Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Raviv Feigenbaum Maor, University of Washington (Foster)

Raviv Feigenbaum Maor

University of Washington, Michael G. Foster School of Business

“I look for the balance between mind and soul. Striving for new experiences and challenges.”

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel.

Fun Fact About Yourself: I hiked for 60 days along the Israel National Trail, a 650-mile trail crossing Israel from south to north.

Undergraduate School and Major: Dual bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science, Tel Aviv University.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I owned a boutique firm for business strategy and research, mostly focused on digital transformation in financial services.

What makes Seattle such a great place to earn an MBA? Seattle is one of the world’s fastest-growing tech hubs and therefore holds endless growth opportunities, both professionally and personally. Coming from Tel Aviv, another energetic tech hub, I feel that Seattle can provide me with a new perspective about the combination of business and tech. The thing I like the most about Seattle is the “Work Hard, Play Hard” spirit which combines a significant entrepreneurship atmosphere with a vibrant music scene, excellent food, and endless outdoor activities.

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? I was inspired by Foster’s “learn by doing” philosophy, which encourages gaining hands-on experience and applying what we study in the classroom. I think that it can effectively prepare us for our career ahead. Foster provides countless opportunities to implement our knowledge and expertise, such as the applied strategy project where we get to interact with companies and help them to solve a real business problem.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am especially interested in joining the Women in Business Club, which provides the opportunity to meet inspirational business leaders, raises discussion about gender dynamics, and promotes a supportive environment, which is incredibly meaningful to me.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Two years ago, I established my own boutique firm for research and strategic consulting. I started on a small scale and managed to create a portfolio of clients, focusing mainly on helping executives from the Israeli financial industry, to make better and informed decisions in the changing landscape of technology.

One of my proudest moments so far was when I won a global contract with one of the biggest wealth management firms in the world, helping them to attract new opportunities in the Israeli market. The project had a great impact on their strategic decision making in the Israeli market.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Aspiring to better understand the intersection between business strategy and technology, I have decided to pursue an MBA. Working as a consultant in the past 6 years instilled me with a structural approach to problem-solving and creativity. Most of my projects focused on the digitalization of the Israeli financial industry and the associated challenges and opportunities. An MBA would help me to gain the strongest possible general-management skills, strengthen my financial knowledge, and develop a deeper understanding of the interplay between tech, operations, and strategy. Most importantly, I think the MBA program will provide me with a collaborative global environment consisting of a rich network of peers, stakeholders, and alumni.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? In general, for me, the most challenging milestone in the admission process was the video interview. I was asked two questions and had 30 seconds to prepare and 1 minute to answer. The challenging part was talking to the computer and trying and convey an idea without getting any feedback for a human being.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? In order to determine my fit at various schools, I made an Excel spreadsheet with a list of MBA programs and researched online about their culture, academic curriculum, and goals. After minimizing the list to 5-6 programs I contacted some Israeli alumni from these schools and went to Q&A session and alumni panels.

While researching, I joined my husband for a business trip to Seattle and went to an admission Q&A session at Foster. I immediately felt at home and could really imagine myself in the Paccar Hall building. After experiencing the atmosphere of the school and the city, I felt that Foster’s culture best reflects my personal passions achieving the optimal combination between the business world and the promotion of a thriving society.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Two years ago, I set up an independent boutique firm for business research and strategy consulting. I felt prepared for hands-on, real-world learning of how to manage a business. As the owner of the company, I managed accounting, marketing, and customer service.

Starting from small-scale, my business has earned a reputation for providing fast, unique, and reliable service. I learned to work with a limited amount of manpower and an oversized workload eventually managed to create a portfolio of permanent clients, including one of the largest banks in Israel.

This experience provided me with confidence that there is no limit to what I can earn with hard work and diligence. Furthermore, I learned how to priorities and manage my time. Above all, it encouraged me to meet and learn from new people, listen to others, and collaborate with others.

What special ingredient do you see yourself bringing to the Class of 2022? How will that enrich the MBA experience? Coming from an interdisciplinary background, I can contribute to my cohort and community with a wide range of perspectives. In addition, I can provide analytical thinking and dedication that on the one hand provide my classmates the option to get out of the comfort zone and on the other hand to formulate real “action items”, all while keeping a positive approach and a grain of humor.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Insurance startup Lemonade is an app-based homeowners and renters insurance firm powered by a unique combination of AI and behavioral economics that aims to disrupt the incumbent insurance industry. It offers homeowners and renters insurance in the U.S. and gives underwriting profits to nonprofits selected by its community during its annual Giveback.

I think business students can learn from Lemonade how to accelerate technology and innovation to solve clients’ pain points and how for-profit businesses can also be involved in social good.