Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Brady Lemons, University of Washington (Foster)

Brady Lemons

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“I’m a husband/dad first, and video game junky pursuing a video games career second.”

Hometown: Idaho Falls, ID

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve flown a helicopter across the entire United States, from the East coast to the West coast.

Undergraduate School and Major: Weber State University, Bachelor of Integrated Studies (three minors: Microbiology, Criminal Justice, and Military Science)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: US Army, Senior Project Manager – Aviation Operations

What makes Seattle such a great place to earn an MBA? For me, the location can’t be beaten. I’ve never experienced a city with such excellent access to public transport, support for bicycle commuting, and quick access to the mountains. I also have two kids, so I appreciate how many family-friendly activities there are in Seattle, with parks, trails, museums, and businesses.  It’s important to me to have outlets while I’m working towards my MBA to stay balanced and healthy physically and mentally.

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? As I was deciding to leave the Army, I knew that I would need more than a degree to be successful in the business world. I needed time and exposure to the civilian world in a diverse, open, and welcoming environment to learn to communicate and collaborate positively. When I first visited Foster, I met dozens of other prospective students from all over the world who were willing to talk and share their cultures and backgrounds. I felt accepted as an individual, and they made sure that the space was given in the programming to have those open conversations while learnings more about others.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Washington Foster? Marketing with Professor Shelly Jain has been the true highlight because it opened my eyes to what marketing is and could be. I would not have considered a role in marketing before his class, but because of it, I applied and was accepted to a marketing role in my dream industry. I had a narrow mindset and told myself coming into the program that I was a PM with my background, but now I’m excited to branch out.

Washington Foster operates off a philosophy of We>Me. Give us an example of how you’ve seen that among your classmates so far. I made it known early on that I’m pursuing the video game industry exclusively. Even though the industry is niche and highly competitive, I’ve had classmates who don’t even know me send job postings and articles that they think may be helpful. I try to give that energy back by sharing all the game postings I find with the Level Up! Club so I can persuade more people to join me in the industry.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most significant accomplishments continue to grow without me. Looking back at the junior leaders I’ve worked with and seeing their accomplishments is incredible. One of my favorite soldiers went on to complete his bachelor’s degree and become an officer, and he still reaches out to me for advice on a leadership issue that he was having. Knowing that I’ve made a lasting impact on someone else is more important than anything I’ve accomplished.

My biggest personal accomplishment in the Army was completing helicopter flight school. I had a lot of people in my career tell me that I couldn’t do certain things. I was told I couldn’t be an officer and wasn’t smart enough or strong enough to get into Aviation. So, overcoming that doubt, pursuing, and achieving that goal meant a lot to me. It’s something that I try to remember as I keep going forward in my career.

Describe your biggest achievement in the MBA program so far: The biggest achievement so far is taking 4th place in the first quarter case competition! Taking a step back and recognizing all the tools and processes I have learned in a short time is incredible. Still, my team went from a highly dysfunctional group of individuals to a well-oiled machine in just a few months.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Well, maybe not recommended for ALL prospective MBAs, but for anyone interested in the video game industry like me, you need to start listening to the “Deconstructor of Fun” podcast. A passion for the games industry is hard to fake, and you need to show that you have it for the entire industry, not just for playing video games. This helped me prepare for interviews more than any general PM or tech PM book could have.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Washington Foster’s MBA program? Be authentic in your storytelling. Take credit for your individual accomplishments, but don’t try to be someone that you are not. The admissions team at Foster is incredibly smart and helpful, so don’t be afraid to talk to them!


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