Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Liza Sankar-Gorton, University of Washington (Foster)

Liza Sankar-Gorton

University of Washington, Foster School of Business      

“Journalist-turned-strategist-turned-human-centered-design-consultant who’s empathetic, creative, and loves winning others over.”

Hometown: Narberth, Pennsylvania

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I spent three weeks rafting the Colorado through the Grand Canyon last fall

Undergraduate School and Major: Wesleyan University, Science in Society Major

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Smashing Ideas, Associate Director of Strategy

What makes Seattle such a great place to earn an MBA? It’s a growing innovation hub with kind people and unbeatable nature.

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? ROI. I wanted bang for my buck, and Foster is proven to offer great outcomes in exchange for affordable tuition.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Washington Foster? I’ve really loved participating in UW’s Challenge for Charity auction chapter. The organization has chapters at B-schools on the west coast, where each school competes to raise money, volunteer hours, and win competitions during a sports weekend. In the end, the school that’s done the most wins the golden briefcase. I’m really happy to have the chance to go out into the community and make impact locally.

Washington Foster operates off a philosophy of We>Me. Give us an example of how you’ve seen that among your classmates so far.  Our class is so supportive of one another as we all go through the internship search, offering condolences when there’s a miss, and congratulations when there’s success. Plus, sharing advice, reminders for deadlines, and job postings we’ve seen–it’s not competitive–we want each other to succeed.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Leading two successful consulting scopes for American Airlines in which I worked with incredible teammates using human centered design thinking methods to innovate processes and products within American’s operations. The clients loved out work and felt it made a significant difference to their business – that’s the best feeling.

Describe your biggest achievement in the MBA program so far: My team is working on an M&A case competition right now that we’re really proud of and that we’ve worked really hard on. I’m also happy to have been selected to participate in our Venture Fellows program: a student-run program that matches MBA talent with Seattle VC firms and startup incubators. I’m looking forward to gaining practical venture and entrepreneurship experience while delivering work for partners!

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Watch Nathan for You, it’s so educational, helped me really truly understand the fundamentals of business.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Washington Foster’s MBA program?  Foster really prides itself on being purpose-driven. The purpose statement –“Together we foster leaders, we foster insights, we foster progress, to better humanity,” is repeated often, as is Foster’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and local community. Put your purpose and commitments front and center.


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