2022 MBA To Watch: Jay Patacsil, University of Washington (Foster)

Jay Patacsil

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“I am an authentic, people first, and results oriented servant leader.”

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I own over 100 pairs of Jordan sneakers and counting.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration – University of Washington Bothell

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Program Execution Manager for the West Region Marketing and Operations retail organization at AT&T.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Boston Consulting Group, Seattle

Where will you be working after graduation? Boston Consulting Group, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Consortium Fellow, Diversity Outreach Coordinator (MBA Admissions), VP Community Engagement for Foster Consulting Society, Diversity in Business Club member, Community Leader of the Month, Student Ambassador for the first-ever from Foster – Race, Culture & Business trip to the American South

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my contributions to the Foster Consulting Society. Throughout the recruiting cycle, I assisted peers with recruiting prep sessions, 1:1 casing sessions, behavioral interview prep, and resume reviews totaling well over 120 hours of donated time. These contributions, along with those from my 2nd year peers, resulted in a first-year class that landed more consulting internship opportunities than ours, especially when looking at the top consulting firms. As many people weighed options between firms, I was frequently tapped to be a listening ear and to help navigate the decision-making process.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am extremely proud of having landed the opportunity to work at what was my number one targeted firm coming into the MBA program – Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It is not lost on me that this opportunity is not granted to many, and even less so to folks that look like me, coming from historically marginalized communities. I’m excited not only to participate in impactful work, but also to help forge a path that many others will be able to follow.

Why did you choose this business school? The primary reason I chose Foster was because of the small cohort, and what that meant as far as potential impact on the program. In my first year of the program “Corporate Strategy” was a class taken during Winter Quarter. After taking that class, myself and many others who had recruited for consulting, advocated for how helpful that class would have been during Fall quarter – prior to recruiting. The very next year, our program moved “Corporate Strategy” to the Fall quarter. I attribute this change to being part of a smaller program where voices are heard, and action is taken.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Though I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with each professor at Foster, Professor Ed De Haan is without question my favorite. As our first quarter accounting professor, he injected relevant conversations related to DEI where appropriate into our course content. He intentionally chose an array of cases that would allow most all classmates to see themselves represented in our material. Professor De Haan also seized an opportunity to bring a new study abroad opportunity to Foster, which is the Race Culture in Business trip to the American South as the faculty sponsor. I recognize that tackling these topics for him, as a white man, cannot be easy, yet he perseveres because his contributions are undoubtedly needed. For these reasons and so many others, I am forever grateful for his allyship.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The one thing I would change is increasing my involvement in clubs and extracurricular activities in my first year. I was so focused on recruiting and landing the job that I missed out on some of the community building and camaraderie time. I certainly aimed to curb that behavior in my second year, which has been amazing, but those contributions in the first year may have made a great experience even better.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth I had heard coming into Foster was that if you were not focused on Tech recruiting you would have a very hard time – and an even harder time getting into the top-tier consulting firms. Getting into a top-tier consulting firm was extremely challenging, but the support available from the Foster community is unparalleled. Yes, there are tons of resources available for students seeking tech opportunities, but there is also an amazing network of alumni, career coaches, student leaders, and case coaches that are willing to be resources in whatever capacity needed.

What surprised you the most about business school? What has surprised me most has been the amount of learning that would be directly applicable to my post-business school career. There were lessons and skills learned during my first year that I was able to leverage during my Summer Internship supporting consulting for a marketing organization. All the while, many of our assignments are done in teams which is quite reflective of the real-world work experience. Overall, I have been extremely pleased with the intentionality of our preparation for a successful transition back to work.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I’m not sure this is great advice that others should follow, but Foster was the only business school that I applied to. I really liked the overall construction of the program and the smaller classes sizes. Plus, remaining in Seattle made the most sense for me and my family. For these reasons, I made it known throughout the process that this was my only target school, and I think that genuine desire to be here came through in the admissions process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? My most admired classmate is John Barnes. I admire John for many reasons, but most notably John is extremely intelligent, methodical, and always willing to spend extra time helping me to learn concept or better understand an assignment. Beyond school, John is active duty in the Army and will be returning to the Army at the conclusion of our program. It’s easy to see how this has influenced the selfless nature with which John operates. I am grateful for his service to your country, I am grateful that he never allowed me to fall behind, and I am grateful for the friendship forged that would likely not exist without the program.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My good friend Marlano Batson has been the single greatest influence on my decision to pursue business school. When he and I were sales reps together at AT&T, in his own example of finishing undergrad in a nontraditional route, he showed me it was possible. He recommended business classes to me, which was hugely influential in me obtaining my undergraduate degree. Presumably wanting to influence my life more, Marlano reached out to me to talk about business school and consulting and what that could mean on a path toward reaching my goals. A year ahead of me on the journey, he spent a great deal of time answering my questions and helping me to prepare. Marlano is a prime of example of pouring back into the community. Through him, I am an example of what can be accomplished when you see others that look like you doing the same thing.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Working at BCG will afford me the opportunity to help solve some the world’s biggest problems. Being able to contribute to underprivileged communities in a meaningful way and being able to attack climate change are two bucket list items.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? Prior to the pandemic, I understood consulting to mean a lot of travel to client sites. Though in some capacity that will still exist the pandemic has shifted the extent to which that is expected. As many individuals have come to enjoy work from home, and will continue to demand this as an option, I expect this will have a multifaceted impact on our consulting teams and how we interact with our clients.

What made Jay such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Jay has been one of the most engaged, genuine, and respected students in his class since his first quarter at Foster.

A humble, but effect leader, Jay has positively impacted his classmates and the Foster community in many ways, big and small. For me personally, he has been a tremendous collaborator in developing a new “Race, Culture, and Business Immersion Program.” Jay was one of the first students I reached out to for thoughts on designing a study and travel program examining issues of race and culture in the U.S. His energy about the idea was infectious and I immediately realized we needed him as part of the leadership team. We are now just a few weeks away from our first trip to the U.S. South, and Jay’s insights and ideas have been invaluable at every step. I can say with certainty that the program would be going far less well without him at the helm.

It is no surprise to me that Jay landed a job at his top target, BCG. I expect great things from Jay in the years to come. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes.”

Ed deHaan
Associate Professor
Foster School of Business, University of Washington


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.