Building careers, teams, and friendships: Q&A with Juan Weiser, MBA 2019

Juan WeiserWhy did you choose the Full-time MBA program at the UW Foster School of Business?

I chose the FT MBA program at Foster because of a combination of three factors: the rising of Foster in the rankings, the small size class and community environment, and finally the tech companies and job opportunities in Seattle. Prior to my MBA I was working in management consulting in Mexico. This helped me develop a good business knowledge base, but I also identified that I had gaps in some functional areas and in my leadership skills. Also, I wanted to immerse myself in the technology industry and pursue a career in a tech company. Finally, Foster offered all these components that will enable me to grow professionally plus enjoy two years in a very exciting city, surrounded by all the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Student Experience

What has been the highlight of your Foster MBA experience so far?

A highlight from my Foster MBA Experience was getting involved in Foster’s Challenge for Charity. C4C is an organization that organizes a competition for volunteering, fundraising and sports, among MBA programs in the west coast. During my two years at Foster I was part of the Board and I had the opportunity to work with an amazing team organizing volunteering activities and our annual alumni auction. C4C has been an amazing opportunity to balance my time between school, social activities and spending time giving back to the community. Finally, every year, C4C ends with Sports Weekend at Stanford, where you get to play sports with MBA students from other schools and be rewarded after all the effort done throughout the year.

Curriculum

Describe your internship experience.

During the summer I had the opportunity to do my internship with Dell Technologies in Austin, TX. I joined the LatAm marketing team. The skills developed during my first MBA year combined with being from Venezuela and having prior work experience in Latin America, put me in a path to success during those 12 weeks of internship and eventually converting into a Full-Time role. This opportunity aligned perfectly with one of my MBA goals, which was to build a career in the Tech Industry. In 12 weeks I had a lot of exposure to technical knowledge, understanding the consultative selling process used by Dell and finally developing a marketing strategy that would be executed by the team in following months.

Besides your internship, have you participated in any experiential learning opportunities?

During spring break of my 2nd year I participated in the India Consulting project. This is a 2-week program in which a group of 15 students traveled to India a to work with SEWA, an organization that helps self-employed women in India. During our two weeks in India we had the opportunity to get immersed in the culture, but mostly applied frameworks and skills learned in class with a hands-on approach. This experience greatly contributed to my education because it gave me a new perspective on business culture.

Faculty

Is there a faculty member who stands out in your mind as being exceptional?

For me it’s Jennifer Koski, she taught Problems in Business Finance, which was a finance elective. Her class was completely case based; I was amazed at how she was able to structure the class discussions and challenge every one of the students to understand what the finance situation in question was. At the same time, she was able to connect all the other functional areas to show how this have a financial impact in the business. Also, Jennifer was our faculty advisor for the India Consulting Project, her guidance helped us to develop the best solution for SEWA and to enhance our applied learning process.

Career Impact

What are you planning to pursue post MBA?

Post MBA I joined Dell for a two-year marketing rotation program. I believe Foster has helped me develop a holistic framework to identify and solve business problems. This combined with leadership skills and a tool set of marketing frameworks will help me succeed in my career in Dell.

Work / Life / School Balance

What’s the most challenging part of the MBA?

A big part of the MBA experience is self-reflecting, figuring out what you want to do post-MBA, what business area or industry you are interested in, among many other things. In my case, I loved every part of the MBA because it has opened doors to learn and explore a lot of new things, but it also comes with great challenges. Time is your biggest constraint in an MBA; therefore, prioritizing is crucial along with accepting the fact that you can’t do it all. You need to find a balance among all the possibilities available to be able to maximize the MBA experience.

Social Life

Are you involved with any social or recreational clubs?

As a Latino, I consider myself a very outgoing and social person, that is why I was pretty much involved in every recreational club. I went to every TG (MBA organized parties), I was a board member of Huddle (Football tailgate organizing club), a was pub club president, and I was also part of the C4C board. All of these activities can give you the opportunity to interact with your classmates and blue dots outside of the classroom or team setting. It’s the perfect setting to decompress from the academic stress and to build very strong friendships that will last forever.

Seattle

What are your overall impressions of the Seattle?

Seattle is a great city that combines all the perks from a city with all the perks from the nature. Seattle has great bars, restaurants, breweries, live music and much more. On the other hand, it has Rainier and its surrounding mountains and lakes, which provides one of the best playgrounds for hiking, kayaking, skiing and many more outdoor activities. The only constraint is the rain, but at some point you just live with it and it does not bothers any more.