Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Andrew Wen, University of Washington (Foster)

Andrew Wen

University of Washington, Michael G. Foster School of Business

“Classic extrovert fascinated by how technology continues to shape society.”

Hometown: Boston, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born in Canada and moved up and down the East Coast before settling in the suburbs of Boston.

Undergraduate School and Major: BSBA from Babson College, with concentrations in Finance and Business Analytics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Analyst, Finance and Operations at Silverthread

What makes Seattle such a great place to earn an MBA? Seattle is such a vibrant city that encourages its inhabitants to think outside the box. I think this non-traditional culture lends itself to the development of upstart companies that have the potential to change their respective industries. Plus, quick access to the beautiful mountains of the Pacific Northwest make Seattle a great place to get balance as a student.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The culture of peer mentorship through the Fritzky Fellowship was the greatest draw for me to attend Foster. I have had the privilege of being a mentor to others, while also receiving great mentorship from those who have been in my shoes. Peer mentorship has been a contributing factor to my success throughout my life, and I hope to pay it forward by becoming a Fritzky Fellow in my second year.

What club or activity excites you most at this school?  I’m particularly excited to join the LevelUp! Club at Foster. The Seattle area is home to some pioneers in the interactive media industry, and I’m interested in how advancements in AR/VR and other technologies will continue to shape how we think about entertainment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’m particularly proud of the fact that I was able to own the entire implementation of the Oracle’s Netsuite ERP at a previous employer. I was able to automate a variety of processes such as revenue recognition and routine month close items, while completing the implementation nearly $100,000 under budget.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I realized that I wanted to pursue opportunities within different career paths. Throughout my career, I have found myself thinking about the synergies companies could discover working together or the different directions certain products could follow. To that end, I’m interested in exploring what a career in business development or product management might look like.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Being asked “What’s one thing you would want me to know about you, above all else?” really put me on the spot, and it took some thought to really find the answer. It’s challenging to distill your perceived positive attributes into one sentence!

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized schools that had strong connections to the tech industry, with an emphasis on New England or the Pacific Northwest. Within that, I was strongly focused on culture – I wanted to join a program where students collaborate and help each other, as opposed to one with intense competition. I was able to connect with a few current students prior to making a decision, and it was clear from those interactions that Foster embodied the culture I was looking for. In addition, the opportunity to work with a wide array of startups and venture capital firms through the Venture Fellows program made Foster an easy decision for me.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? At Silverthread, I realized I was more interested in the product roadmap and finding product market fit with potential customers than I was in my core responsibilities on the financial analysis side. I found opportunities to contribute on business development and product management projects, which gave me the motivation to pursue an MBA program in earnest.

What special ingredient do you see yourself bringing to the Class of 2022? How will that enrich the MBA experience? I am always willing to help others and try to learn from them as well. Especially at Foster, I hope to champion a culture of collaboration rather than competition between those in my cohort.