Foster MBA Trek to the Bay Area: Building Connection & Collaboration

Foster students left their hearts in San Francisco …  In late January, almost 40 students from the Hybrid MBA (HMBA) and Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) programs embarked on a two-day experiential learning opportunity to the Bay Area. Participants visited eight diverse companies and connected with over 25 speakers including C-suite members, SVPs, founders, and alumni from the Foster MBA community.

Students enjoy a candid conversation with the leadership team at Nium,a global payment services company.

Participants also established key connections with hiring managers for potential opportunities and strengthened relationships with fellow Foster MBAs outside of the classroom. They also found time to take advantage of local explorations to Chinatown, Alcatraz, and other pinnacle San Francisco sights.

The Bay Area Trek really showcased the strength of our alumni network and career management team.  In addition to building community with almost 40 other students in the HMBA and TMMBA programs, we also got to meet alumni across diverse companies and levels of influence.  It was inspiring to discover potential opportunities available after graduation and to learn about industries that are entirely different from my current profession. I now feel even more confident that I am becoming better equipped for whatever career direction comes next. – Ben Naemura, Hybrid MBA Class of 2022

Bay Area Trek Highlights

The Trek exposed participants to the latest innovations in AI, access to the dynamic Silicon Valley start-up ecosystem, and more. Some highlights include:

  • Engaging talk with Ernst & Young leaders on their technology transformation initiatives;
  • Gong’s functional leaders in strategy, finance, product, and business development shared their unique journeys on the company’s significant growth;
  • Meet & greet lunch with HMBA student, Akshaya Pragadeeshram, and members from the LinkedIn Talent Solutions Team (LTS) – with time to enjoy their gorgeous rooftop views!
  • Candid conversation with global payment services company, Nium. Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, Mike Bermingham and other senior leaders (including TMMBA alumnus, Jeremiah Glodoveza, Global Head of Marketing & Communications) shared their insights on career growth, challenges, and successes;
  • Evening explorations in Chinatown for iconic Cantonese cuisine;
  • Katie Hagan, VP of Innovation at Mattson, shared the latest trends and innovations in the food & beverage industry;
  • SimX founder, Ryan Ribeira, brought participants to the Stanford campus to share his founder’s journey of his virtual reality medical simulation software.
  • Participants engaged with members of Nuro on their company’s rapid expansion in the autonomous vehicles space;
  • The Trek was rounded out with a visit to NVIDIA – complete with an extensive campus tour, demos, and career perspectives from TMMBA alumnus, Matt Hull, VP Global AI Data Center Solutions Sales.

Bay Area Trek Itinerary

Day 1
Ernst & Young

Day 2










Students cap off the Trek with an exclusive tour of NVIDIA. The campus includes a 500,000-square-foot Endeavor building and newer 750,000-square-foot Voyager building.

Power in Partnership

The success of the Bay Area Trek was largely fueled by partnerships within the Foster alumni, student, and employer communities. As a result of these relationships, the company visits provided participants with an exclusive, tailored, and dynamic learning experience that delivered against key knowledge-areas that are taught in the Foster MBA classroom.

Students gained in-depth insights on business and technology strategies, customer acquisition and experience, product and service innovations, leadership journeys, and career advice through the lens of various industries including consulting, food & beverage and a wide-range of tech (big tech, health tech, autonomous vehicles, fintech).

The Trek brought students together to explore how technology innovation is changing the way the world does business. It is so hard to point to one favorite thing. From discussions with EY leadership around the future of global consulting connected right back to our classroom discussions on technology globalization to bouncing off to Gong to hear viewpoint of how startups are capturing the market with their innovative products and services … and more. This two-day trip ended up more than just learning about technology and networking, but memories to last forever. – Garima Nagpal, TMMBA Class of 2022

While the visit to the California sunshine went far too quickly, participants are eager to embark on future Trek opportunities to solidify their experiential learning in their Foster MBA program and fortify relationships that will carry on well beyond graduation.

About the Foster Trek Series

Hosted by the Career Management team, this signature Trek series brings student classroom learnings to life through hands-on exposure to diverse industries, career fields, and business landscapes – from multi-national giants to early stage, well-funded start-ups – that represent a multitude of industries including consulting, tech, finance, healthcare, manufacturing and more.

Since its launch in 2013, the company trek series has connected hundreds of TMMBA and HMBA students to over 60 companies in the greater Seattle area and across six regional treks to Portland, Austin, and the Bay Area.