MSBA Practicum: Company Perspectives

Logo graphic of Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Mercer, Microsoft and Tableau.

What do Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Microsoft, Mercer, and Tableau all have in common? They are the 2021 sponsoring companies for the Master of Science in Business Analytics Practicum. If you’re a prospective student trying to get a preview of the practicum experience, keep reading below to get the inside scoop on this year’s practicum projects.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is a longtime supporter of the University of Washington and Foster School of Business. For this year’s practicum, Alaska Airlines is sponsoring a seat assignment model project. Have you ever wondered why some people prefer the middle seat over the more coveted aisle and window seats? This is a chance for MSBA students to find out.


Amazon will also be participating in this year’s practicum course with a very timely topic for MSBA students. E-commerce and home delivery are booming and some Amazon items, such as grocery and cleaning supplies, require costly and specialized storage facilities.  This is where Amazon’s practicum project comes in—how can limited storage and warehouse facilities be optimized to maintain fast delivery schedules across various locations? Amazon is also a target employer for Foster MSBA graduates, so it’s great to work with them in this year’s practicum.


Mercer is the world’s largest outsourced asset management firm headquartered in New York City with offices in major U.S. and global cities including Seattle. For current students particularly inclined to work in the public sector, this may be the # 1 project choice. Students will use data to analyze, quantify, and provide both public and private sector solutions for wealth gaps and retirement readiness across different racial groups in the U.S. Data will be provided by the Economic Policy Institute, the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and the Rand Health and Retirement Study. Last, but certainly not least, this project is also sponsored by a UW alumna.

Microsoft Sales

Another Seattle tech giant, Microsoft, is also a long-time supporter of Foster and a returning company sponsor of the MSBA practicum. Due to the high demand in the number of students who wish to work with Microsoft, two student teams will be given the opportunity to work on a sales strategy optimization project with the Microsoft Sales Team.


Tableau is another returning project sponsor of the MSBA practicum course and a long-time supporter of the Foster School Marketing Department. Students assigned to the Tableau project will work with Tableau’s Customer Success Team to see which strategies best maximize the utility of diverse sets of consumers.


At Foster MSBA we are thrilled that every year students get real-world industry experience with leading companies. It’s a great way for our students to culminate their business analytics degrees and enter the workforce.

Read more blogs on the Business Analytics Practicum below:

Real World Experience: Business Analytics Practicum

Reminiscing on the MSBA Practicum Experience

MSBA Alumna Tells All on the Business Analytics Practicum Experience


Written by Maryam Noor
MSBA Writer & Content Strategist
[email protected]

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