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Meet the 2023-2024 class of Fritzky Leadership Fellows

Each year, second-year MBA students are paired with first-year MBAs to provide peer coaching, team–related support, and more. Get to know this year’s class of Fellows by reading their bios below. Learn more about the Leadership Fellows Program here.

Ansa Arif

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Ansa grew up in Lahore, Pakistan before moving to Seattle 3 years ago. She pursued her undergraduate degree in Biology and has worked across three different industries. She started her career with Pakistan’s equivalent of Teach for America where she taught in underserved schools, moved on to health tech consulting and most recently was working at Pakistan’s largest bank, HBL as an FX dealer. She worked as a Summer Associate at Kearney over the summer. She is also the VP of Alumni affairs.

Ansa is excited to support incoming MBA students with their professional and personal journeys. The advice and perspective offered by her Fritzky Fellows was invaluable in navigating her first year and she is grateful to have the opportunity to pay it forward.

Kristen Bales

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A Washington native, Kristen grew up in Redmond. She moved to Southern California and is an alumna of Biola University, where she studied Business and Art. After graduating, Kristen moved to San Francisco to work for Adobe in Marketing. She gained a strong data-driven background through managing multi-million-dollar budgets for Adobe’s Experience Cloud across search engines globally. However, her experience in search marketing left her wanting to more fully utilize her creativity and passion for equipping and empowering others to flourish.

Over the summer, Kristen joined Microsoft as an HR Rotational Leadership Intern. Her ideal role is purposed towards increasing employee engagement, shaping company culture, and supporting employees returning from parental and bereavement leaves. Kristen also volunteered with TEDxSeattle as a Speaker Coach Program Manager and Speaker Recruiter Team Lead.

Kristen is excited to come alongside first year MBA candidates as a Fritzky Fellow and welcome them into the Foster community. Her goal is to get to know them and make them feel known. Kristen is also a Forté Fellow and Consortium member.

Cory Elam

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Cory grew up in Speedway, Indiana (home of the Indianapolis 500) before attending Purdue University to study Industrial Engineering. Following graduation, he joined a consulting firm named enVista, where he took on roles in supply chain strategy projects, such as distribution center design and analyzing investments in automation. Cory came to Foster to gain more business leadership skills and to explore careers in broader disciplines of strategy.

Cory was eager to pursue a position in the Fritzky Fellows program because of his passion for mentoring others and his desire to give back to the Foster community. Cory interned at Starbucks as a Product Manager in the Summer of 2023, and he will be serving as the ’23-’24 President of Foster Strategy Club.

Ravali Kothuri

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Ravali grew up in India and completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at IIT Madras. Post IIT Madras. She worked as a Product Engineer at Maybank for 2.5 years, working on software application development, collaborating with global and local cross-functional teams, and guiding new recruits. Later, Ravali joined Synamedia as a Software Architect, where she designed software products for UAE clients. At Synamedia, Ravali also participated in the corporate social responsibility team, liaising with various non-profits and allocating $130K towards numerous social initiatives.

Apart from being a Fritzky Fellow, Ravali will also serve as the VP of Events for both the Data & Analytics and Strategy clubs. This summer, Ravali worked on a clean energy project, as a Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, with the Burke Center and Population Health Initiative at UW.

Having found immense support from her Fritzky Fellows during her first year at Foster, she aspires to provide similar support to incoming first year MBA students.

Alex MacIntosh

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Alex grew up on Vancouver Island, BC before earning his BA at Harvard. He spent the past nine years in San Francisco as a product manager and general manager for several startup technology firms and was most recently focused on developing programs that help private forest landowners engage in environmental services markets. This cemented Alex’s conviction that he wants to spend the rest of his career in the forest management and forest products sectors, and he came to Foster to build a robust set of tools to help him maximize his impact in his future endeavors. This summer, Alex interned with Merrill & Ring, a Seattle-based high-yield sustainable forest management firm.

Alex is passionate about leadership and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as a resource to the incoming first year class during this momentous time in their personal and professional lives. Alex is also looking forward to the opportunity to develop further as a leader by learning from the other Fritzky Fellows in an intimate environment of intention, reflection, and commitment.

Vatsal Patni

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Vatsal grew up in Bangalore, India and holds a bachelor’s in computer science engineering. After college, Vatsal worked as a Product Consultant for a Fintech company enabling banks and financial institutes with their Data Management, Regulatory and Risk Reporting and other compliances working closely with clients in the Middle East. Vatsal has also worked as a Data and Cloud Consultant for a leading Australian firm driving digital transformation journeys for clients in the Finance and Telecom industries in Australia and New Zealand. He has been a professional emcee hosting various corporate, TEDx and other such events and a mentor for his organization’s Toastmasters Club.

Over the summer, Vatsal interned at ZS Associates as a Business Technology Solutions Consultant Intern. He is also the Vice President of Foster Consulting Society.

Vatsal benefited greatly from the mentorship and guidance his first year Fritzky Fellows extended, and he now wishes to pay it forward by helping incoming students make the most of their MBA experience.

Santiago Tavoloni

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Santiago grew up in Trenque Lauquen, Argentina before moving to Seattle to start his MBA. He earned his BS in Economics at the University of Buenos Aires in 2015. Since then, Santiago pursued a career in business in LatAm where he applied data science tools and consulting analysis in the Media, Market Research and Travel industries. Santiago came to Foster to enhance his leadership and business skills, looking to become a consultant.

Santiago decided to become a Leadership Fellow because he believes in his capability of helping others grow and become leaders. His experience as a Rotary Exchange Student in 2008 made him realize how much positive impact business leaders can bring to their own communities.

Outside of Fritzky, Santiago will be involved in the MBA community as a VP of International Affairs, seeking to channel the voices of international students and help them grow their professional outlook

Michael Taylor

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Michael studied Math and Economics as an undergrad at Rice University and worked as a derivatives market maker in various commodity markets until 2020 when he started a business building algorithmic futures trading models. Motivated by the growing global effects of climate change, he chose to attend Foster to transition into a career in social and environmental impact. Predictably, Michael loves the outdoors, particularly climbing, hiking, and backpacking in the forests and mountains. He has lived all around the US, but the PNW is his favorite place so far.

Next year, Michael will serve as a board member for Foster’s Net Impact and Out in Business clubs and is delighted to be a part of the Fritzky program. As a fellow, he hopes to support Foster’s inclusive community by offering mentorship and friendship to the incoming class in the support of their personal and professional goals.

Amelie Touroyan

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Amélie joins us from Boston, Massachusetts, where she grew her business development career with a focus on building programs and cross-functional leadership.

Amélie enjoys scoping challenges and executing on new ideas. Most recently, she was tasked with elevating the sales organization at an open-source technology business during a critical growth period. As a result of her work, the company saw increases in rep attainment to quota, 90% account renewal rate (highest on record), and a 3-fold improvement in new rep onboarding time. Most importantly, her program contributed to record-setting annual recurring revenue.

As a recipient of mentorship and guidance, Amélie believes in paying it forward by joining the Fritzky Fellow program. During the summer, she interned in the technology strategy practice at EY in addition to climbing and trail running in the PNW. Next year, she will continue in her MBAA role as VP of Academic Affairs, facilitating discussion and feedback between students, the program office, and faculty.

Palak Tyagi

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Originally from Bangalore, India, Palak spent 4.5 years working as a Software Development and Web Operations Engineer at BlackRock before deciding to pursue an MBA for a career pivot.

Palak is thrilled to serve as a Fritzky Leadership Fellow because she has experienced firsthand the value of mentorship and leadership support during her time in the MBA program. She has been grateful for the guidance provided by her work mentors and Fritzky leaders who have helped her navigate challenging situations and directed her to helpful resources. Palak understands how daunting it can be to navigate the new environment of an MBA program and wants to provide support to first-year students as they balance their academic and personal goals. Over the summer, Palak interned as a Business Technology Consultant at ZS Associates.

As a Fritzky Leadership Fellow, Palak looks forward to using her own experiences to help individual MBA teams focus and reflect on their team process and functioning. Along with being a Fritzky Leadership fellow Palak also serves as the VP of Community for Women in Business.

Irfan Vengasseri

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Irfan was born in Kerala, India, and was brought up in Doha, Qatar. He went back to India for his undergrad in computer science and engineering, post which he worked as a software engineer with JPMorgan out of their tech-hub in Bengaluru, India.

Having benefited from various mentorships throughout his life, Irfan is a strong believer in the power of mentorships and the bonds they create. In his first year, he leaned in on his Fritzky fellows for support and guidance and sees the fellowship as the perfect opportunity to pay it forward.

In addition to the fellowship, Irfan will be serving as the EVP of Operations for the MBAA in his second year. This summer, he worked as a Program Management Intern at AstrumU Inc., a Seattle-based EdTech startup.

Ni Zhang

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Ni grew up in Shanghai, China and she pursued her undergraduate degree in Public Administration at Fudan University. She spent 7 years as a Project Manager and Product Manager in Media and Tech industry in China. She is passionate about using technology and data to solve complex business problems and has demonstrated her expertise in this area through her academic and professional achievements.

This summer, Ni joined Experian as an MBA PM Intern.

Ni is also a VP of international affairs. Outside school, Ni enjoys traveling, cooking, painting, playing musical instruments and volunteering. Diversity, inclusion, and community are cornerstones of Ni’s values.