2022 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Evan Kim, University of Washington (Foster)

Evan Kim

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“Customer evangelist, bridging the gap between business and technical to create beautiful products that delight.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Fun fact about yourself: I can say the alphabet backwards surprisingly quickly.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Western Washington University; Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management B.S.

Where are you currently working? F5 Inc., Sr. Technical Product Manager

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I took an idea that could protect whales, the environment, and reinvent the way commercial fishers do business and made it into a company. I raised the initial $100K in funding for the project and grew the team from 3 to 11. Taking an idea, raising capital, and turning it into a business is the achievement I am most proud of in my professional career. Learning how to pitch, manage a P&L, and build a diverse team has let me apply my in classroom learning to the real world in an incredibly tactical way.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? As a Seattle native, the University of Washington has always been a source of hometown pride and a steadfast figure in my life. When it came time to choose an MBA, the Hybrid program at UW’s Foster School of Business offered the perfect blend of asynchronous learning paired with regular touch points with amazing faculty to reinforce and expand on the concepts for each week. The hybrid format with in-person immersions at the start of each quarter also provided an ideal avenue for the community-building moments I wanted out of an MBA program.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? My favorite part of being in an online MBA program was the flexibility to learn in the way that suited me best. As a working professional and student, finding a learning format that worked with my needs was crucial, and allowed me to take full advantage of every learning opportunity.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised at our cohort’s ability to build strong, lasting community ties. I have been lucky to find a group of bright, intelligent peers that I am happy to call life-long friends.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? Having the autonomy to study and learn in the way that suited me best allowed me to get a much fuller and deeper understanding from my online experience compared to my in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate. Building good study habits in undergrad and having the real-world experience to apply learnings and frameworks to also played a large role in that.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Have clear goals and intentions for why you want to pursue an MBA in the first place. Is it for networking and relationship building? Are you looking to uplevel your skills and understanding of business concepts to advance your career into a leadership track? Are you aiming to switch careers or industries entirely? Knowing what you want will help prioritize the countless things that will be on your plate with work and school.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would have loved to take classes outside of our program or school to round out my thinking and learning. Auditing classes from the school of computer science, the public policy school, or the school of environmental science would have been a great way to broaden our horizons. Building relationships with other schools for cross-functional learning opportunities in an online format would be ideal.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Managing teamwork and meeting deliverables has played a large role in my MBA experience and is a skill set I use regularly in my current job. With distributed teams and in-office restrictions from COVID-19, working collaboratively online

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? I switched industries from aerospace to tech and earned a promotion during the program.

Did you earn a raise during the online MBA program? Yes.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 25 hours

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My goal is to do something that I love while making the world at least just a little bit less awful.



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