2018 Best MBAs: Melissa Young, University of Washington (Foster)

Melissa Young

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“Sales and marketing professional passionate about women in business, sustainability, and building a global community.”

Age: 38

Hometown: Chicopee, Massachusetts

Fun fact about yourself: Taken 5 road trips across the U.S. (Massachusetts to Seattle) and visited 31 National Parks

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance and Operations Management

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Pacific Market International in Seattle, WA as a National Account Executive on the Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s Club accounts.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Facebook, Menlo Park

Where will you be working after graduation? Facebook, Menlo Park, Client Solutions Manager

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Women in Business VP of Mentorship, Fritzky Leadership Fellow, Global Business Association VP Program Development, MBA liaison to the Global Business Center, Volunteer with the Seattle Food Bank and Seattle Boys and Girls Club

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of the Applied Strategy project I did with Amazon in Seattle during Winter quarter of my first year. My team and I researched a new B2B opportunity for Amazon to deepen its commitment to sustainability by enabling product sustainability credentials on the Amazon Business platform. We created a white paper detailing a recommendation and strategy that we presented to several cross-functional teams at Amazon. It was a great success and is being implemented today on their platform. It was an incredible learning opportunity and a point of pride during my first year.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the business relationships I created while working in Amsterdam from 2011-2014. I was the International Business Development Manager for Pacific Market International and I worked throughout Europe, creating and growing relationships in more than 30 countries. I created strong business ties with distributors and retailers throughout Europe that I continue to stay connected with today. This experience opened my eyes to the nuances and incredible opportunities in global business.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Mark Forehand, Chair Department of Marketing and International Business. Professor Forehand is a Brand guru and beloved Marketing professor.

What was your favorite MBA Course?  My favorite MBA course was Mark Forehand’s Consumer Marketing and Brand Management. This class was an engaging blend of consumer psychology, tactics, and frameworks for developing a Brand’s strategy. I am confident the takeaways from this course will follow me throughout my career.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Foster because of the class size, the incredible faculty, the alumni community in the Seattle business and tech industry, and the location in one of the most beautiful cities in the US. The 98% job placement rate was just a bonus!

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Get really clear on why you want to get an MBA, what you hope to get out of the program, and why Foster is the right place for you. There are many great schools to choose from, but Foster is a special place with unique opportunities and a strong community culture. It’s best to understand why Foster is the right fit for you and what you can bring to the program and to the greater Foster community.

What is the biggest myth about your school? People think it always rains here. We have plenty of sunshine!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Emily Eddy. She is kind, caring, and a force to be reckoned with. She is mother of two young girls, Board member of Women in Business, Leadership Fellow, Forte Fellow, organizer of the family events in our program, great teammate, Powerpoint aficionado, and a wonderful person. She is a great example of work/life/family balance and she inspires me daily with her strength and positive attitude.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father. He is an entrepreneur and business owner who started a company in our home when I was a child. I was lucky to be raised in a family business and watch my father grow his business from a small start-up to a global organization that ultimately led him to early retirement. I was always inspired by his hard work and dedication and I knew from a very early age that I would pursue business in my own career.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… living in Europe and working in the specialty housewares industry.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would increase the number of applied practical experiences required in the program. The Applied Strategy and Marketing Research projects I worked on were incredibly enriching experiences that helped to shape my business school experience. Engaging with local Seattle businesses helped me practice the skills I was learning, experience new roles and industries, and create connections in the local Seattle business community.

 What are the top two items on your bucket list? Two-week trip to India for a consulting engagement with SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) and a post-graduation European sabbatical.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a true team player committed to helping others find their voice and achieve their goals

What is your favorite movie about business? #1 Jerry Maguire. This movie taught me about the power of authenticity, passion, and perseverance in building meaningful business relationships. #2 Trading Places. I loved this movie the first time I saw it many years ago and was reminded of it when we watched and analyzed the final scene in our Corporate Finance class with Thomas Gilbert.

What would your theme song be Roar, Katy Perry

Favorite vacation spot: island hopping in Croatia

Hobbies? Running, cycling, cooking, reading


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