Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Winnie Chepchumba Rotich, University of Washington (Foster)

Winnie Chepchumba Rotich

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“I was born and raised in Rift Valley, Kenya and I consider myself a lifelong learner.”

Hometown: Nandi County, Kenya

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have a passion for languages, and I speak a total of five: French, Swahili, English, Spanish and Kalenjin.

Undergraduate School and Major: Indiana University-Purdue University. Major: French Secondary Education

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Army. Army Officer (Program Manager & Senior Personnel Services Manager).

What makes Seattle such a great place to earn an MBA? Seattle is such a wonderful place to earn an MBA because it is a vibrant metropolitan city that is home to a lot of major tech companies. There are a lot of activities to participate in during one’s free time ranging from camping and kayaking to exploring the amazing Seattle food scene.

Aside from your location and classmates, what was the key part of Washington Foster’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I chose Foster because of the smaller class size. Having a smaller class size means that I will be able to get one-on-one attention and assistance from professors.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Washington Foster? I am very excited about being part of the Tech Club and I am looking forward to connecting with other tech enthusiasts.

Washington Foster operates off a philosophy of We>Me. Give us an example of how you’ve incorporated that approach in your career? I believe that no individual is an island and that teamwork is a critical part of accomplishing tasks. I have had the opportunity to lead and be a part of many teams an Army Officer and a high school French teacher. For instance, the quality of my work as senior personnel services officer was contingent upon the unity and quality of the team I oversaw. Additionally, as a French teacher, I found that a lot of students learned a lot from one another, within a team environment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment is seeing my former students and soldiers I oversaw progressing in their individual lives and careers. It certainly makes me feel like my time as an officer and a teacher made more of an impact outside the confines of my work. I also still stay in touch with some of my students and soldiers and I am currently continuing to make myself available for mentorship.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed my belief in the importance of striving to create a work-life balance and spending time with loved ones. 99% of my family lives in Kenya and I realized that I should visit them more often. I just came back from spending a month with family in Kenya and I feel reenergized and ready to start my MBA journey!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I chose to pursue an MBA at this point because I am pivoting from military to civilian life. I plan on staying within the human capital management field and I realized that an MBA could provide me with a thorough understanding of business fundamentals as well as additional leadership experience.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied also to Michigan Ross, UC Berkeley and Northwestern

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Washington Foster’s MBA program? I think that potential MBA candidates should have a very concrete understanding of why they want to pursue an MBA and what they hope to gain from it. Additionally, candidates should strive to gain leadership experience, which will give them a leg up when seeking admission to Foster.


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