Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Hannah Ewing-Kally, University of Washington (Foster)

Hannah Ewing-Kally

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“I am a Nurse Leader with a passion for HealthTech and building equitable health systems.”

Hometown: Ashland, Oregon

Fun Fact About Yourself: I solo thru-hiked my home state of Oregon on the Pacific Crest Trail

Undergraduate School and Major: Kenyon College, BA Biochemistry & New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, BSN

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Detroit Public School Community District, Assistant Director Office of School Health and Wellness

What makes Seattle such a great place to earn an MBA? Seattle is unlike anywhere else. You are constantly inspired by nature and human talent. Seattle is home to some of the best outdoor activities (I am a big cross-country skier) and innovative tech companies. As a registered nurse who hopes to enter the HealthTech space, Seattle and The University of Washington, have incredible expertise in both tech and healthcare. Also, Seattle has some of the best coffee in the world there is plenty of caffeine to fuel my studies.

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 went to a small undergraduate university and wanted to duplicate the intimate class size for my MBA. Foster intentionally chooses to keep its class size small, which creates community alongside a safe learning environment to ask big questions. The small class size allows faculty and staff to get to know you (our marketing professor knew all of our names on the first day) and connect you with students, alumni, and community members who may be beneficial along your career journey.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Washington Foster? I joined the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club (EVCC) on a whim and have been blown away by the many opportunities the club has provided to interact with Seattle’s incredible entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Prior to Foster, I knew little to nothing about this space and EVCC has been an education. One of my favorite events was a Google Cloud start-up event hosted at Google’s Seattle campus. This provided an opportunity to listen to VC funds dive into current trends and also network with local startup founders.

Washington Foster operates off a philosophy of We>Me. Give us an example of how you’ve seen that among your classmates so far. In the first quarter, Foster students are assigned to teams. I thought this team was going to be like many of the academic teams I had been on previously, but my team and our commitment to supporting each was unmatched. We jumped in Lake Washington during the first week of school and shortly after started becoming our own Foster family. I don’t think it was something in the Lake Washington water because I know our team was not alone in this sentiment. During the quarter we all faced challenges but were ready to pick up the slack if a teammate was having a rough day as well as celebrate interview invites and a job well done on assignments.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I will never forget my time as Assistant Director of the Office of School Health and Wellness at Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). This was the first role where I really saw the impact I could have as a Registered Nurse (RN) outside of the hospital. My biggest accomplishment in my career so far is leading overall strategy, operational design, and implementation for COVID-19 initiatives which led to a decrease COVID-19 related chronic absenteeism for the District’s 50,000 students. I got to uphold DPSCD’s mission to educate and empower every student, in every community, every day to build a stronger Detroit. I’ll never forget seeing our students return to in-person learning and rediscover the joys of in-person education. I think a part of me will always be with DPSCD and call Detroit a home away from home.

Describe your biggest achievement in the MBA program so far: As a nurse and scientist, I had never taken a finance or accounting course. However, in just the first quarter I have developed a skillset, vocabulary, and presence that has given me the confidence to thrive in the business arena. Foster is an academically intensive program and I think the first quarter core classes, coupled with the case competition, provide a solid foundation unmatched by most MBA programs. I have learned so much from the phenomenal Foster faculty and my fellow classmates.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I am currently a sponge when it comes to learning about technology and just finished What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill. It is all about being intentional with the design of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how we are currently at an inflection point. While it is not directly MBA-related, the book helped me think about my own career in tech and the intentional steps to take in my job search or in the case of a prospective MBA-the application process.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Washington Foster’s MBA program? Be authentic throughout the Foster admissions process. Additionally, it is important to show the impact you have had in your career journey so far and how you want to use your MBA to further that impact. Foster is an intimate program grounded in impact that works hard to build a community of authentic, curious, and conscious students. By leading with both authenticity and impact, you will show that you are a strong match for Foster and can also determine if Foster is a good match for you. Remember, you are interviewing schools just as much as they are interviewing you.


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