of current developments in accounting as well as stay abreast of changing regulatory requirements and general economic conditions. The financial information and analytical expertise of financial accountants are used by many parties to make informed decisions, such as managers and executives within firms and any outside party who desires to better understand a company’s financial condition and performance.

Clubs/Organizations

  • Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) Email: bapuw@u.washington.edu BAP is an honorary organization that promotes the study and practice of accounting, finance, and information systems. The UW Delta Chapter members have the opportunity to learn about careers within accounting, finance, and information systems; interact with national and regional firms; network with fellow classmates and professors; and participate in community service events.
  • National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Email: naba@uw.edu NABA is a national organization that addresses the professional needs of its members and builds leaders that shape the future of the accounting and finance profession with an unfaltering commitment to inspire the same in their successors. NABA focuses specifically on enhancing the opportunities for African American students in the accounting, finance, and business related professions.

Events/Activities

  • Case competitions
    Participating in case competitions on campus are a great way to apply the knowledge learned in class to a real-world situation. Foster hosts six different business competitions every year for undergraduates—topics range from creating actual business plans to solving current business problems. Additionally, individual firms such as the Big 4 host more specialized case competitions that allow students to apply skills and theories learned from accounting courses.

Public Accounting Recruitment Timeline

Certifications

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) CPAs have the authority to audit the work of other financial professionals—in the public accounting firms, the high ranking titles and levels require a CPA license. The CPA exam consists of four sections: auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, one must have completed at least 225-quarter hours of college education and have a baccalaureate degree with a concentration in accounting from an accredited university. The 225-credits requirement can be achieved either through a fifth year of undergraduate education, or a Masters in Public Accounting program.
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) The CIA designation is the only globally accepted certification for internal auditors. The CIA exam is offered in four parts: the internal audit activity’s role in governance, risk, and control; conducting the internal audit engagement; business analysis and information technology; and business management skills. All CIA candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university, as well as complete a minimum of two years of internal auditor or related work experience.
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA) The CMA credential speaks to one’s mastery of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. In order to earn a CMA certification, all candidates must be a member in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university, and two years of work experience in management accounting or financial management. The CMA exam consists of two parts: financial planning, performance and control, and financial decision making. Candidates can complete the CMA program in either six months or over three years to gain certification.

Links to Vault Guide

Links to Information about Accounting

Students, alumni and a professor share their perspectives on the Accounting option here at Foster.

Lucy Tuohy
Lucy Tuohy
Major: Accounting
Class: Senior, intending to continue to MPAcc Tax
1. What made you decide to pursue the accounting option at Foster?
I knew I always wanted to be a business student and I always thought Accounting would be something I was drawn to. After taking my first Accounting class (Accounting 215), I just really enjoyed it. It clicked with me. As for choosing to pursue Tax, I didn’t know much about either option. I just knew the basic idea of what each one entailed. I am more of a numbers person, and Tax is definitely heavily numbers based. I also enjoy the analytical aspect of it, and not just checking to see if something was right [as opposed to Audit]. After taking Tax (Accounting 321), I liked the class and thought [tax] was the way to go.
2. How have your accounting classes benefited you?
They have helped my time management skills and overall study habits. With Accounting, you can’t really fake your way through a test. You have to know the material in and out. So, it has just taught me how to study the right way, and how to balance that with all my other activities. The business school classes as a whole prepare you to be more collaborative, which you need in Accounting, while the Accounting classes mainly prepare you for the technical side and testing if you really like it or not. [In terms of applying classwork to internships] my Starbucks tax internship was a good business internship, and I’m excited to start my tax internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers this quarter.
3. What do you enjoy most about the accounting program?
I’m kind of a nerd. I like the classes – they’re my favorite classes to study for, especially when you have a really good teacher. [They] make it worthwhile, and I have definitely had a lot of good teachers in the Accounting program. What’s so great about our Accounting program is that there is such a set path for you, and you have so many different resources to help you along the way, like Beta Alpha Psi and how streamlined the whole recruiting process is in general. Everyone knows when you have to apply, and when you have to get your internship.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
Definitely Tax (Accounting 321), partly because I really like the subject, but also because it was taught by my favorite teacher throughout my time here at UW, Bill Resler. He is really engaging, and made the material so fun to learn.
Louie Tran
Louie Tran
Major: Accounting and Information Systems
Class: Senior, pursuing 5th year of undergrad
1. What made you decide to pursue the accounting option at Foster?
I actually wanted to pursue the medical field coming into college. I switched to business because of some of my mentors’ influences. So coming into business, I did not really have an idea of what I wanted to do. I was really open-minded to everything because I did not exactly know what each concentration focused on. One of my mentors pursued Accounting, and exposed me to the idea that Accounting is the language of business. It would allow me to basically pursue the dreams I would like to achieve in the business world. I felt that business and Accounting were basically liaisons for me to pursue what I wanted to do in life in regards to my own personal endeavors.
2. How have your accounting classes benefited you?
Throughout my whole college career, my accounting classes have helped me get a bigger perspective. I do believe that it is one of the most challenging courses that Foster has to offer; however, my network actually expanded much more just from taking Accounting classes. It’s also been more of a learning experience for me. You don’t necessarily get to understand what Accounting is on the basic intro level, but as you go on, you get to understand more in depth how Accounting affects business. I’ve interned at Boeing, and last summer I was at EY. I was able to see the difference between private industry and the public accounting firms.
3. What do you enjoy most about the accounting program?
The challenge. I am the type of person that doesn’t like to be complacent. I do not want to stop learning—there is so much to learn about life. Learning gives you more knowledge, and knowledge is power. I think accounting gives me the opportunity to see how far I can challenge myself. I get to see the type of person I am, and I feel like as a person, you should understand how far you can go, as well as your limitations. It’s that concept that I enjoy about Accounting.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
I have to say Accounting 215 (Introduction to Financial Accounting). My professor was Frank Hodge – he’s a great professor, very thorough. I have never had a professor like him. He adapted his teaching styles to his class, and he truly wanted his students to learn. Just seeing a professor show passion in what he’s trying to do—his passion to teach—it motivates me all that much more. Without taking that class, or taking another professor at another time, I’m not sure if I would have even stuck with Accounting. He basically set the tone for Accounting, and had a more personal impact on me.
Josh Mock
Josh Mock
Occupation: Assurance Services Senior Manager
Organization: EY
1. What do you like most about accounting?
It’s a unique discipline. I like the concept of having a complex business transaction. On the intellectual side, you talk about things that 90% of the population would not understand – it gives [accountants] a sense of worth. I enjoy listening to the business purposes of a transaction and the challenges of how to fit it into the accounting guidance. I like going off and doing my own research. There is a lot of accounting guidance out there and it is interesting learning how to use that information to decide how transactions fit into the company. The thing that drives my passion for accounting is the people aspect. I really enjoy all of my clients – helping them from a technical accounting perspective and also getting to know them. I enjoy listening to their story and their business, and hopefully imparting some accounting knowledge onto them. If you’re in public, there’s no shortage of both the technical and the people aspect of accounting. Accounting is also a really good platform for people either to jump vertically up the firm or jump off into a good spot because there will never be a time in public accounting when your resume takes a step back. You are always learning – it is a gateway into many different opportunities.
2. Why is accounting important to the business field?
I feel like you have to understand the numbers. I don’t want to discredit the other disciplines that come out of this school, but I just think being able to understand the operations of a business, you have to understand the numbers and how financial statements work because that is what is driving results. I do believe that accounting is the language of business and I think that if you want to be at the C-suite level (CEO, CFO, etc.), you have to understand the numbers. You have to have some sort of accounting knowledge. I just think that it is an amazing discipline.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of accounting?
It was not the nuts and bolts curriculum that helped me; it was more the interaction with people. I met a lot of good friends here. I was able to network with those people, and a lot of them that I was here with at Foster on ground zero are now my clients or my potential clients. The networking aspect of a university like this is the most important thing you can get out of Foster. Presenting is another thing. Public speaking is everyone’s biggest fear. You have to understand that every single time you get up in front of a group—no matter how long you have done it—you are going to be nervous. And that is okay. In public accounting, you present all the time. The more you can practice it, the better off you will be. What I think the business school does a really good job of is forcing us to be uncomfortable and presenting in front of a group of people.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in accounting?
I would say it changes depending on what year you are in the firm. When you first come out of college, you are given a lot of responsibility in terms of the types of people you interact with right off the bat. The biggest thing you need to possess is being able to talk to people. You have to be able to build rapport and you have to be able to be liked. It seems weird to say you have to be able to be liked, but people will tell you more things and provide you more information if they enjoy working with you. The other thing [you need to possess] is the ability and curiosity to learn because the learning curve in accounting is a complete upward arrow. You need to understand the people aspect of accounting, and then really focus on the audit methodology of the firm you are with. For me, I wanted to make sure I could connect with people and understand the audit methodology of the firm before focusing on the accounting. Because we are a service business, you have to be able to connect with people and then build on your intellectual skill sets.
Frank Hodge
Frank Hodge
Associate Professor of Accounting
At UW since 2000
1. What interests are important to excel in the accounting field?
One of the keys is being able to manage your time reasonably and efficiently. Accounting is a major that requires a lot of required courses—and they’re not easy. It is really important that you manage your time because in any one course, if you get behind, it’s really hard to catch up. You have other hard courses going on at the same time. Managing your time is critical.Time management still matters [in the workplace], but I also think that your ability to get along with others matters too. A lot of people don’t realize how much you will be working with other people. It’s really important that you’re a part of the team and valued as a member of the team. The other piece is persistence. I think with the accounting system, you just have to stick with it, and it becomes a little easier.
2. What kind of skills will a student gain going through the accounting program?
Just like the business school as a whole, we focus on strategic thinking and leadership. We are trying to get our students to think strategically, which means, “Hey, there’s not just one right answer here. We know there’s a problem, but there might be multiple solutions.” The answer might switch between contexts… So we want [students] to know the fundamentals so that they can apply them to any context as opposed to just memorizing certain facts. With the leadership piece, that comes from working in teams and case competitions, and being a part of the business school through activities that are not in the classroom, but in the field. Case competitions mold both of these. You have to think strategically because they give you a case where there isn’t just one right answer, and you’re going to be working in a team. Accounting is very team-oriented, and you have to think hard about problems that don’t necessarily have one right answer.
3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
Keep an open mind. A lot of students don’t know what accounting is, and the opportunities that are available. I think [students that are interested, but intimidated] are scared because they don’t know. They should gather information because the more you know about accounting, what it involves, and the opportunities available, the more excited you will become about the topic and the field. Literally any profession you choose anywhere in the world has accountants involved with it. It’s a really neat tool chest you can take to any place that you have a really strong passion or interest. [Accounting] is hard work, but it’s not unreasonable hard work.
4. What careers do you see accounting students entering when they graduate?
A lot of them go into the Big 4 Audit firms, but there are also private practices. You can be accountants for Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Apple… If you want to go into state or federal government, the FBI and CIA hire a lot of accountants.(Some are also) entrepreneurs. Fran from Fran’s Chocolates, Kenny G the musician… they’re accounting majors. A lot of people have accounting skills, but don’t use them in the traditional way. The use it to run their own business, and I think [accounting] is really valuable for that too.

Entrepreneurship

What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship can be defined and examined in several different ways. Formally, it can be defined as the capacity and willingness to undertake conception, organization, and management of a productive venture with all attendant risks, while seeking profit as a reward . The entrepreneur is then a person who sees an opportunity and acts upon it. Entrepreneurs are leaders who are creative and innovative, ambitious and driven, but at the same time are dynamic and energetic.

The entrepreneurship option prepares students for an entrepreneurial career by offering a combination of coursework and practical experience. The required coursework lays out the fundamentals of entrepreneurship including the necessary tools and perspectives in strategy, marketing, and finance.

Entrepreneurship in New Ventures

New Ventures (more commonly referred to as start-ups) involve having a strong foundation in key functional business areas, such as financial organization, negotiation, management, and product development. It is also important to be knowledgeable with finance, accounting, marketing, and management. These skills are essential because while having a great idea is part of entrepreneurship, your idea will not equate to success without a well-developed business model.

Entrepreneurship in Large Organizations

Another pathway to becoming an entrepreneur is to spend time working for a larger or more established firm. These firms also have opportunities for you to exercise your creativity by finding new ways to innovate products or services. Entrepreneurial activity in this environment centers on managing innovation and product development, as well as turnarounds (the process of reorganizing and managing change within a company or unit).

Private Equity Financing: Venture Capital and Leverage Buyouts

Venture capital firms continuously seek innovation and new opportunities by investing in other individual’s ideas. Private equity financing provides financial and advising support to many start-up companies whom need the support to operate. Many investors are forward thinkers and are constantly looking for the “new thing” to contribute funds to.

Social Entrepreneurship

The goal of social entrepreneurship is to apply entrepreneurial business principals to provide social benefits in areas such as the environment, workforce development, education, and health. Implementing social entrepreneurial ideas enables sustainability and growth. While some will start or work for social ventures, others will participate in social entrepreneurship as business or financial consultants, social venture capital investors, mentoring entrepreneurs, or as board members for these organizations.

Clubs/Organizations/Programs

  • Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship
    Email: uwbuerk@uw.edu
    One of the top entrepreneurship programs in the country, the UW’s Buerk Center integrates entrepreneurship into the fabric of the University of Washington. The Buerk Center is focused on creating the next generation of entrepreneurial talent, as well as producing an exciting collection of student-led startups. It is best known for its annual Business Plan Competition (since 1998), the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (2009), the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program (2006) for high-potential undergraduates, and the Jones + Foster Accelerator, which “graduates” up to 10 new companies each year. Ready to pursue your entrepreneurial goals? Check out what the Buerk Center has to offer.
  • Startup UW
    The mission of Startup UW is to connect students with the opportunities, resources, and most importantly the people they need to fully pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Events/Activities

  • Entrepreneur Week – Fall Quarter
    Entrepreneur Week is a special series of workshops, speaking engagements and networking opportunities to help engage and excite students about starting new companies. This fun, annual event uses the region’s resources, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, work spaces, big thinkers-–and some special guests–-to familiarize students with the concepts of venture capital, technology commercialization, green ventures, and social media—and so much more.
  • Business Plan Competition – Winter Quarter
    The UW Business Plan Competition is the marquee event for the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. This competition allows students to promote their ideas and explore new venture creation. It also provides an opportunity for business and science students to present new business plans to Seattle area venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and investors. Over the last fifteen years, over $1 million in prize money has been awarded to 105 student companies.
  • Network and Resource Nights – Winter Quarter
    This is a great way to prepare for the Business Plan Competition, the Environmental Innovation Challenge, and beyond. Topics discussed include marketing in a competitive environment, business models and financials, and legal issues for start-ups.
  • UW Environmental Innovation Challenge – Spring Quarter
    If you’ve got a passion for cleantech and the desire to make an impact, the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge is for you. In the EIC, interdisciplinary student teams define an environmental problem, design a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity and the potential for impact.
  • The Foster blog
    A blog filled with faculty perspectives, alumni happenings, student experiences, Seattle and Pacific Northwest community connections, and a taste of life around the Foster School. This blog focuses on Foster School activities and options, such as entrepreneurship and global social entrepreneurship.
  • Seattle Networking Guide for Entrepreneurs
    This resource contains a list of entrepreneurial organizations in the Seattle area. The guide serves to connect people and companies to Seattle’s most vibrant organizations for professional and social networking, civic engagement, volunteering, strategic community relations and business development.
Students, alumni and a lecturer share their perspectives on the Entrepreneurship option here at Foster.

Kayla Krauthamer
Kayla Krauthamer
Major:
Entrepreneurship
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the entrepreneurship option at Foster?
I really wanted an option that would allow me to think creatively and where the professors would encourage me to take risks. In addition, being in the ENTRE major you surround yourself with like-minded students who are also creative and constantly thinking of new ideas. If you don’t have a business or product in mind, somebody else will and you can build on that.
2. How have your entrepreneurship classes benefited you?
I’ve started to think about everything as a business opportunity and understand companies from the ground up. The Entrepreneurship program also allowed me to land an internship with the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce. Over the past summer as well as part time this year, I have been interning there. Being in South Lake Union is an exciting place as new innovative firms move to the area every year. As the intern of the Chamber I was constantly introduced to local companies, many of which were start-ups. It was great networking and meeting these business owners to better understand how they got to where they are today.
3. What do you enjoy most about the entrepreneurship program?
I like how the ENTRE major provides insight into every aspect of a business, including accounting, finance, marketing, etc. but brings it down to a scalable level for a start-up business. In the ENTRE option we learn how to solve problems under the conditions a start-up faces including limited finances, people and time.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
Entre 370, it’s the introductory class to entrepreneurship, and goes through the ins and outs of forming a company including how the Venture Capitalist sector works, how to value a firm when looking for funding and what character traits a successful entrepreneur might have. The class also provides each team with a mentor currently working in the business world who has had (or currently has) entrepreneurial experience. Meeting with our mentor over the course of the quarter helped me better understand the entrepreneurial world outside the classroom. Next quarter I am looking forward to the “create a company” class which is a two quarter long course that allows you to think of a new and innovative product and then actually manufacture and sell it with the financial backing from the Foster School.
Stephanie Halamek
Stephanie HalamekMajor:Entrepreneurship
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the entrepreneurship option at Foster?
I have always been passionate about food, and I’ve dreamed of opening a restaurant since I was young. The Business Major and Entre option seemed like the most practical way to prepare myself for that path. There are a lot of best practices, industry wisdom and pitfalls to avoid when starting a company. It makes sense to learn them in college, with a bounty of resources around me, rather than struggling out in the world on my own.
2. How have your entrepreneurship classes benefited you?
The most beneficial part of class is not necessarily the material, but meeting other entrepreneurial students with different skill sets than your own. The strongest teams have members with a variety of backgrounds and experience. With so much hype right now surrounding the tech startup scene, many people think that all that’s needed is a developer and a business head. However, a large number of startups are founded by people with deep industry experience. They are environmental scientists, auto mechanics, designers or accountants, who found a pain point and thought of a better way to do things. That is why meeting other entrepreneurs is so important- you never know what skills you could lend or what you might need. In addition, meeting mentors and getting connected in the startup community is also extremely helpful. Successful (and unsuccessful) entrepreneurs are the ones you want to ask for advice when starting your own venture.
3. What do you enjoy most about the entrepreneurship program?
I enjoy being paired with a mentor from the community. Validating your idea is a very important part of building a venture, and your mentor is a good resource for that. I also enjoy the number of different activities the option has available. These activities allow students to again, meet more people and develop connections in a variety of ways. For example, students can join the Entrepreneurship Club, enter the Business Plan competition, and participate in Entrepreneurship Week. There are so many resources that a lot of students don’t know about, just waiting to be utilized.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
Entre 490- Venture Investing
The course really forces students to dive deep into a few local startups, doing rigorous due diligence from the perspective of a Venture Capitalist (VC). You start to see and understand the science and art behind VC investing.
Justin Lee
Justin Lee
Occupation:
Marketing Manager
Organization: Firstech, LLC.
1. What do you like most about entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship allowed me to express myself and explore my creative side. It also provided me with the valuable experience of creating my own company without worrying about the risk of failure and losing my own money. I had the opportunity to create “Seattle Superstar Search” and interact with local media, students, and professionals in arts and entertainment industry. I also worked with awesome people who I still keep in touch with today.
2. Why is entrepreneurship important to the business field?
Entrepreneurship is important to the business field because the skills you learn from it are applicable in any industry. You can use entrepreneurial skills with marketing, with accounting, with technology, anything. Entrepreneurial thinking also makes you open to new ideas, allowing you to be innovative.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of entrepreneurship?
The best preparation my Foster degree gave me was in business etiquette. Entrepreneurship involves working with people all the time and it is important to know how to correctly speak, address, interact, and remember individuals. The business school taught me how to make a good and lasting impression, as well as provided helpful information about creating and maintaining business relationships.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in entrepreneurship?
Patience and passion are critical to exceeding in the entrepreneurship field, especially if you are working for a start-up or beginning your own company. Everything you do for your company or for a start-up becomes part of your identity. You will have to make some sacrifices and remember that the entrepreneurship field can involve a huge time investment. It is also important to always think about the next step. Another skill I would recommend having is in media. Take a media class or learn as much as you can about different types of media, such as film editing.
Emer Dooley
Emer Dooley
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
At UW since 1995
1. What interests are important to excel in the entrepreneurship field?
The things that make really great entrepreneurs are people that want to do things and try them out for themselves. Not necessarily because you’ve got a great business mind. It’s what makes you great in any other area; do you have a passion for something? Is there something you’re really passionate about that you want to see happen? Lots of students feel that if they don’t have an idea then they have no hope. But the reality of it is that ideas are a dime a dozen. There are so many ideas out there and that’s not what it’s about. It’s about execution; it’s about learning, what it is to make something like that. A lot of it is just plain hard work. Most important thing is that it’s not just people who wanted to do this when they were three. The Lavin Program is a great way to see what entrepreneurship is about in different settings.
2. What kind of skills will a student gain through the entrepreneurship program?
The biggest things you can teach them are:

  • What are the steps to actually launch a company
  • How to talk to other people.

One of my mantras for students is every time you talk to someone don’t leave until you get the names of two other people. That’s the way you build your network. To be an entrepreneur you need a network of other people. Especially while you are at the university that UW ID card is your passport to everything. Everybody will talk to you, everyone will help you. We have some of the top lawyers on our advisory board and all it takes is one email from a student and they will give you an hour of their time. That’s what really beneficial about the program, we put you in touch with people that have been there before and help you succeed. It’s not any specific skills; big skill is learning how to use all resources available to you.
3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
Come talk to us! There are so many opportunities in the program to sample entrepreneurship without actually signing up for a class. In the Business Plan Competition for example, right now starting in January every single Thursday night there are free classes on writing a business. We have the top lawyers in town, the top entrepreneurs in town, and the top finance people in town. It’s all free. On Wednesday nights we have a thing called BYOB (Build Your Own Business) for anybody who’s interested in starting a company. It’s just students themselves coming to talk about their companies. Most of the classes if you really want to get in, talk to the professor.
4. What careers do you see entrepreneurship students entering when they graduate?
People end up doing all sorts of different things. Students in our program may realize that want they want to do is work for a start-up or be entrepreneurial in a big company.

 

Finance

What is Finance?

Finance is a broad ‘industry’ and encompasses many different career paths. Your finance curriculum will provide you with fundamental financial management tools to succeed in analyzing and executing the financial aspects of managerial decisions. You’ll make use of your mathematical skills and ability to take your organization’s or client’s goals, resources and options into consideration while making your suggestions for their continued financial growth. The opportunities with a finance degree span many areas including corporate and international financial management, personal financial planning and investment services. Brokerage firms, commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, and other financial intermediary companies employ finance graduates.

  • Financial Analysis
    Financial analysts play an integral role in today’s competitive economy. Since the 1970s, job opportunities in finance and banking have flourished, due to the increasing complexity of investment options. A financial analyst will research a client’s or organization’s financial status, including their history, risk tolerance, and current expenditures and investments. They make recommendations based on financial goals and business environments.
  • Financial Consulting
    Financial consultants provide advice on securities pricing, strategies for creating shareholder value, business valuation, economic forecasts and analysis, and input into treasury management.
  • Finance Management
    Financial managers direct financial reporting, investment activities, and cash management strategies at any number of professional or government organizations. Financial management calls on creative thinking skills and one’s ability to see the broad business picture in order to direct one’s team accordingly.
  • Commercial Banking
    While the banking sector continues to consolidate, more people are employed in commercial banking than any other part of the financial services industry.
  • Corporate Finance
    A career in corporate finance leads to helping companies find the money to run their business, make it grow, make acquisitions, plan for the business’s financial future, and manage any cash on hand. One might work for a large multinational company or a smaller firm with high growth prospects. The key to performing well is to work with long-term goals. Financial officers concentrate on areas such as liquidity, flexibility, compliance with laws, and regulatory support.
  • Investment Banking
    Investment bankers work within companies and governments to issue securities, help investors trade securities, manage financial assets, and provide financial advice. Smaller firms may be oriented towards bond trading, M&A advisory, technical analysis, or program trading.
  • Money Management
    Money managers hold stocks and bonds for institutional clients and are on the buy-side of Wall Street. Money managers must be proficient in the latest sophisticated quantitative methodology. Many people cross over into money management after years of experience in selling positions in investment banks. A solid background in portfolio theory, fixed income investments, and CFA certification is required.
  • Financial Planning
    Financial planners concentrate on helping individuals with their financial futures. This work requires excellent interpersonal skills. A good financial planner understands investments, taxes, and estate planning issues. Financial planners can practice within a company or as a sole proprietor if they have strong entrepreneurial skills.
  • Insurance
    Careers in insurance involve helping individuals and businesses manage risk to protect themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk areas. Careers in this area involve helping clients understand their insurance needs and their options, and selecting appropriate policies. Career options in insurance include underwriters, sales representatives, asset managers, and customer service representatives.
  • Real Estate
    Career options in real estate include title insurance, construction, mortgage banking, property management, real estate appraisal, brokerage and leasing, and real estate development. Real estate brokers also need a regional license.

Clubs/Organizations

  • Dow Dawgs Finance Association (DDFA) Email: dowdawg@uw.eduDDFA’s main goal is to serve as an intermediary between students and professionals working in the fields of: investment banking, asset management, sales, trading, corporate treasuries, and risk management.
  • Husky Traders Email: info@huskytraders.comHusky Traders seeks to provide students with an opportunity to grow both academically and professionally through experiential learning. Students come together from a variety of academic disciplines in order to share their insights on market developments and gain from communicating with and challenging the views of their peers.
  • Montlake Consulting Group (MCG) Email: engagements@montlakeconsulting.comMCG is a student ran consulting group dedicated to helping real businesses with the most difficult issues they face. Comprising of a broad range of students they utilize their variety of experiences to best serve their clients.
  • Undergraduate Management Consulting Association (UMCA) Email: uwumca@gmail.comUMCA seeks to inform students, and create interest for careers in consulting. UMCA helps students prepare for careers in consulting by providing extracurricular education, training, and exposure to consulting.

Certifications

    • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Those with the CFP designation have demonstrated competency in all areas of financial planning. Candidates complete studies on over 100 topics, including stocks, bonds, taxes, insurance, retirement planning and estate planning. The program is administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. In addition to passing the CFP certification exam, candidates must also complete qualifying work experience and agree to adhere to the CFP Board’s code of ethics and professional responsibility and financial planning standards.
    • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) This designation is offered by the CFA Institute (formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research [AIMR]). To obtain the CFA charter, candidates must successfully complete three difficult exams and gain at least three years of qualifying work experience, among other requirements. In passing these exams, candidates demonstrate their competence, integrity and extensive knowledge in accounting, ethical and professional standards, economics, portfolio management and security analysis.
    • Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) As the name implies, an individual with this certification has demonstrated his or her expertise in mutual funds and the mutual fund industry. These individuals often advise clients on which funds to invest in and, depending on whether or not they have their license, they will buy and sell funds for clients. The Institute of Business and Finance (IBF), formerly known as the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists, provides training for the CFS, and the course focuses on a variety of mutual fund topics, including portfolio theory, dollar-cost averaging and annuities.
    • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Individuals with the ChFC designation have demonstrated their vast and thorough knowledge of financial planning. The ChFC program is administered by the American College. In addition to successful completion of an exam on areas of financial planning, including income tax, insurance, investment and estate planning, candidates are required to have a minimum of three years of experience in a financial industry position.

  • Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC) Given by the Investment Counsel Association, this is a designation that CFA charterholders who are currently registered investment advisors can study for. The focus of the CIC program is portfolio management. In addition to proving their high-level expertise in portfolio management, these individuals must also adhere to a strict code of ethics and provide character references.
  • Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) This designation focuses on asset allocation, ethics, due diligence, risk measurement, investment policy and performance measurement. Only individuals who are investment consultants with at least three years of professional experience are eligible to try to obtain this certification, which signifies a high level of consulting expertise. The Investment Management Consultants Association offers the CIMA courses.
  • Chartered Market Technician (CMT): To achieve this designation, an individual must pass three exams offered by the Market Technicians Association (MTA) and agree to adhere to the MTA code of ethics. Individuals with the CMT designation have a demonstrated expertise in the field of technical analysis. Often CMTs will work for hedge funds and money management firms.
  • Certified Public Accountant and Personal Financial Specialist (CPA and PFS) Those holding the CPA designation have passed examinations on accounting and tax preparation, but their title does not indicate training in other areas of finance. So, those CPA holders who are interested in gaining expertise in financial planning in order to supplement their accounting careers need to become certified as personal finance specialists (PFS). The PFS designation is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to those who have taken additional training and already have a CFP designation.
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) This designation is issued by the American College, and those who hold it work mostly as insurance agents. The CLU designation is awarded to persons who complete a 10-course program of study and 20 hours of exams. The course covers the fundamentals of life and health insurance, pension planning, insurance law, income taxation, investments, financial and estate planning, and group benefits.

Students, alumni and a professor share their perspectives on the Finance option here at Foster.

Marissa Ching
Marissa Ching
Major:
Finance
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the finance option at Foster?
I was always interested in finance, as I enjoyed working with numbers and have an analytical mindset. Finance gives you a great overview of the business world and allows for better jobs upon graduation.
2. How have your finance classes benefited you?
My finance classes have provided me with a good foundation for interviewing, especially for technical questions. A lot of what you learn in finance is directly applicable to the business world and that intrigues me. Also, capital market classes have given a good understanding of finance in the real world and have been great for understanding what is going on with our economy these days.
3. What do you enjoy most about the finance program?
The professors at Foster have real world knowledge from their careers and can apply it to what they are teaching. Usually, they have had work experience and share stories that are directly applicable to what you learn in class. The professors build a bridge between classroom knowledge and real world knowledge.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
Lance Young’s Entrepreneurial Finance (FIN 457) was an interesting and challenging course that focused on cases that bring various real world problems into the classroom. It was a natural class to take after Finance 350, the first finance class you must take, as it builds off the concepts learned [in that class]. It proved to be a good overview of what decisions financial managers have to make in the real world.
Quinn Lawlor
Quinn Lawlor
Major:
Finance
Class: Junior
1. What made you decide to pursue the finance option at Foster?
I got into the Foster Freshman Direct program, so I was exposed to the business school early on. I always had an interest in the stock market and investments. Majoring in Finance was the natural progression.
2. How have your finance classes benefited you?
My finance classes have taught me how to analyze various investments and the different factors affecting the financial markets. The major gives you the building blocks to understand the markets. It’s up to you to apply the theoretical knowledge from classes to the real world.
3. What do you enjoy most about the finance program?
It’s pretty cool to pick up a copy of the Journal and see concepts from my classes directly reflected in the daily news. I also enjoy connecting with students who are passionate about the markets.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
Banking & the Financial System (FIN 423) has been my favorite so far. The concepts covered in class are highly relevant to current events due to the regulatory upheaval going on in the banking system. It’s furthered my understanding of the macro environment while providing a significant academic challenge.
Beau Figliola
Beau Figliola
Occupation:
Senior Trading Analyst
Organization: Russell Investments
1. What do you like most about finance?
I like that you can explore different niches within the field, and focus on one that is exciting. The finance program at the University of Washington is nationally recognized; this ensures that your degree is valuable. Courses are taught by innovative thought leaders; this means that your intellectual development will be cutting edge. And, perhaps most importantly, the professional network you will create and connect to will help elevate your professional life beyond what you currently think is possible.
2. Why is finance important to the business field?
Finance helps quantify and structure decision making, such that projects and investments can be compared across firms and time. On its face, the models you learn and work through as a financial analyst simply allow you to value cash flows. But more broadly, the paradigm you develop in class helps to support thriving financial markets that not only allow for risk aversion and consumption smoothing, but also the creation of life saving medications and the ability to go to college.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of finance?
Foster exposed me to great courses, strong faculty, excellent peers, and a deep alumni network. During my time studying and growing, I developed my work ethic and world view.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in finance?
To excel in finance you need to have intellectual curiosity and a superior work ethic. Jobs at quality firms are complicated, high stress, and require a broad understanding of economic principles. At Foster, you develop an ability to excel under these circumstances.
Jarrad Harford
Jarrad Harford
Professor of Finance
At UW since 2001
1. What interests are important to excel in the finance field?
One must have quantitative interests and strong economic intuition. While there is a lot more to finance than just math, it’s hard to be successful in finance with an aversion to math. However, you can’t just be good at math—you have to understand the economics behind math.
2. What kind of skills will a student gain going through the finance program?
Students will learn all the foundational tools of finance, but more importantly, how to think clearly and rigorously about a finance problem so that they can react to change and handle new problems in their career. The categories of skill include: capital budgeting, cost of capital, portfolio management, derivatives, foreign exchange, valuation, financing policy and others.3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
Work hard and pace yourself—don’t try to load-up on too many finance courses in any one quarter. Keep track of what’s going on in the business world so that you can see the applications of the class material, as well as interview better. Try to get a meaningful internship (more than just making copies and phone calls), and be open about what kind of job to consider when you graduate. Take extra accounting classes—a strong understanding of accounting will help you.
4. What careers do you see finance students entering when they graduate?
I see students going into corporate finance (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft, etc.), commercial banking, wealth management, and consulting. There are a few who go into investment banking, but that’s a hard industry to break into.

Human Resources

What is Human Resources?

Human Resource Management encompasses a variety of areas dealing with how an organization sources, grows, and retains its employee workforce. Human Resources is a critical business function in both non-profit and for-profit companies. Talented individuals that have high people, leadership, creativity, and communication skills would do well with a career in Human Resources.

  • Organizational Development: Organizational development is the conscious effort of planning ahead to further an organization’s significance and viability in the workplace. A career in organizational development is geared towards transitioning individuals, groups, or organizations from a current state to a future one, which is also known as Change Management.
  • Change Management: An individual specializing in this area of knowledge works with the company’s employees to ensure they know how to deal with change in the workplace. Another area of organizational development focuses on the transitions associated with outsourcing. As more companies turn to outsourcing areas of their business, HR leaders are needed to ensure the company’s leadership and organizational structure is functional.
  • Diversity and Labor Relations
    • Diversity specialist: aims to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and help with the growth of their current employees.
    • Public policy advocate: focuses on work-related issues that are associated with various interest groups and societies.
    • Public agency staff: works with specific public agencies to ensure various government laws on discrimination are enforced.
  • Human Capital: Human capital is interested in coming up with new methods to invest in their employees to ensure they are fostering their growth and keeping the talent within the company. HR leaders in this field focus on the trends in human resources to develop leadership within the company. Developing a company’s talent pool by sourcing the right people for the jobs at hand is a talent of its own.
  • Leadership Development: Leadership development specialists strive to better the quality of leadership within an individual and organization. A person in this field specializes in implementing executive retreats, online learning courses, and other team building exercises within the company to enhance leadership within the company.
  • Organizational Behavior: Organizational behavior is the study of individuals and their behavior within the context of the organization in a workplace setting. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, psychology, communication and management . Specialists in this area focus on enhancing the overall business workplace setting to foster employee productivity and work performance.
  • Promotional Advancement & Compensation: As employees grow within the organization, they require recognition, compensation, or benefits as a reward of their hard efforts. People focusing in this area ensure that these three forms of incentives are meeting the needs of their employees.

With a Human Resources degree there are a wide variety of career opportunities. Due to the varied nature of the HR field there is not a set list of major firms. At every company, there is a need for people with an HR background so the company can hire and retain the best employees.

However, there are also firms that provide HR consulting services to help companies in fields involving human capital, health and benefits, mergers and acquisitions, communication, retirement, and recruitment process outsourcing.

Please note: this is not an exhaustive list

Seattle

National

Clubs/Organizations

Certifications

Please note: certifications listed below may or may not be mandatory for entrance

  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR) The PHR certification focuses on the technical and operational aspects of HR practices. This certification is for HR professionals who focus in program implementation and have responsibilities that focus on the HR department instead of the whole organization. The PHR exam is divided into six parts: business management and strategy, workforce planning and employment, human resource development, compensation and benefits, employee and labor relations, and risk management. Typical candidates with a bachelor’s degree have two to four years of professional work experience in all HR disciplines before taking the exam.
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) The SPHR certification is designed for HR professionals who design and plan HR policies instead of aid in implementation, understand the business beyond the HR function, and have ultimate accountability in the HR department. The SPHR exam is divided into six parts: business management and strategy, workforce planning and employment, human resource development, compensation and benefits, employee and labor relations, and risk management. Typical candidates with a bachelor’s degree have a minimum of five years of professional HR experience.
  • Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) The GPHR certification is designed for HR professionals that have HR responsibilities that cross national borders, understand the strategies of globalization versus localization of HR policies and programs, and design organizational programs, processes, and tools to achieve worldwide business goals. The GPHR exam is divided into five parts: strategic HR management, global talent acquisition and mobility, global compensation and benefits, organizational effectiveness and talent development, and workforce relations and risk management. Typical candidates with a bachelor’s degree have a minimum of three years of professional HR experience, with two out of the three years being global HR experience.

Students, alumni and a lecturer share their perspectives on the Human Resources/Operations option here at Foster.

Karthika Appiah
Karthika Appiah
Major: Human Resources and Marketing
Class: Senior
1.How have your HR classes benefited you?
The HR classes that I have taken so far have helped me understand more clearly the work I do at my HR internship. The “big picture” topics we learn in class gives much more context to the work I do at my internship. Furthermore, paired with my other focus in marketing, the classes have shaped the way I think as well as view my relationships. A good employer will always be thinking about their brand image when it comes to their recruiting. A simple example is with my dance team. I constantly strive to expose others how fun and exciting we are through videos and pictures on our Facebook fan page to create a positive brand image and increase interest among individuals to join our team.
2. What do you enjoy most about the HR program?
Much like many of the business fields, HR has so many aspects to it including recruiting, staffing, compensation, benefits, performance review, etc. that the program has does a great job of exposing you to all these fields to help you understand which side of HR you would want to pursue.
3. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
I took a class called “Negotiations and Deal Making” in which I learned the importance of negotiations and how it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative thing in the workplace. I learned how it’s not about hiding information or cheating the other party into getting what you want, but rather a series of calculated decisions and 75% of the work goes into preparation.
Travis Quick
Travis Quick
Major: Human Resources and Finance
Class: Junior
1. What made you decide to pursue the HR option at Foster?Originally I wanted to do something that dealt with people. I figured the psychology route. However, upon further review, I decided that I wanted to work with people in a more business setting. With this in mind, I looked closer into HR and decided that it was something of interest to me.
2. How have your HR classes benefited you?
I have learned the core functions of HR within a business: Attract, Develop, Keep. This are words that you come to live by in the HR option and something that has been beneficial to my overall understanding of HR business.
3. What do you enjoy most about the HR program?
I enjoy the way that the HR program is set up. The first class is a large overview of HR as a whole. Then as the quarters progress, you go more in depth and focus on certain issues within HR such as talent acquisition and salary/benefits. I am most excited for the 2 elective HR classes because I can learn about issues that face HR in the world.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
As of now I have only taken one HR class and am in my second quarter of the HR program. This really just gives me the option to say that MGMT 311 had to be my favorite class because it really taught me what HR is.
Kayla Jan
Kayla Jan
Occupation: Recruiting Coordinator
Organization: Amazon
1. What do you like most about HR?
What I like most about HR is the opportunity to work with people. I work specifically in recruiting, so I have the privilege of working in what is affectionately called the “happy” side of HR. I love helping people get jobs where they can be challenged and grow. One of the favorite parts of my job is hearing the excitement in people’s voices when I call and inform they they’ve been selected to interview for one of our positions. I love being able to tell them why I love my company and why I work there.
2. Why is HR important to the business field?
It is important because you cannot have business without people. Effectively managing your people is one of the best ways to advance your company. Your people are the ones who tackle the problems, implement solutions and advance the company’s mission. They are the ones who ultimately make or break a company, so it is important to invest in them.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of HR?
The group projects I had to complete in order to acquire my Foster degree were by far what prepared me most to enter the field of HR. To say that knowing how to work effectively in a group is useful is an absolute understatement. Being a team player is essential to your survival in this field.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in HR?
This is tough to say, as it really depends on your specific job and what part of HR you are in. I will say that for my role, the main skills and competencies include knowing how to use Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word. I liken these skills to an English teacher’s ability to read—these are basic skills that you will need in order to excel as an HR professional.
Jane Reynolds
Jane Reynolds Lecturer in Management
At UW since 1997
1. What interests are important to excel in the HR field?
I tell my students not to shy away from quantitative skills. Some students come to the HR major “fleeing” math driven business options hoping to find respite in less challenging waters. Many students say they are interested in HR because they “like working with people.” This is good, because in organizations, you have to work with people–even in accounting, finance, marketing, IT and operations, if I understand correctly. HR is becoming increasingly quantitatively oriented, as what we do has to demonstrate a positive ROI on the organization. In other words, HR is not for the math phobic. If we can’t do this, our jobs will be eliminated in the next round of budget cuts, or outsourced to a lower cost provider. And the “people” side of HR isn’t all throwing parties and conducting team building games. Rather, many of the people management issues are: writing rejection letters to candidates, disciplining an employee who violates company policies, and conducting terminations. On the PLUS side, in HR there is tremendous opportunity to create the engine of competitive advantage in an organization. No matter what the organization’s strategy—be it cost leadership, innovation, customer service—the ultimate determinant of success is derived from human performance. Outstanding HR management systems provide the tools to create this advantage. If you are interested in learning these tools—how to select the right people for jobs, how to develop and improve their contribution to your organization, and how to keep them to retain your investment—then HR may be the place for you to create a real impact on an organization’s success!
2. What kinds of skills will a student gain going through the HR program?
This major develops higher level strategic thinking skills and equips you with knowledge of practical tools that will help you land an entry-level job in HR. You’ll learn how to create a human resource strategy that supports your organization strategy. Beginning with your organization’s values, mission and goals, you’ll learn how to create an HR strategy that gets the right people in the right jobs, at the right time—better, faster, cheaper AND legally! To do this, you’ll learn skills designed to prepare you for an entry-level HR position. For example, you’ll learn how to develop job descriptions, hiring criteria, and selection systems that produce successful hires. You’ll learn how to develop compensation systems that are fair, attractive to employees, and promote long-term motivation. For those who don’t necessarily seek long-term employment in HR, the classes provide critical background for entrepreneurs or anyone seeking a position with significant responsibility for managing people. You’ll learn about the very complex web of laws and regulations surrounding the employment relationship. You’ll learn to assess long and short-term labor supply and demand for specific jobs, and how to resolve gaps. You’ll learn different ways to manage employee performance that yields data useful for both evaluation and development. Finally, by learning about what to look for in candidates that make them great hires, you’ll learn how to connect with recruiters, craft your resume and develop interview skills so that you’ll be one of those people companies see as a great hire!
3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
Don’t shy away from quantitative skills! You will go far in your HR career if you learn to speak the language of business—what is the bottom line? Can you demonstrate a financial benefit that justifies investments made in good people practices? Additional strength in finance, IT and accounting will be very beneficial in your long run career. Because we have a strong general business background as part of our BA degree, you are already steps ahead of many graduates of pure HR programs on this front.We have a student chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) that provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the profession. Our student chapter has meetings with alumni and other professionals working in the field, an annual student conference and case competition, joint events with other clubs, internship opportunities, and leadership positions. SHRM membership provides beneficial connections with employers and resume-building experiences. Past club officers have had great success securing internships as well as jobs after graduation. The SHRM professional organization offers local meetings, scholarships, national conferences, and other educational and networking opportunities.After completing your degree, passing SHRM’s “Assurance of Learning” exam will help differentiate yourself from others entering the job market. The exam is further described on SHRM’s websit.
4. What careers do you see HR students entering when they graduate?
HR offers a variety of different types of careers. In 2007, Money Magazine ranked Human Resource Manager as #4 on its list of the Top Ten Best Jobs in America based on a number of factors, including job growth, earnings potential, creativity, and flexibility.There are two broad categories of HR jobs: generalists and specialists.Entry-level HR positions are often titled Human Resource Assistant. An entry-level HR generalist supports the work of the whole department and might work on a variety of activities ranging from job applicant management and record keeping, new employee onboarding, updating records in an HR database, creating and updating job descriptions, compensation and benefit analysis. With more experience, generalist positions also include strategic HR planning, workforce analysis, job design, work climate and organization effectiveness, health and safety issues, higher-level legal and compliance issues, performance management and discipline issues, training and development, and union relationships. More advanced generalist titles include HR Business Partner, HR Generalist, HR Department or Branch Manager, Chief HR Officer, People Services Specialist/Officer. Larger organizations tend to need specialists. Entry-level specialist jobs exist in workforce planning and employment, compensation and benefits, training and development, employee and labor relations, and risk management. Depending of the size of the organization, there can be long-term careers in each of these fields.At higher levels in an organization, HR jobs tend to become more generalized again.

Information Systems

What is Information Systems?

Information Systems (IS) deals with the use of information technologies in businesses and organizations. Organizations will thrive only if they effectively make use of, design, and implement information systems to meet the organization’s tactical and strategic needs. Successfully managing the development and use of information systems presents a difficult challenge, given the rapid pace of technological change. IS specialists must possess a thorough understanding of the technology and the knowledge to use that technology to support core business functions.

With an Information Systems degree there are a wide variety of career opportunities. Due to the varied nature of the Information Systems field there is not a set list of major firms. However, every company needs people with an information systems background. In the business world technology is paving the pathway for the success, and information technology is critical to a business’ sustainability. Whether one is providing IT support or working on the implementation of a new database there is a need for people with Information Systems knowledge.

  • Network Engineers and Administrators Responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software, including deploying, configuring, maintaining, and monitoring active data network or converged infrastructure environments and related network equipment.
  • Software Engineers Responsible for design, development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches.
  • Systems Analysts, Integrators, or Designers Responsible for designing and developing new systems, solving challenging computer-related problems, and integrating systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Database Managers or Administrators Responsible for the installation, configuration, upgrade, administration, monitoring, and maintenance of databases in an organization.
  • Interface Specialists Provide advanced integration, workflow, and reporting capabilities that improve productivity and financial performance.
  • Product Support Professionals Responsible for setting up and maintaining websites, solving network problems, and fixing hardware problems.
  • Programmers and Programming Analysts Responsible for writing computer software, and can refer to a specialist or to a generalist who writes code for many kinds of software.
  • Knowledge Officers Responsible for managing intellectual capital and can help an organization maximize the returns on investment in knowledge, including people, processes, and intellectual capital.
  • Information Officers Responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals.
  • Managers of Information Systems Plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization, and implement appropriate computer systems to meet organization goals.
  • Academic Researchers or Information System Educators Research covers the development of IT-based services, the management of IT resources, and the use, impact, and economics of IT with managerial, organizational, and societal implications, as well as professional issues affecting the IS field.
  • IT Consultants Advise businesses on how best to use information technology to meet their objectives, and often estimate, manage, implement, deploy, and administer IT systems on behalf of the business.

Students, alumni and a lecturer share their perspectives on the Information Systems option here at Foster.

Clubs/Organizations

  • Business Information Technology Society (BITS) Email: bits@u.washington.eduThe Business Information Technology Society (BITS) is a student-run organization within the University of Washington Business School. The objective of BITS is to provide members with a valuable edge for starting careers in information systems. In addition, students should be encouraged to join the various other student organizations and get involved through their leadership opportunities. A variety of the on campus student organizations have an executive information systems position.
  • The American Society for Information Science & Technology Email: asis@uw.edu
    A national cross-disciplinary organization for information professionals, providing a communication link between researchers and practitioners in associated fields. “Our mission is to advance the information sciences and related applications of information technology by providing focus, opportunity, and support to information professionals and organizations.”

Certifications

  • Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) Bridging the gap between business and technology, the MSIS program is a four – quarter standardized program that further enhances IS students’ educational and technical skills. By identifying appropriate technological solutions to real world business problems, the MSIS degree provides a challenging yet, practical educational experience.

Students, alumni and a lecturer share their perspectives on the Information Systems option here at Foster.

Kurt Ricketts
Kurt Ricketts
Major:
Information Systems and Operations Management
Class:
Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the IS option at Foster?
After taking Shaosong Ou’s IS 300 class I became really interested in the business technology field. Shaosong’s passion for Information Systems was evident throughout his class and it helped me realize why pursuing the IS option was the right choice for me. The option has taught me a lot of key skills that will greatly benefit me in the workplace.
2. How have your IS classes benefited you?
My IS classes have provided me with a good overview of the current technologies and trends in today’s business world. Each class adds a layer of value that not only looks good on a resume, but arms us with skills that will give us a competitive edge when seeking employment. There is a heavy focus on the technical and programming aspects of IS and how they are utilized within the business world. We have learned topics such as programming HTML, SQL, and VBA, advanced knowledge of Excel, and other current IS/IT trends such as data mining and Tableau.
3. What do you enjoy most about the IS program?
Because I love technology, the ability to study Business Information Systems is a huge plus, as it has taken my interest in technology and allowed me to build skills that one would use to execute job functions in the IS field. The IS option provides hands–on experience of real world applications that are in high job demand, which is great.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
My favorite class was IS 300 with Shaosong – it was interesting, entertaining, and eye opening. Additionally, IS 310 with Izic Chon was great because it dove into some of the more useful business technologies and introduced us to new and emerging technologies we will see in the IS field.
Aashima Yadav
Aashima Yadav
Major: Information Systems and Accounting
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the IS option at Foster?
Previously, I’d taken a CSE course and it was really interesting to me. I took CSE 142, but I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I took a few informatics courses, working my way up the spectrum from CS to Informatics to IS. IS seemed like a really good combination of business and technology and in today’s day and age, you have to know technology. You have to know Excel and all these things. You’re expected to know these things before you start working. Especially with accounting, I’ve heard that it’s a really good combination – having both accounting and IS. A lot of people do the same combination, so I decided to pair the two and I found it to be really beneficial. It’s only five classes, which is really nice.
2. How have your IS classes benefited you?
My IS classes have benefited me by having the basic knowledge of SQL, VBA, having an extensive knowledge of Excel, even just talking through interviews. You can touch on those points. If you hadn’t taken IS 310 or onward, you wouldn’t know. The professors have been really good about telling us, “These are the skills you should put on your resume, this is what employers look for.” The IS department has their own email list that comes out with job referrals, which I think is unique, too.3. What do you enjoy most about the IS program?
What I enjoy most is probably the professors, I think they’re really good. I would say that most of them are really work-focused, they know that you’re not going to be sitting in a classroom typing out code. Your boss will ask you to do something and then a faster way to do it is via some sort of technology or software skill that you’ve learned. So it’s about taking that knowledge and applying it to the real world as opposed to just doing random queries.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
IS 310 was really good, because I took it in the summer and there were seven people, so I got to be really one-on-one with Izic Chon, the professor. I think it’s really hands-on, you learn a lot of different things and it’s a good overview of the option as a whole. You do some coding and some diagramming, and design the structure, which is cool. For any business student, I think it should be required honestly because you learn a lot of things that you would have to do in the workforce.
Nandie Oosthuizen
Nandie Oosthuizen
Occupation:
Jr. IT Project Manager
Organization: Precision Castparts Corporation -Aerostructures Division
1. What do you like most about IS?
It is SO practical, and the skills and experience you gain through the IS program are so quantifiable and easy to explain in words. As an IS student you will learn actual languages and real-world hard-skills which are used across all organizations and fields. You will have an incredibly strong resume after IS and will stand out among other applicants in whatever job or field you are applying to work in. One of the greatest things about IS, and also the most important thing I think to remember, is that IS is extremely broad – you don’t HAVE to go work in IT when you study IS, you can also be the person with the IT skills in any department in any industry. No matter what it is you wish to do, IS will make you 100 times more effective, useful and successful at doing it.
2. Why is IS important to the business field?
Every single organization and every single department within an organization is completely dependent on IT and computers in some way or another. Computers and technology make people’s lives a heck of a lot easier and enables people across the organization to be more efficient and effective at whatever tasks they are responsible for carrying out. As IT improves, it speeds up processes and frees up time and energy for other more vital processes to take place. With so much data to keep track of and process, an organization would simply not grow without IT, as people will spend their days simply trying to maintain things and keep up with all the busy work. IT therefore is one of the key ingredients of growth and continuous improvement for any organization. Being strong in IS/IT therefore will make you one of the key players and enables, in whatever department you end up in, of continuous improvement and growth.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of IS?
Having in depth understanding of computers but very little business know-how and people skills will put you at a great disadvantage. The stereotypical IT person is dying out, it is no longer enough to just be good at computers and programming, there are simply too many people entering the IS/IT field with perhaps a more basic programming and computer skills but incredible people skills and business sense! IT is all about teamwork and working with people across the organization to improve processes with sound IT solutions. Foster therefore prepared me very well because we get the same level of exposure and training in general Business as say a finance or marketing student but then delve deep into hard IT skill-training courses for a section of our education. Assuming you wish to work in IS and IT in the business world, IS really prepares you much better, in my opinion, than for instance a Comp Science degree. There is also a huge emphasis in Foster, in almost all our courses we take, on group work and projects – this believe it or not is one of the most beneficial parts of our education. Looking back, the skills gained in working in groups and learning to serve different roles from time to time and to work with all different kinds of people – are the skills that are most critical in the workplace to your success.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in IS?
The one thing that surprised me is just how much excel is still used across my specific organization throughout all the departments. It is very effective, cheap, and people are comfortable with it. Knowing tricks in excel and being able to make it do things with VBA code that most people didn’t know it could do, will make you stand out and really enable you to bring improvement to your department and to people’s daily tasks – it will in turn make you a hero in many of your work colleagues’ eyes! VB.net and SQL is also very widely used, and knowing your way around command prompt and how to write effective scripts, are all very useful skills to have. But above all, knowing how to effectively scope out, create, implement and manage projects and teams: keeping yourself and others on track and focused and being results driven – this is probably the most important ingredient for being success in the workplace.
Shaosong Ou
Shaosong Ou
Senior Lecturer in Information Systems
At UW since 2007
1. What interests are important to excel in the IS field?
Overall, students who have a passion and genuine interest for the IS field will succeed. In addition, the following interests are all applicable to excelling in the IS field. Students who have a strong programming or coding interest and want to understand the managerial aspects of the process will do well. Additionally, students should have an interest in using spreadsheets, the Microsoft Office suite and other applications. In conjunction, students who have a desire to learn about technical design – such as creating websites, envisioning a product, and creating the product’s user interface would excel. The great thing about the IS field is that it is diverse and applies to a wide variety of interests. Students can be interested in inventions, ranging from the computer software programs to automating and streamlining processes to succeed.
2. What kinds of skills will a student gain through the IS program?
The IS option provides students with a variety of skills useful for a career in business technology. At a high level students will gain both observational and analytical skills. Additionally, students will be able to develop acute number and technical skills relating to sensitivity, digestion, and understanding of the data. Another valuable skill students learn is how to deal with lots of information allowing them to build their comfort level with information overload. The IS option also provides an understanding of managerial information and the business importance of technology integration. Students also gain an understanding of interpersonal communication from both the user and developer perspective – how new systems or databases can ease the communication of information between people. Creative abilities are also developed to teach students how to envision real, functional, and revolutionary ideas and turn them into new products and systems. Overall, the IS option provides students with real world technical and business technology soft skills.
3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
Be passionate. Students who pursue the IS option should have a real interest in information systems. I recommend evaluating your IS 300 experience and then taking at least one other upper-division IS course if you are still unsure. Familiarize yourself with not only the managerial side, but also the technical side of IS. Either way, students should stay up to date with IT field news. For instance, what new social media applications are hot? What new technology can be potentially “disruptive” in the near future? Understanding the impact of technology in the business world is very important. Finally, be comfortable with not knowing everything, IS is developing fast and constantly changing. Students should expect some level of ambiguity and know how to deal with it.
4. What careers do you see IS students entering when they graduate?
The IS option provides students with a wide variety of technical and business technology skills. As a result, there are many different careers students can pursue. A popular career path is IT consulting, which focuses on IT implementation, adoption, and transition of new systems and databases. Another opportunity is to become a system manager and manage the development of IT systems. A system manager is in charge of the estimation of costs and quantity of people needed for a job, the design process, and planning out the project’s timeline. For students that are more interested in the technical aspects of IS becoming a developer would be a great option. Developers are in charge of coding, programming, and designing the functions necessary to build information systems and websites. Students who are interested in strategy versus the creation of information systems could pursue a career as a technology architect. As an architect, one would work under the Chief Information Officer to figure out what type of IT systems should be used and how they should be implemented. Lastly, another career opportunity is to become an information security officer. In this role, one would oversee the management of firewalls and databases, data accessibility, and password protection for a company.

Marketing

What is Marketing?

Marketing connects a company with its customers, suppliers, distributors, and community. Marketing consists of conducting analyses of customers and competitors, designing focused marketing strategies, and developing marketing programs and performance measures. The field integrates the understanding of economics, sociology, psychology, and statistics to develop marketing systems and processes, and applies this knowledge to specific marketing management problems. An estimated one-quarter of the workforce is employed in marketing, making the general field of marketing one of the largest areas of employment opportunity in business today. Students completing the Marketing Option have the essential knowledge for a variety of positions in areas related to the movement of goods and services from producer to consumer.

  • Advertising/Promotion Advertising positions are available in advertising departments within companies, media companies, and agencies.
  • Public Relations/Communications Public relations professionals manage company communications and relations with the media, investors, community members, and legislators.
  • Market Research/Marketing Analysis If you are an analytical person who enjoys numbers and analysis, and enjoys tracking consumer behavior, then market research may be the field for you. Market researchers employ a variety of different qualitative and quantitative research techniques to understand consumers.
  • Marketing Consulting Many consulting firms now hire industry or functional experts that focus on marketing issues. These firms need people who can develop expertise in the areas of branding, market research, continuous relationship marketing, pricing strategy, digital/new age, and business-to-business marketing.
  • Internet Marketing/Social Media Responsible for planning and managing the delivery of marketing messages through all social media channels and monitors and responds to feedback received.
  • Brand Management/Product Management In a typical brand management organizational structure, positions are developed around responsibility for a particular product rather than a specific functional expertise. Brand managers also determine the optimal pricing strategy for their product.
  • Retailing Within merchandise management, buyers are responsible for selecting merchandise and setting prices. In a store management career, responsibilities include supervision of personnel and general management of facilities.
  • Sales Employment in sales positions are found in a variety of organizations including insurance agencies, retailers, and financial services firms. Sales careers offer opportunities for rapid advancement, development of communication skills, and independence.
  • International Marketing International marketing careers can be found in global settings including large multinational US corporations, small- to medium-size firms with export business, and franchises.

Please note: this is not an exhaustive list.

Seattle Companies with Marketing Careers

  • Microsoft
  • Nordstrom
  • Amazon
  • Starbucks
  • Boeing
  • Jones Soda
  • Portent, Inc.
  • Real Networks
  • Paccar
National Companies with Marketing Careers

  • Altria
  • American Express
  • Geico
  • Google
  • Hallmark
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Macy’s
  • Marriott
  • Proctor & Gamble
Seattle Advertising Agencies

  • Wunderman
  • Razorfish
  • DNA
  • Wexley School for Girls
  • Publicis West
  • Spring Creek Group
  • Odd Dog Media
  • JWT Inside
  • Cole & Weber United
National Advertising Agencies

  • Campbell-Ewald
  • DRAFTFCB
  • Ogilvy
  • Y&R Advertising
  • Grey
  • DDB Worldwide
  • BBDO
  • McCann Erickson
  • JWT

Clubs/Organizations

  • Advertising Club of UW Email: adclub@uw.eduWe are a group of motivated students that have a passion for all aspects of advertising. We want to bring talent from all over the University of Washington and from local advertising agencies to learn from each other through our club events and meetings. Through our own agency work and incorporating Seattle ad agencies, we hope to give students a tangible taste of what the industry is really like, and show employers what we have to offer.
  • American Marketing Association (AMA) Email: amaclub@uw.eduWe are a student run marketing organization at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. We strive to provide resources and information for students so that when we “open the door” to Seattle professionals they feel properly prepared. The UW AMA provides a professional and fun environment that promotes proactive and passionate involvement.
  • Husky Sales Club Email: huskysalesclub@gmailThe Husky Sales Club was created to provide students interested in sales with real selling experience with the student body and corporations, along with exclusive access to job openings, internship opportunities, case competitions, and guest speakers. Employees handle sales revenue, budgeting, marketing efforts, and business partnerships. The USC was built as an additional segment of the Sales Certificate Program.
  • Seattle Direct Marketing Association Email: info@sdma.orgThe SDMA connects area marketing professionals with new ideas and emerging technologies. It nurtures innovative thinking in all areas of marketing, including ecommerce, creative development, data and production. Frequently scheduled events feature prominent speakers on a variety of relevant and cutting-edge topics, as well as quality networking.
  • Puget Sound American Marketing Association Email: volunteer@psama.orgWe offer new and experienced marketing professionals the competitive advantage needed to succeed. The PSAMA is the largest and longest professional marketing association in Washington State. Our mission is to advance the careers of all marketing professionals in the Puget Sound through professional education, events, networking, resources, industry news, and job opportunities.
  • Ad Club Seattle Email: info@aafseattle.comOur mission is to be a relevant resource for seasoned advertising professionals and freshmen alike. We are dedicated to raising the standards of our profession, increasing the expectations of our clients, and being a true contender on the international stage.

Certifications

  • Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) The AMA PCM credential is a symbol of professional excellence that affirms your mastery of marketing knowledge and commitment to quality in the practice of marketing. Certification, which is voluntary, requires passing a rigorous and comprehensive exam and then maintaining your certification through continuing education.
  • Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) OMCP Certification verifies dedication to ongoing professional education and active participation in industry groups and events, helping marketers to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace, and clients to make informed decisions.
  • Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist (CIMBS) This certification represents an accreditation program based on education and professional experience.
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Google offers many proof-of-proficiency tests to help you become more effective at making the best use of Google products within your organization.
  • Google Adwords Whether you’re an individual or a company, you can demonstrate your proficiency in AdWords by joining the Google AdWords Certification Program. It’s a globally recognized stamp of approval which showcases knowledge of the latest AdWords tools and best practice techniques and will enable you to effectively manage AdWords campaigns.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a hot skill in today’s online job market. Whether you are designing websites, writing website copy or trying to market a product or service online, displaying your Search Engine Optimization Certified logo and certificate means you have the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve results. In addition, potential clients will feel safe knowing they are backed by Search Engine Optimization Certification’s dispute resolution services. Certification demonstrates to employers and clients alike that your expertise is accredited by a recognized industry organization.

Links to Information about Marketing

Students, alumni and a lecturer share their perspectives on the Marketing major here at Foster.

Jordan Con
Jordan Con
Major: Marketing and Accounting
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the marketing option at Foster?
My dad is in marketing, and both my sisters are in marketing, so it seemed natural. I took all of the lower division classes, and marketing was really interesting to me. It was a nice combination of creativity and analytical thinking skills, and I liked how it brought them together. Also, it’s a very cross-disciplinary field. It brings together a vast amount of disciplines, which is one of the coolest things. I’m taking this really neat sociology class – it’s not directly related – but it helps you think about how society works and the ways different institutions make society function. Trends in culture are so relevant to marketing that it gives you a leg up if you understand that.
2. How have your marketing classes benefited you?
They give me a really nice foundation and taught me the vocabulary. There are a lot of buzz words and industry terms that it was nice to know before I went into the internships. I’ve done two market research internships, both qualitative and quantitative. I did a PR internship and now I’m doing advertising
3. What do you enjoy most about the marketing program?
As both a marketing and accounting major, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different classes and the electives within each. Marketing has a lot less technical and hard skills, but it makes you think differently. The reading is really interesting, and it’s a lot less memorizing steps, and more analytical. I’ve been in Ad Club for two years now, and it’s really fun, it’s the best. Three years ago my sister was in a national advertising competition and they won nationals and I was wondering why we didn’t have a chapter of this at UW. I was talking to people, thinking about starting it and building a team for this competition. They said, “Why don’t you talk to Ad Club,” and I thought, “We have an Ad Club?” Then I joined and it was really neat because it exposes you to different agencies in Seattle. Actually the very first meeting was with DNA, and I talked to them, and that turned into an internship. I’m now the president and I’ve done a lot of agency recruiting, getting them to come to our events, client recruiting for our campaigns, coordinating people, and communication. I have my hands in all the areas. If you’re an officer in a club you get to go to a lot of cross-club meetings and you get to meet a lot more people than you would if you were just a member.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
The professors I’ve taken classes with have been really great so far. You can tell that they are really interested and passionate about marketing. My consumer behavior class was really cool. We had to do a project on Generation Y and how green we actually were, so we had to do a lot of our own market research. It was really neat to get real experience rather than just reading it in a textbook. Also in my advertising class we did a case that we presented to Razorfish on Whole Foods. It was really neat because it was more real-world and you get the experience of what you’d actually be doing in the marketing field.
Polina Carlson
Polina Carlson
Major: Marketing
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the marketing option at Foster?
I’ve always been interested in having a creative outlet with whatever I end up doing, and knowing that I wanted to be in the business field, I thought about what option could incorporate those aspects. After taking numerous classes I found that marketing was an option that really allowed for that creativity to come out and so it’s a more artistic approach rather than technical and that interested me about the marketing option. It really has allowed me to apply my creativity because of the classes that we take and the assignments that are given to us in those classes.
2. How have your marketing classes benefited you?
All of the marketing classes that I’ve taken so far have been really interesting: the retailing class, the consumer behavior, advertising, and of course, the general marketing class. What’s been really beneficial has been working on the business plans from a marketer’s perspective and applying those real-world questions and analysis in order to create a business or develop an idea.
3. What do you enjoy most about the marketing program?
I definitely enjoy the classes here at Foster that are marketing. I really like the professors; I feel that they are really knowledgeable and they have that real-world business experience under their belts so a lot of times they apply what they were finding out in the field to their classes, so that to me makes the classes more realistic and more worthwhile because we’re actually utilizing real-world concepts and applying them to our simulated projects.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
I would say that my retailing class with Leta Beard was my favorite just because it was really challenging. And aside from learning about retailing and what goes into choosing a store and all of the details that come with that. Our project was really intensive in that we actually had to go out and research all of the information as if we were to open a new business. And that gave us an opportunity to see the process which entrepreneurs and business owners go through to open a new business. So I enjoyed seeing that from a different perspective, not only coming in on the marketing end and seeing how you can promote an existing business, but also how to create a brand new one, which is really difficult. You have to be mindful of details to have a successful portfolio and a business plan.
Lauren Roeglin
Lauren Roeglin
Occupation: Retention Marketing Manager
Organization: Hewlett-Packard
1. What do you like most about marketing?
What I like most about marketing is the ability to be creative. Whether it is through different marketing collateral you create, tests to see consumer responses, or an overall marketing plan, you are constantly brainstorming, being creative, and no day is the same. Things are always changing, innovation and creativity are encouraged, and overall, it is just really fun! It is really exciting to see customers respond to your ideas, and to see sales increase because of something you did.
2. Why is marketing important to the business field?
Marketing is key to driving sales for any company. It is the connection between the company and the end consumer, and it is responsible for communicating the product, service, etc. to the consumer. Without marketing, business would not progress – one small change to a marketing strategy can have enormous effects on the overall revenue, as well as the overall evolution of business in general.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of marketing?
I am so thankful for my Foster degree. I proudly drive with my Foster license plates down in San Diego to show that! Foster Business School helped me grow into a business professional. The unique programs and projects they offered helped me gain real-world experience, and taught me how to apply my marketing learning outside of the classroom, so I was prepared to enter the business world. The fast-paced environment, collaboration needed with group projects, real-life business projects (marketing and business plans, working with real companies), clubs and activities, and the high expectations from the professors prepared me to not only enter, but also to succeed in, the field of marketing.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in marketing?
Creativity, strong analytical skills, proactivity and initiative, and collaboration are needed to excel in marketing. Creativity is necessary to think of new/different ways to reach your end customer, analytical skills are needed to determine what is working, what is not, and why. Proactivity and initiative are important to stay ahead of your competitors, and collaboration is key when brainstorming to come up with new ideas, improve existing processes, and determine overall business needs.
Leta Beard
Leta Beard
Lecturer of Marketing
At UW since 1996
1. What interests are important to excel in the marketing field?
Marketing is great because it is so varied and dynamic. If your interests are quantitative, then areas like marketing research or marketing analytics would be for you. If you are more of a creative person, then advertising or consumer behavior might interest you. Brand management gives you responsibility of overseeing a specific brand or product line. If you like a field that is always changing, then marketing is for you. Things are happening today that were not around five years ago. Social media marketing is exploding. “Green” marketing or sustainability is also very hot right now. Since you will be spending 40-60 hours per week at your job, I am a firm believer that you need to find an option or area that you are passionate about. That is why our core courses are great. They give you the opportunity to explore all of the options and learn a little bit about the various functional areas of a company. You then have the opportunity to really dig in and learn more about each area with your elective courses. I love the field of marketing and would strongly suggest if for someone who likes a challenge, variety and has the ability to work with people. You can start your own business or work for a multinational enterprise. All companies need to market or they won’t have any sales. Rather than think about the bottom line, think of how you can increase the top line (revenue)!
2. What kind of skills will a student gain going through the marketing program?
Through group work you will learn leadership, interpersonal, written and oral communication skills. Through case analysis you will learn how to critically analyze a situation and be able to use data to decide on a course of action. This set of skills will enable you to succeed in the field of marketing where the major focus is on the customer. If you choose to go into sales, you will also learn a lot about the company, product lines, the customer, and your competitors. It is a fast way to move up in a company. These skills are all transferable to other departments within an organization.
3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
I would try to find someone in the field of marketing that may mentor you. Once you decide on the marketing option, I strongly suggest taking as many marketing classes as you can. This will give you a sense of which areas interest you. I would also take advantage of our outstanding career center and find a marketing internship. Internships are a win-win situation since they allow you to look at a field or company, and they give the company an opportunity to see if you would be a good fit for them. I would also join an organization like the American Marketing Association to meet upper classmen in the field. By doing this you will have the opportunity to meet with marketing executives and learn all about the various career opportunities in the field. Companies like to see well-rounded individuals so participating in a student organization is vital on several fronts. The business school has several outstanding student-run organizations. Get involved in one – become a chair person or run for an office. They provide invaluable.
4. What careers do you see marketing students entering when they graduate?
You can do sales, sales management, advertising, social media, public relations, brand or product management, market research, marketing consulting, retailing, sales, or international marketing.

Operations and Supply Chain Management

What is Operations and Supply Chain Management?

Operations Management is a business field dedicated to designing, overseeing, and controlling the production processes of goods and services offered by a company. It involves ensuring that both large and small scale operations are efficient and effective. Operations Management is mainly concerned with carrying out tactical decisions regarding development, production, and manufacturing, while also making sure these decisions reinforce company values.

The importance of the Operations and Supply Chain Management field has become more apparent in recent decades. Many companies derive competitive advantage from their operations systems: Dell through its direct-to-consumer model; Amazon.com through its unique distribution system; Toyota and Boeing through lean operations and Just-in-Time concept; and Costco through an efficient logistics network. Most companies now agree that world-class performance in operations and supply chain management is essential for their competitive success. The demand for these skills will grow as firms continue to recognize that they compete not only with new products, good marketing, and skillful finance, but also with unique competence in operations and supply chain management.

  • Supply Chain Analysis
    A supply chain analyst typically spends their time analyzing the flow of goods coming from suppliers, how these goods are delivered to the company, how the goods are then delivered to consumers, and which aspects of these transactions add or subtract value from the product.
  • Project Management
    Project Management is a mixture of large scale projects and detail management in which the assignment requires scheduling, timelines, and both human and resources management.
  • Supplier Management
    A supplier manager would typically deal directly with the people from which a company orders products, as opposed to managing the actual flow of goods.
  • Plant Management
    Manage the overall operations of a specific location, such as a warehouse or distribution center.
  • Productivity Analysis
    Evaluates performance, production, and productivity in order to find solutions to problems that help the firm meet its production goals.
  • Production Control
    Deals with the supply and demand of products to try and find the optimal tradeoff between producing too much or too little. The goal is to produce just enough of a product so the company won’t waste or lose money, but will still be able to meet demand.

Clubs/Organizations

  • Operations & Supply Chain Management Club (OSCM): OSCM is an organization that helps student members explore career opportunities within Operations & Supply Chain Management field through company visits, guest speakers, and workshops. To contact OSCM, email oscm@uw.edu.

Events/Activities
Please check out the Operations & Supply Chain Management Club Facebook Page for more information about upcoming events and activities.

  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)The APICS (Association for Operations Management) CSCP certification is the most widely recognized educational program for OSCM professionals around the globe. The certification provides you with mastery in best practices and distinguishes you as an industry expert.

Links to Vault Guide

  • Vault Career Guide to Supply Chain Management: Go to the Foster Library main webpage. Click the upper right hand corner to log into the system using your UW NetID & password. You can then utilize the “Guide” tab to find the “Vault Career Guide to Supply Chain Management”.

Students, alumni and a professor share their perspectives on the Operations Supply Chain Management option here at Foster.

Sarah Oates
Sarah Oates
Major: OSCM & Information Systems
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the operations supply chain management (OSCM) major at Foster?
Firstly, [in Operations] it feels like you are definitely at the forefront of the business. Without operations, the business just doesn’t succeed. To me, that is very exciting. Secondly, I believe it gives the most opportunity for innovation. There is structure and technique, but there is also a lot of room for changes that can better certain processes. Thirdly, I am really interested in going to different countries and traveling—that’s a passion of mine—and operations really gives you the chance to work across country lines and constantly be moving around.
2. How have your (OSCM) classes benefited you?
So far I have taken Principles of Operations Management (OPMGT 301) and I am currently in the Spreadsheet Models (QMETH 450) class. They’re definitely important in understanding the basics, what you can do with the basics and potential applications. Everything taught in the courses are core concepts to the major and everything you learn, including in the introductory 301 class, are very good basics to build upon. QMETH has optimization models that can be proven very useful in many different circumstances.
I’ve done a lot of agency recruiting, getting them to come to our events, client recruiting for our campaigns, coordinating people, and communication. I have my hands in all the areas. If you’re an officer in a club you get to go to a lot of cross-club meetings and you get to meet a lot more people than you would if you were just a member.
3. What do you enjoy most about the (OSCM) program?
I enjoy that it’s new, I enjoy there is a lot of ground that hasn’t been covered yet. Not just covered within the classroom, but ground to be built upon. For example, I started the Operations Management club and that was something I was able to contribute to Foster. All of the professors have been super open, super helpful. They have always been there not only for class help, but for other things as well. I’ve noticed a closer relationship with most of my Operations professors just because it’s something I am genuinely interested in and going to pursue, and that’s a commonality for us to build ground upon.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
Out of the two [I’ve taken], both were great, but so far I’d probably say Operations 301 just because it’s a much more broad class. You learn about all the different capabilities of operations management, all of the different applications and things you wouldn’t even think about, like Queuing models for example [models regarding how to form lines and how many workers are needed]. You don’t think waiting in line would be that hard, but they actually have a vast amount application for things like that. So that has been very interesting, and it inspired me so much that I went into it. Understanding the concepts was important to better understand what other people did and how it fit in with what I did in my specific role.
Nicholas Smith
Nicholas Smith
Options: OSCM & Finance
Class: Senior
1. What made you decide to pursue the operations supply chain management (OSCM) major at Foster?
It is a pretty good skill to have in addition to my other option, finance. OSCM is a good technical side to business that a lot of people don’t know about and I think the global business environment is evolving such that smarter and leaner processes are way more important. Being a new program on the cusp of a lot of new advances in business performance and stuff, it’s kind of a big deal now. So yeah, I added it thinking a more technical side of business would be important.
2. How have your (OSCM) classes benefited you?
My finance classes deal more with numbers and futures, stock trading, and evaluating companies. It is important to know the value of things, but I think Operations deals more with how are you going to take care of that value, and in some instances, how to maximize that value. [It seems] there are a lot of things you can do with Operations Management to maximize your company’s potential.3. What do you enjoy most about the (OSCM) program?
It is kind of a small program and you get to know the teachers better and the students in the program because you end up taking all the classes with the same people. When you don’t have to re-meet everyone and learn what type of people you’re working with, it’s more like a real business setting where you’re working with the same team and you understand each other’s strengths. Also, the teachers are all very approachable, very smart, and have great backgrounds. They are more than willing to help you understand what is going on.
4. What has been your favorite class in the option and why?
My favorite class was Inventory and Supply Chain Management (OPMGT 443). The professor made sure that everyone really understood what was going on in the class. It’s good to feel like you really understood something and walked out having learned something useful.
Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson
Occupation: Supply chain Manager
Organization: Welch Allyn
1. What do you like most about operations & supply chain management?
The ability to directly participate in the business and to generate tangible improvements to both customer and financial measures. For example, at my current company, raw material availability can be the primary impediment to production and thus customer fulfillment. At the same time, raw material comprises over 90% of our product cost. Finally, as a medical device company, quality is of paramount importance. Yet our manufacturing operations are focused on final assembly & inspection. This means we rely on the quality operating systems of our suppliers (with plenty of validation). Materials management is a major focus in this business environment for all of those reasons (Delivery, Cost/Profitability, and Quality). At a certain level, and in the right roles, there is the opportunity to lead end-to-end: from vision-strategy-capability roadmap-program management through day to day execution. Put another way, Operations and Supply Chain offers not only an abundance of analytical content, but also opportunities for innovation. The discipline required for operational excellence is often highly valued in other business fields. As a result, strong players in Operations have the opportunity to engage in, and even lead, other functional organizations. Finally, Operations and Supply Chain is playground of opportunity because there is always the next improvement or the next big initiative. No shortage of challenges.
2. Why is operations & supply chain management important to the business field?
This is a really good question. The question could also be asked in this way: Why don’t all Operations and Supply Chain leaders come from Industrial Engineering, or some other technical field? I personally believe that a combination of Business and Engineering backgrounds is ideal for Operations in technical industries. Operations sits at the intersection of other business functions and the more technical aspects of the business (i.e. R&D). It is not required to have both Business and Engineering education. But if you do not, it is critical to develop skills in the areas you are lacking once your career is underway. Also, many sub-specialties within Operations and Supply Chain are more business-oriented (i.e. Strategic Sourcing, Procurement/Purchasing, Sales & Operations Planning, and Business Planning). Having a broad business perspective is essential in leading these Operations/Supply Chain activities. Lastly, Manufacturing and Supply Chain strategies are fundamentally part of a broader business strategy. Capital decisions of where to build factories, whether to off-shore and/or outsource or where to invest in a distribution network… These are all business decisions at their core.
3. How did your Foster degree prepare you to enter the field of operations & supply chain management?
I concentrated on Finance within the MBA program while also doing the MPAcc. As an Operations leader, I draw upon my Finance/Accounting background every day. More importantly, I have developed strong work relationships and alliances with peer leadership in Finance which is can be essential in getting work done.This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek, but I’ll have to credit an Accounting professor you know, Stephan Sefcik, for some of the best career advice I received. His words, “Take the path of greatest resistance” helped guide several career decisions I have made.
4. What are the main skills and competencies needed to excel in operations & supply chain management?
Obviously an integrated approach. You are optimizing business decisions (with all the considerations) and not solely the measures of Operations success. Structured problem solving, project/program management, and process-orientation. Lean Six Sigma and operations excellence: With respect to Lean, remember it is about the relentless elimination of waste, but it does not create value in and of itself. Design thinking: This is different mental modality than typically associated with Operations. But it is the innovators who go furthest professionally.
Hamed Mamani
Hamed Mamani
Assistant Professor of Operations Management
At UW since 2008
1. What interests are important to excel in the OSCM field?
I would say that the main interest would be if you are interested in how things work. It can be anything, like how the stuff in your house works, even the physical things. In Operations, this is what you do. We ask ourselves, “Okay, so you want to produce this product, how do you do it?” If you are interested and have a curiosity in that sense, that’s a good indication that Operations can be your field. On top of that, if you always have this urge to make things work better, [Operations may be for you]. Optimization is the ultimate goal. If you have this urge to see how things work, and to make it better, that’s what we do in Operations. If you have that, Operations is probably the right field for you.
2. What kinds of skills will a student gain going through the OSCM program?
There is one key skill that you need to have in order to be successful in Operations, and that is the quantitative skill. That is one thing students will learn if they sign up and graduate with this option. We are very proud of that because it is something students can hang onto, [quantitative skills are] a real thing. This is not something you can learn on the job. You cannot pick up a book and read and know everything about it. I would say that one of the strong points of the program is that students graduate with things they can hold onto.
3. What would be your advice for students entering this option?
First and foremost, take Operations Management 301 as soon as possible. I think that’s a key one because that’s going to tell a student if they like the option or not. Number two, stop by the offices of the faculty here. They are all really receptive and it’s easy to go talk with them about the program. So, keep in contact with the professors or maybe start with the [OSCM] club if you’re more comfortable joining a club. But take 301 as early as you can because that’s going to tell you right from there if this is something you would like to pursue or not.
4. What careers do you see OSCM students entering when they graduate?
The great thing about this option is that the wide variety of choices that you have. From the supply chain info session night it is clear that there is a wide variety of companies, all the way from very quantitatively based Amazon type of companies to very strategic companies like Boeing (sourcing, choosing the best supplier). That’s one good thing about Operations & Supply Chain Management, just the sheer variety of applications that it can have. In terms of what type of careers, it depends on where students want to go. We have a lot of people that can be supply chain analysts and demand forecasters. People that go into project management can be procurement managers—these are what we call more on the soft side of the spectrum. These [involve] more leadership or strategic roles.Even if you don’t want to do operations, even if you want to go into finance, things that you learn here (spreadsheet modeling, data mining) are going to make you very marketable, a very hot candidate for a lot of companies. The fact that a student knows how to work with data, the fact that they can polish the data… Everybody wants to make sense of [their] data and the fact that students [will] know data mining is great for the company. It’s more about the skills that you learn instead of the actual degree that you get. I think that’s what really matters, and that is the main appeal of Operations Management to me.

 

Career Research and City Profiles

Career research

Access these popular career websites to learn more about industries, careers and companies. The Vault and Puget Sound Book of Lists are UW restricted and requires your UW login.

  • Vault: provides information and guides for over 3,000 companies, 40 industries, and over fifty career paths, including over ninety career guides, as well as employer profiles, articles, and advice on careers, resumes, and cover letters; and more.
  • Puget Sound Book of Lists (Business Journal): Who’s Who of Puget Sound. Full text of the Puget Sound Business Journal and the Book of Lists. Also includes full access to 40 other weeklies that are a part of the American City Business Journals Family.
  • Glassdoor An Inside look to jobs and companies, including interview questions (by company) and average salary information.

City Profiles

Are you considering relocating for your job or internship? Learn more about living and working in some of the most popular cities for recent alums.

Atlanta
Atlanta is a city with a lot to offer. With a great restaurant scene and a variety of professional sports, Atlanta might be the place for you!

Neighborhoods: Visit these sites to learn more about neighborhoods in Atlanta
Street Advisor reviews on best neighborhoods in Atlanta: Street Advisor
Explore all the neighborhoods on the city page: Atlanta.net

Activities: Atlanta is full of outdoor and other must-see activities
See the top 50 by Atlanta.net
Tripadvisor’s rundown of things to do: Trip Advisor

Places to Eat: Atlanta has many restaurants with southern influence, but the city also offers a variety of cuisines.
Atlanta Magazine’s top 50: Atlanta Magazine.com
Check out urbanspoon’s listings of top-rated restaurants by price range and popularity: Urbanspoon

Cost of Living:
For information about cost of living in Atlanta, please visit Numbeo

Transportation:
For basic information about public transport in Atlanta visit: MARTA
An in depth look at transportation types in Atlanta: Viral Tourists
Travel from the airport and ground transportation

Major Industries:
Atlanta is one of ten U.S. cities classified as an “alpha-world city” by a 2010 study at Loughborough University and hubs major businesses such as The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, United Parcel Service, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, and Newell Rubbermaid. For more information about major industries visit Forbes.

Alum perspective:
Kelly JacksonName: Kelly Jackson
Role: Director of Marketing
Company: PMAlliance, Inc
What are some of your favorite activities to do in Atlanta?
I am currently enjoying the fantastic restaurant scene here; it’s impossible to name even a fraction of the restaurants! I also love exploring new neighborhoods and communities that I had never been to when I lived here before. I am trying to be more of a tourist in my own city this time around and so far Atlanta has not disappointed.

Austin, TX
Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and is currently the 11th largest city in the U.S. with about 900,000 residents. The culture in Austin is fun and spontaneous, with its unofficial local motto being “Keep Austin Weird”. Its growing population and business have drawn many young professionals to move to the city.

Neighborhoods: Austin has many neighborhoods that are “loosely defined”. One of the busiest neighborhoods is the Sixth Entertainment District, which is downtown and features numerous bars, music venues and restaurants.

  • For more information, check out Trip Advisor’s List of Neighborhoods
  • Here is also Airbnb’s guide to neighborhoods in Austin

Activities: Austin boasts a large variety of activities for the outdoorsman, with activities such as biking in Zilker Park to swimming in Barton Springs Pool. Austin is a great city for exploring and staying active.

Places to Eat: Austin is known for its wide variety of multi-cultural cuisines including Mexican dishes, Asian dishes, Italian dishes and, of course, American BBQ.

  • Yelp is an excellent resource for viewing the city’s top user-rated restaurants
  • Check out Zomato’s listings of restaurants by price range and popularity

Cost of Living: Compared to big cities such as New York and San Francisco, Austin has approximately a 30% lower cost of living.

  • Check out Numbeo’s detailed breakdown of the cost of living in Austin

Transportation: Austin has various modes of public transportation including busses, commuter rails and a ridesharing system.

Major Industries: Austin serves as the home development center and headquarters for many technology corporations. In recent years, it’s also been known to be The Live Music Capital of the World.

  • Visit Forbes’ city profile on Austin for further information about its industries
  • Here is The Texas Economy’s analysis on business in Texas as a whole

Alumni Perspective:
Josh Twaddle “All I was reading in articles, city rankings and hearing from friend’s personal experiences was that Austin was the place to be so I left in my mini cooper and drove off in a 3,000 mile journey to the live music capital of the world: Austin, Texas. The one thing you will notice is how many Austin transplants actually live in this city. It seems like every young professional who was up for an adventure is already in Austin or on their way there. It is a walkable city where many people rely on the bus system, metro rail, or personal bicycles/mopeds (welcome to the Barcelona of Texas). My advice to the student who is considering a move to Austin, or any city for that matter, is to evaluate if this move will push you out of your comfort zone or not. Take risks, stay curious, meet people, cross cultural barriers and never stop following your passion.” -Josh Twaddle, Apple at Austin, TX

Boston

Photo Boston nightfall by anpalacios, used under the Creative Commons license.

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S, home to the country’s first public school and first subway and now a thriving industrial and cultural center. Here are some great resources to learn more about the city.

Neighborhoods: Boston’s neighborhoods each have their own unique flavor. Check out these resources to determine which area matches what you’re looking for.

Activities: As one of the oldest cities in the country, Boston is rich with historical and cultural sites. Look to these resources to plan activities, weekend trips and other ways to explore your new city.

Places to Eat: Boston is a hub for great cuisine and is particularly known for its lobster roll and other great seafood.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in Boston compares with that of other cities.

Transportation: Boston’s public transportation makes it easy to work in the city.

Major Industries: Boston is a hub for education, biotechnology, tourism and financial services. Learn more about the major industries in Boston.

Alum perspective:

Thomas Vou“Sometimes I just like walking the city to explore what’s there. Boston has the Freedom Trail, a walking trail throughout the city that leads you to historic sites like the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, the Old State House, and Faneuil Hall. When it’s warm enough, I enjoy running along the Charles River or walking through Boston Common and the Public Garden. With easy access to seafood (make sure to grab a lobster roll!), Little Italy and the Back Bay, Boston’s a great place for your palate to explore.”

– Thomson Vou, director of administration, Inspire Arts & Music

Chicago

Photo Chicago Skyline by Nimesh Madhavan, used under the Creative Commons license.

Chicago is a key center for many industries, including transportation and telecommunications, and home to one of the busiest airports in the world. Here are some great resources to learn more about the country’s third most populous city.

Neighborhoods: Chicago’s North, South, West neighborhoods have their own distinct culture and feel. These resources will help find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: Chicago is full of fun, good food and things to do. Check out these great attractions to get you acquainted with the city.

Places to Eat: Chicago is an awesome place to try new food with great places to eat all over the city.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in Chicago compares with other cities.

Transportation: Chicago is a major hub for transportation particularly serving as a major port for air travel and the 2nd largest transit city.

Major Industries: Chicago is a hub for financial services, engineering, publishing and food processing. Learn more about the major industries in Chicago.

Alum perspective:

Camille Shawley“The people are so friendly; it’s hard not to become fast friends with coworkers and neighbors. You’ll get invitations to barbecues and parties before you know it. Also, there are truly four seasons in Chicago, unlike Seattle’s two, so your wardrobe will have to grow.”

– Camille Shawley, manager of business strategy, Sears Holdings Corporation

Dallas

Dallas is the proud home of the Dallas Cowboys, authentic barbeque cuisine, and a rising powerhouse in the technology industry. Discover new adventures waiting for you in Texas.

Neighborhoods

  • Dallas News highlights the Top 10 neighborhoods by different categories.
  • Area Vibes shows each neighborhood’s “Livability Score” and maps out local amenities.
  • Dallas Roommates tells you a little more about the type of roommate you can find in the neighborhood you’re looking into.

Activities

Places to eat

Cost of Living

  • Learn about the average cost of living in Dallas here.

Transportation

Major Industries: Dallas is a hub for technology, financial services, and defense. Learn more about the major industries in Dallas.

Alum perspective:
Ashley FarnsworthName: Ashley Farnsworth
Role: Manager-Sales Support, Retail Centralized Attendance Group
Company: AT&T
What do you like about living in Dallas? The Texas State Fair is an absolute must. Each year, there is a fried food contest, which has brought to life infamous dishes like deep-fried twinkies and deep-fried butter. If you’re not quite that adventurous, you can (and should) order the original corn dog from Fletcher’s. Aside from the fair, which only runs late September to mid-October, there are a number of great local craft breweries that offer frequent tours and tastings. I also really enjoy going to the Bishop Arts District, which has a lot of cute shops and eateries, including my favorite Dallas-area Texas barbeque spot, Lockhart Smokehouse.

Denver, CO
Denver is known for its abundance in outdoors activities, fresh air and beautiful scenery. What is less well known about Denver is its business-friendly environment, having been voted number six for “Best Places for Business and Careers”. Whether it’s for the outdoors or building your career, Denver is a great place to begin your life after graduation.
Neighborhoods: Denver’s laid back attitude is shown in its neighborhoods from hip restaurants and nightclubs to Victorian houses.Visit these sites to learn more about neighborhoods in Denver.

Activities: Denver is a great city for travelers who like the mountain scene. Be sure to check out Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Also, check out Larimer Square, a great place to sample the city’s food and beer scene.

Places to Eat: Denver is known for their chef-owned neighborhood restaurants.

  • View thousands of user reviews for top-rated restaurants on Yelp
  • Check out Zomato’s listings of top-rated restaurants by price range and popularity

Cost of Living: The cost of living is about 20% lower than that of New York and San Francisco and about 10% lower than Seattle. For a single person, average monthly expenses are estimated at about $891.70.

  • For information about cost of living in Denver, please visit Numbeo

Transportation: There are a variety of modes of transportation in Denver, including buses and a railway system.

Major Industries: Located in the American west, popular industries include distribution, technology, telecommunications, and energy.

  • For more information about major industries visit: Forbes

Alumni Perspective:
Amanda Baker “Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone will probably involve a week of binge-watching all seasons of House of Cards. That being said, the transition was much easier than I expected. Denver is a very open, warm city, so I quickly made friends through work and volunteering. The overall atmosphere is adventurous, outdoorsy, laidback, and young. Drive a few hours in any direction and you’ll find incredible hiking, skiing, river rafting, and more.” -Amanda Baker, Business Technology Analyst at Deloitte Consulting

Houston, TX
The largest city in Texas, Houston is a southern Metropolis. Its downtown is rich with a Theater District, home to the Houston Grand Opera, and houses the NFL Houston Texans. A big player in the aerospace industry, Houston is a great place to explore as a new professional.

Neighborhoods: The Houston neighborhoods all have their own personalities. These resources will find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: Houston is full of fun, good food and things to do. Check out these great attractions to get you acquainted with the city.

  • TripAdvisor will show you the best things to do, voted on by past visitors
  • Visit Houston an event calendar of all things happening in the city
  • Thrillist is a great place to go for free activity ideas in Houston

Places to Eat: Houston is an awesome place to try new food with great places to eat all over the city.

Cost of Living: Houston boasts a relatively inexpensive cost of living

Transportation: Houston is extremely well-connected. Check out these resources to learn more about transportation in the city.

  • Virtual Tourist has reviews on experiences on the transit and how to get from here to there

Major Industries: Houston is a hub for aerospace, distribution, energy and headquarters.

Alumni Perspective:

Jeff Fajardo“I went to live in Houston with no friends and left with tons. Houstonians frequently invited me to Crawfish Boils (a TX tradition), concerts, and even took me to see the Turtle Races in Midtown! I was never bored. Not only does Houston have an NBA team, the Rockets (RIP Sonics), it is also home to NASA’s Mission Control and the Energy Industry both attracting forward thinking business people. I can’t wait to move back when I graduate, yee-haw!” -Jeff Fajardo, Budget Analyst Intern, NASA Johnson Space Center

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a center of creativity known for its beautiful sunny weather. Here are some great resources to learn more about the city.

Neighborhoods: The sunny city of LA offers a ton of great places to live.

Activities: Living in LA gives you the opportunity to explore all the fun things to do both on and off the beach.

Places to Eat: LA is known for amazingly healthy eats, authentic Mexican food, and has great places to satisfy your hunger.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in Los Angeles compares with other cities.

Transportation: There are many ways to get around LA. Car, bus and subway are some of the ways Los Angeles residents get around.

  • LA Public Transportation provides descriptions of all the public transit options in the city.
  • Getting Around LA, an interactive blog that discusses how people in LA are utilizing different forms of transportation.

Major Industries: LA is a large manufacturing hub with strong international trade. Learn more about the major industries in LA.

Alum perspective:

Simran Kuar“I love the weather; it’s 80 degrees in January here! Also, I love seeing palm trees everywhere and being able to go to the beach often. There is so much to do here. You can’t ever be bored.”

– Simran Kaur, analyst, Accenture

New York City

New York New York by Aftab Uzzamann, used under the Creative Commons license.

New York is a city full of diversity and opportunity. Check out some great resources to learn more about the city.

Neighborhoods: New York is full of culture, exciting things to do and a multitude of young professionals. These resources will find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: New York is the city that never sleeps. Check out these great attractions to get you acquainted with the city.

Places to Eat: New York is a fantastic place to try new foods with great places to eat all over the city.

Cost of Living: New York is the most expensive city in the U.S. See how the city compares to others.

Transportation: New York has an excellent public transportation system. Here are some resources on how to get around.

Major Industries: New York is a hub for financial services, media, and communications. It is ranked #1 as best city for a young professional. Learn more about the major industries in New York.

Alum perspective:
Shannon O'Grady“I love being around people that are pursuing their dreams, whether it be career, travel or hobby-related. I love that people from all over the country and world live here, and there is a huge Seattle and UW contingency that makes me feel at home. I love that the city is constantly evolving and nothing is predictable or impossible. You can leave your apartment with no plans and, before you know it, your day may be full of new experiences and new friends. Everyone who lives here is always up for an adventure and willing to take chances, so you never have a shortage of things to do–or people to do them with.” – Shannon O’Grady, Vice President, Investor Relations Business Development, Blackstone

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia is the most populous city in Pennsylvania and the fifth-most populous city in the United States, with a population of about 1.6 million people. The city is known for its rich history, monumental buildings and iconic Philly cheesesteak.

Neighborhoods: Philadelphia has many small neighborhoods scattered around the city, all with distinct personalities.

  • Please visit Visit Philly’s list of various neighborhoods around the city
  • Trip Advisor also has its own list of neighborhoods

Activities: Philadelphia is rich in history, shown by attractions such as the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall. For those of age, the popularity of local craft breweries has led to a vibrant social scene.

Places to Eat: While Philly cheesesteaks are famous in Philadelphia, Philadelphia is also known for various other foods including hoagies, scrapple, soft pretzels, water ice, Irish potato candy and Tastykake.

  • Yelp provides lots of user feedback on top restaurants in Philadelphia
  • Check out Zomato’s listings of top-rated restaurants by price range and popularity to find other local treasures

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Philadelphia is a bit lower than in big cities such as New York and San Francisco. The estimated monthly expense for a single person is $973.88.

  • For a further breakdown of cost of living in Philadelphia, please visit Numbeo

Transportation: Philadelphia has a variety of public transportation systems including busses, trains, rapid transit, trolleys and trackless trolleys.

  • Here is Visit Philly’s guide to transportation in Philadelphia
  • For information about Philadelphia’s public metro system, please visit SEPTA

Major Industries: In addition to being a large historical hub, Philadelphia is known for evolving into a large information technology and service based economy.

  • City Data has lots of great information on the Philadelphia’s economy
  • Business Climate is also another great resource for industry specific information

Alumni Perspective:

Jacob Davis “Philly is a melting pot of vibrant and proud neighborhoods. These communities produce incredible music and food; beer and food lovers rejoice! Located along the outskirts lies Vanguard, the world’s fastest-growing and 2nd largest asset manager. Our client-owned structure and our culture are our greatest competitive advantages. Guided by our principles: take a stand for all investors, treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success, we always do the right thing.” -Jacob Davis, Vanguard Accelerated Program at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phoenix

Phoenix is a great place to work and enjoy sunny weather. Check out these resources to learn more.

Neighborhoods: Phoenix’s neighborhoods each have their own distinct culture and feel. These resources will find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: Phoenix is full of tourist attractions to check out and places to relax both indoors and out.

Places to Eat: Phoenix has an entire smorgasbord of cuisines to try out.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in Phoenix compares with that of other cities.

Transportation: Phoenix has a great public transportation system. Check out these resources to learn more about transportation in the city.

Major Industries: Phoenix is a hub for tourism and technology. Learn more about the major industries in Phoenix.

Alum perspective:

Javier Andre Rodriguez“It’s a place you may not have considered, but it’s becoming a big business hub and is the 5th largest city in the US. With a large influx of new tech companies, the area has been dubbed the “Silicon Desert”; a play off of Silicon Valley. Be prepared to adapt but also enjoy the changes that come with it. It’s less urban than Seattle, but more centrally located within the US so you get to experience new areas you may not have seen before. And remember to bring your suntan lotion!”

– Javier Andre Rodriguez, financial analyst, Intel Corporation

Portland

Photo Portland, OR Skyline – Hawthorne Bridge by Nathan, used under the Creative Commons license.

Portland is an amazing city and a great alternative to Seattle for those interested in working in the Pacific Northwest. Check out these resources to learn more.

Neighborhoods: Portland’s neighborhoods each have their own unique flavor. Check out these resources to determine which area matches what you are looking for.

Activities: Portland is a source of great outdoor adventures. Look to these resources to plan activities, weekend trips and other journeys to explore your new city.

Places to Eat: Portland is a hub for great cuisine and is particularly known for its eccentric food choices.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in Portland compares with that of other cities.

Transportation: Portland’s public transportation makes it easy to work in the city.

  • Getting Around Portland provides short guides for common forms of transportation in the city.
  • TriMet features official public transit schedule information, complete with real-time information on delays, and a trip planner.

Major Industries: Portland is a hub for real estate, construction, and transportation. Learn more about the major industries in Portland.

Alum perspective:

Amanda Hamilton“I love the atmosphere here. Everyone here is really friendly and laid-back. I find I’m surviving the city and becoming an Oregon Duck as well. I also love that Portland is an emerging business hub with a lot of opportunity to grow. It’s still got that PNW feel while offering a whole lot of new experiences.”

– Amanda Hamilton, technical support analyst, Salesforce.com

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is an up-and-coming city in the U.S. Check out these resources to learn more.

Neighborhoods: Salt Lake City has a variety of trendy and cultured neighborhoods.

Activities: The city boasts a wide range of activities for all times of year.

Places to Eat: Enjoy all the fine places to eat in Salt Lake City.

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Salt Lake City can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. Find out how the different neighborhoods compare.

Transportation: The best ways to get around in Salt Lake City are by car or public transportation

Major Industries: The major industries in Salt Lake City are tourism, health care, and transportation. Learn more about the major industries in the area.

Alum perspective:

Pitichoke Chulapamornsri“This is a great place to launch a career. It has many prestigious multi-national companies. You can save money with the relatively low-cost of living and access the world-class ski resorts.”

– Pitichoke Chulapamornsri, senior analyst in the Investment Management Division, Goldman Sachs

San Diego

Photo San Diego marina at sunrise by slack12, used under the Creative Commons license.

San Diego is a great place to enjoy sunny weather, beaches and fun activities. Check out these resources for the city.

Neighborhoods: San Diego’s neighborhoods each have their own distinct culture and feel. These resources will find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: San Diego is full of fun activities, good food and things to do. Check out these great attractions as you get acquainted with the city.

Places to Eat: San Diego is an awesome place to try new food with great places to eat all over the city.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in San Diego compares with that of other cities.

Transportation: San Diego is a great city to walk, bike or ride to work. Check out these resources to learn more about transportation in the city.

Major Industries: San Diego is a hub for defense, tourism and technology. Learn more about the major industries in San Diego.

Alum perspectives:

Amanda Balaoing“I am a huge sports fan (I still have season tickets to UW football!) so I love going to Padres games in the summer and Chargers games in the fall. I love going to the beach, hiking and trying different activities on the water like kayaking and paddleboarding. Coronado and La Jolla are my absolute places to be in San Diego on a warm sunny day, with great beaches, restaurants and bars, and shopping. The UW Alumni Association chapter in San Diego is fairly large with great turnouts at events and game watching parties. It’s also fun to be around Huskies outside of Seattle.”

– Amanda Balaoing, cost analyst, General Atomics

San Francisco

San Francisco is a hub for new innovation and interesting technology. Check out these resources to learn more about the city.

Neighborhoods: San Francisco’s neighborhoods each have their own distinct culture and feel. These resources will find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: San Francisco is full of fun, good food, and tons to do. Check out these great attractions to get you acquainted with the city.

Places to Eat: San Francisco is an awesome place to try new food with great places to eat all over the city.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in San Francisco compares with other cities.

Transportation: San Francisco is a great city to walk, bike or ride. Check out these resources to learn more about transportation in the city.

Major Industries: San Francisco is a hub for financial services, tourism and technology. Learn more about the major industries in the city.

Curtis HowellWeather: I’ve been in San Francisco for four months and I have seen it rain twice. I’m writing these notes in Sausalitio, a small town located a short bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s sunny, a bit warmer than 70 degrees, and there is not a cloud in the sky. And it’s January.

Culture: Each neighborhood in San Francisco is culturally distinctive, even though they are geographically close. On any given weekend, there are many cultural events that are open to everyone.

Innovation: San Francisco is the center of the technology industry, and it is apparent everywhere. Every week I am amazed to find that a significant technology company is located just a couple blocks from where I live. Because so many tech leaders and enthusiasts live in San Francisco, there is a strong propensity to try new services and products. I enjoy supporting companies that launch their products and services here in the city.”

– Curtis Howell, product manager, Redfin

San Jose

San Jose is in the heart of the Silicon Valley. There are hundreds of start up companies as well as large corporations. Opportunities to meet people from across the United States and world are vast in the Silicon Valley

Neighborhoods: San Jose’s various neighborhoods each accommodate distinctive cultures and lifestyles. These resources will help you find a unique place to live in the “Capital of Silicon Valley.”

San Jose Neighborhoods:

Check out this site to look for potential roommates:

Activities: As the third largest city in California, San Jose is full of fun things to do. Check out these great attractions to get you acquainted with the city.
10Best Lists of things to see, eat, and more:

  • 10 Best Destinations
  • Fun and Cheap San Jose Attractions: This list provides you with a ton of fun and cheap things to do in SJ.

Places to Eat: San Jose is home to a variety of foods, from classic American to ethnic delicacies.

The best restaurants in San Jose by category according to Local Eats

Cost of Living: Check out this page to learn more about cost of living.

Transportation: Check out these resources to learn more about transportation in the city.

Major Industries: San Jose is in the heart of the Silicon Valley!

Alum perspective:
Nashua SpringberryName: Nashua Springberry
Role: Advisory Management Consulting Associate
Company: PwC
What do you like most about living in San Jose?
San Jose is sunny year-round, and it’s refreshing compared to Seattle’s weather. The city as a whole is very relaxed, but the biggest thing to remember is that where you live is what you make of it. I live in a close-knit apartment community, which sometimes goes out to attend events, experience the nightlife, and more.

Vancouver, WA
Just a three hour drive north of Seattle, Vancouver is one of the largest and most vibrant cities on the West Coast. Rich in diversity and culture, the city offers an exciting international experience.

Neighborhoods: Vancouver’s diverse neighborhoods each offer unique qualities.

Activities: As the largest city in British Columbia, Vancouver is regarded as the economic and cultural capital of Canada’s West Coast. Vancouver offers fantastic activities all year round.

Places to Eat: Rich cultural diversity makes Vancouver a hotspot for fantastic food of every type.

Cost of Living: Vancouver is one of the most desirable places to live on the West Coast.

Transportation: Given its geography, serves as the largest port in all of Canada. The city also recently underwent an overhaul of its transportation system in 2010 when it hosted the Olympics.

Major Industries: Given its geography, serves as the largest port in all of Canada. In recent years, the city has also seen tremendous growth in software, aerospace, and biotechnology.

Alumni Perspective:
Charlie Hughes“Vancouver is a world-class city with lots of excitement from hiking to skiing to beaches and parks. The food is phenomenal and brings the best tastes from all over the globe. If you enjoy views of the water, endless activities, and fresh mountain air, you’d certainly love Vancouver. As for work, Vancouver is an energetic city with a diverse range of industries and plenty of water-side office space!” -Charlie Hughes, Financial Security Advisor at Freedom 55 Financial

Washington DC

D.C. is the capital of the United States and the hub of all U.S. politics, with many great job opportunities. Here are some helpful resources to learn more about the city.

Neighborhoods: The D.C. neighborhoods all have their own personalities. These resources will find you a unique place to live close to your future job.

Activities: D.C. is full of fun, good food and things to do. Check out these great attractions to get you acquainted with the city.

Places to Eat: D.C is an awesome place to try new food with great places to eat all over the city.

Cost of Living: Learn how the cost of living in D.C. compares with other cities.

Transportation: D.C. is a great city to use public transportation. Check out these resources to learn more about transportation in the city.

Major Industries: D.C. is a hub for federal government, tourism and education. Learn more about the major industries in the city.

Alum perspective:
Nathan Lee“Some of my favorite activities include: hiking the Shenandoah, concerts at venues like the 9:30 Club and Kennedy Center and events like Embassy Week, National Tree Lighting and Cherry Blossom Festival.”

– Nate Lee, finance leadership development program analyst, Lockheed Martin

Career Roadmaps: Undergraduate Students

Freshmen

Welcome: To help you get settled at UW:

  • Meet your academic advisers
  • Get to know your way around campus
  • Attend the Freshmen Direct Workshop

Connect:
Join in the Foster Community:

  • Check out the clubs and student organizations
  • Begin networking
  • Talk with upperclassmen
  • Connect with Faculty
Develop:

  • Attend a resume workshop to update your professional resume
  • Take the Career Leader online assessment
  • Investigate the options offered at Foster

Explore:

  • Your interests, abilities
  • Academic options and classes
  • Possible career paths by talking to faculty and others in your network
  • Visit Career Services, meet the staff, discuss career possibilities

Create:

  • A list of goals for the next 3 years
  • A Handshake profile
Experience:

  • Internships can be done at any time
  • Part time or summer jobs are great resume builders
  • Volunteer, serve the community

Sophomore

Join:

  • A Foster club organization

Attend:

  • The Business Career Fair
  • Career Networking Nights
  • Workshops- Resumes- Interview preparation- Career fair preparation- Social media

Meet:
Come into the Career Services’ office to discuss:

  • Resumes, cover letters
  • Career exploration
  • Conducting informational interviews
Visit:

  • Go on a career trek to a company’s office to meet the employer and learn about the company
  • Attend a coffee chat to talk with an employer in a more casual setting

Check:

  • Internships in Handshake
  • Meet with an academic advisor to check on your progress
  • Research organizations that may fit your career interests
  • Revise your resume
  • Get ready for fall recruiting- Professional attire- Interviewing skills- Cover letter writing- Etiquette

Junior

Join:

  • LinkedIn
  • Foster business clubs

Attend:

  • The Business Career Fair
  • Career workshops
  • Employer info sessions
  • On campus interviewing
  • Industry Focus Nights
  • Foster business clubs

Meet:
Visit the U office to discuss:

  • Career exploration
  • Interview preparation
  • Negotiating job offers
  • Job/internship search
Apply:

  • Check Handshake daily
  • Internship search (Dec–March) for summer internships
  • Read the Foster internship list serve e-mail

Learn:
Discuss careers and companies through:

  • Career Treks
  • Career Networking Nights
  • Coffee Chats
Research:
Use online resources to learn about companies:

  • Foster Library Online
  • The Vault
  • Book of Lists
  • Puget Sound Biz Journal

Prepare:

  • Invest in professional attire
  • Brush up on etiquette and professionalism

Network:
Build your network throughout your time at UW

  • Cultivate professional contacts
  • Join LinkedIn groups
  • Conduct informational interviews
Continue:
Don’t slow down because its summer!

  • Keep networking
  • Check e-mail
  • Update LinkedIn
  • Update resume
  • Work hard at your internship

Senior

Research:
Continue to research companies, especially those signed up for:

  • Business Career Fair
  • Info sessions on campus
  • Resume reviews & mock interviews

Attend:
The Business Career Fair in October
Meet:
Come into the Career Services’ office to discuss:

  • Career goals and action plan
  • Companies to research
  • Utilizing your network
  • Accessing job search resources
Practice:
Participate in:

  • Mock interviews
  • Employer resume reviews
  • Interview clinics

Lead:
Senior year offers many leadership opportunities:

  • Student club executive board position
  • Group project leader
  • Mentoring or peer coaching

 

Check:
Handshake often

Learn:
Come into the Career Services’ or attend a workshop to learn:

  • Negotiating a job package
  • Comparing job offers

Celebrate:
Identify successes throughout the job search:

  • An invitation to interview
  • A job offer
  • Completion of an internship
  • Graduation

Give Back:

  • Update your information in the alumni database
  • Tell the UCS where you’re working
  • Serve as a resource for future students
  • Attend Foster GOLD events