11 Questions with MS in Entrepreneurship Student Fanny Castro

We asked current Foster students to tell us why they chose Foster, what they like to do for fun, and to share advice with potential applicants. Meet Master of Science in Entrepreneurship student Fanny.
Fanny Castro smiling at the camera

1) Where are you from?

I come from a traditional Hispanic household, originally from a small town, outside of El Paso, TX called Socorro. Socorro means help in English, which is a very good description of what that town needed. All kidding aside, it was a great place to learn from your neighbors and to grow up in. After my mother decided she wanted to break the mold and move from Texas, I lived in ABQ for a few years. Seeing her fight for her new life, made me want to do the same. After moving around the US to different landscapes, I found that nothing beats WA.

2) What did you do before entering this program?

Before Foster, I attended UW Tacoma, where I received my BA with a minor in data analytics. UWT was such a life-changing experience that taught me to believe in myself and helped guide me into my real passion, entrepreneurship. Going into UWT, I had the idea that to make money, I would have to sacrifice passion. This narrow-minded thought was immediately challenged, thankfully, and reframed. I was redirected into exploring the range of my talents and where my passions intersect. UWT has a variety of classes that count as electives in the BA program. There were a lot to choose from, but to name a few that changed me: music and crises and a couple of different leadership classes. I know what you are thinking, but each one of these elective classes taught me something insightful and unexpected. Even though students typically hate having to take extra classes, I was grateful. Taking these arrays of subjects taught me different perspectives, that have broken a lot of inner biases and limitations. I will continue to broaden my knowledge at UW Foster, hoping that it provides a variety of unexpected and critical learning moments, that will shape the way grow.

3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?

I have had a few informal entrepreneurial experiences that inevitably lead me to my first business. The experience that pushed me to want to open my consulting agency 3’SC, was when I and a few of my colleges started a registered student organization called “The Husky Start-Up.” We would look for small startups that we could help scale and businesses that were at one point small startups to learn from their experience. It was a very fulfilling experience, that made me want to do it for a living.

4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the fifth cohort for the MS ENTRE degree program?

The reason I am excited to be a part of the fifth cohort is because not only is it giving me the tools that I need to help other startups expand but it is helping me achieve creating Life-Work Balance. Life-Work Balance has been a passion project that without the help of Foster, I would have not even known where to begin with this business. Life-Work Balance is a gig economy platform for jobs that are notorious for causing burnout in their employees. From my research, these professions are those that involve large amounts of personal involvement, aka the dedicated and committed. These doctors, nurses, teachers, etc., need help and I want to create a platform that does just that! I want to start by helping the nurses because they are the ones that need the most help and have the most impact on the populace. Once we can continue to expand and have covered the medical sector, is when we will shift to other fields. This is a big project, that is why I am honored that I was accepted to Foster because they have already started helping me realize this dream.

5) What advantages do you see to opening a business now?

The advantage that I see in opening a business is being able to be the solution to the problem you know exists. So often we feel helpless to the problems that exist but being in this program has shown me that we cannot wait for change to take place; we must create the change we wish to see.

6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?

The connections that I hope to gain are like-minded people that want to be a part of the change in the working system. I want to connect with a team to help push Life-Work Balance (LWB) further and feel the same way I do about helping people create a healthier work-life balance. This is why the name of my company is Life-Work Balance, because I believe life should come first!

7) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I manifest myself negotiating better schedules and pay to help LWB become a successful business. I see myself lobbing for healthcare workers and union workers to have healthier work lives. I manifest 3S’C holding workshops for startups and networking events. I manifest my children moving out to college and starting their exciting lives, while I learn to be an empty nester. I also manifest myself traveling a lot more and being able to go visit my family in Mexico. These are just some of the things I see myself (or manifest for myself) in the next 5 years.

8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?

Some of the skills I would gain the most learning from would be pitching strategies and venture capital funding. Since I have a business and data analytics background, I feel like I have the basic understanding to run a successful business. However, during business school, I did not learn how to compete for funding or how to build a business plan for funding. I hope to learn this here at Foster to ensure that my future ventures are well funded.

9) What do you like to do for fun?

Fanny Castro with friends and family

I love spending time with my family and going on adventures, I have the most fun when I am with them. They are my happy place.

10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?

Since I believe in the importance of connections, the experience that I value the most from the program is getting the privilege to collaborate with such an amazing cohort, admissions team, and professors.

I also appreciate how attentive my colleagues, instructors, and advisors have been. It has been a challenging and uncertain year for everyone, so it is nice that we’ve all been communicating regularly and checking in with one another.

11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS ENTRE degree program?

As someone who struggles with imposter syndrome, you are here for reason! Out of all the applicants, they saw something that made them believe in you. Now all you have to do is believe in yourself! Dare to be bad at something new… As Bernadette Devlin once said, “Yesterday I dared to struggle, Today I dare to win.”

Learn more about the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program

This post is part of a series where we ask current students to answer 11 questions about their experience at Foster. Explore the 11 questions tag for more interviews.