Meet Washington Foster’s MBA Class Of 2023

Fritzky Leadership Fellows Overlooking Seattle


1) Seattle: “And to pin on location again, no other program is as close to such prominent mountain peaks as Mount Tahoma/Rainier, the most prominent peak in the lower 48. Washington is anyone’s playground and offers no shortage of topography for every experience level and interest. But if the outdoors is not your thing, Seattle also boasts great dining options (several James Beard Award Winners) and art and sporting events.”
Danielle Pyrak (’23)

“Seattle also boasts a great standard of living and a diverse vibrant community. Home of the modern coffee revolution, birthplace of era-defining music genres, and location of beautiful natural landmarks, the city will always have something to offer in terms of activities and culture while studying your masters. This will be the perfect inspiration to power through your MBA journey whether while optimizing your resume, studying for a final or preparing for an internship interview.”
José Mario Peña (’23)

2) Experiential Learning: “The focus on experiential learning via applied strategy projects was very important to me, especially since I don’t have a background in business. I really enjoy strategic thinking and I think participating in one of these projects will be a perfect way for me to gain hard business skills and practice them in a real-world environment. The importance Foster placed in this hands-on learning method gave me more confidence in my ability to make such a large career pivot.”
Anthony Wnuk (’23)                                

3) Intimate Class Size: “Foster’s small class size really drew me in as an advantage over other business programs. I went to a small, liberal arts college and I understand the value of small class sizes. When I attended Fostering MBA Access, I witnessed the tight knit community and support from classmates. I knew that this would be a place where I would be able to build a long-lasting network and community. I value authenticity and that is something that really stood out to me from Foster students.”
Myrna Barrera (’23)

 “The Foster program is small by design. This framework catalyzes networking and promotes relationship-building amongst students. Smaller class sizes also allow students to more frequently directly engage with faculty. As a student looking to pivot my career into a new field and industry, I wanted an MBA program that valued collaborative learning and would provide me opportunities to build lasting and meaningful connections with my diverse cohort. I’ve certainly found that at Foster.”
Sam Plotkin (’23)

MBAs at Foster’s annual Business Leadership Celebration

4) Mentoring: “As an industry changer, a very important part of an MBA for me is developing a network in my target industry. Foster has a very acclaimed Mentoring Program that pairs full-time working professionals with students who want to enter their industry. This structured approach to professional one-on-one development and networking is a great asset when familiarizing yourself with the industry inner workings and when applying to internships and full-time positions.”
José Mario Peña (’23)

5) Unforgettable Traditions: “I am most looking forward to participating in a Global Consulting Project. Globalization, international economic activity and working across borders and cultures to solve problems are fascinating to me and are important to improving societies around the world. I hope that international opportunities like this, which were not possible last year, will become available once again. I am excited to experience new cultures and build positive relationships while helping to tackle challenging problems abroad.”
Anthony Wnuk (’23)

“Challenge For Charity (C4C). It combines my passions for community service, competition, and school spirit. C4C offers a wonderful outlet to leverage our Type-A personalities for good. For the past three years, Foster has won the golden briefcase over the other West Coast MBAs, so I intend to go down to Palo Alto and secure our fourth!”
Joe Castro (’23)

“Foster Idol is my favorite tradition. It’s a community event hosted by Foster Creative and Challenge 4 Charity (C4C) where students share their creative talents, like musical performance, dancing, and comedy. Audience members then “tip” the performers via donations to C4C. Seeing everyone cheer the performers on, whether the performers are new to their art or actual professionals, illustrates the supportive and joyful community we have at Foster. I hope to dust off my trumpet and participate as a performer in the next Foster Idol and I know that my classmates will cheer me on if I do.”
Claire Herting (’21)

“My favorite tradition at Foster is kicking off the new school year with a Day of Service. Typically, on the first Friday of fall quarter classes we bring together over half the program and have a huge volunteering event with a local nonprofit where we offer up our resources to help them however we can. I love this tradition for two reasons. One, it builds connections right out of the gate in a setting outside of the classroom. When you volunteer alongside someone for a few hours, you get to know them on a different level than you do in an academic setting, which brings the overall community closer together. Two, it sets the tone for engagement in community service from the beginning of the year. Bringing folks together to help in a fun way builds momentum for continued volunteering as the year progresses and schedules become more chaotic. It conveys the value service as a positive outlet for when stress regarding classes and recruiting reaches a boiling point.”
Brian Wright (’21)

The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. File photo


“I would advise the candidates to start the admission process by asking themselves “why.” Asking yourself why is the key to not only present yourself in the most genuine way to the school, but will also help you to be sure of your decisions. Further, I would highly recommend reaching out to as many current students and alumni as well as the admission committee to get every question answered. Foster has a very passionate and empathetic admission committee who are ever ready to speak to you and help you to the best of their ability.”
Ishani Singal (’23)

“Be relentless about networking with the Foster community, with admissions, current students, and alumni working at the companies that interest you most. Also, be yourself. Be authentic. Foster is a small cohort, so each student constitutes a larger overall percentage of the class mosaic compared to other programs. You want your uniqueness to shine through during the application. Doing so gives admissions more to work with when they assess how you will impact the overall composition of the class. Just go for it!”
Joe Castro (’23)

MBA Student Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Myrna Barrera Tulare, CA Washington and Lee University VSP Global
Lily Bowdler Seattle, WA Dartmouth College Qumulo, Inc,
Joe Castro Tampa, FL U.S. Merchant Marine Academy U.S. Coast Guard
Winnie Chepchumba Rotich Nandi County, Kenya Indiana University-Purdue University U.S. Army
Nick Mager Healdsburg, CA University of California, Davis Freddie Mac Multifamily
José Mario Peña San Salvador, El Salvador Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios, El Salvador Tigo
Sam Plotkin Huntington Woods, MI Michigan State University The Trust for Public Land
Danielle Pyrak Seattle, WA University of Washington Lockheed Martin
Isabella Ramirez Munster, IN Purdue University Facebook
Ishani Singal Panchkula, India Manipal University Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Anthony Wnuk North Branford, CT RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) U.S. Navy
Angela Yang Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan Booz Allen Hamilton

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