Get to Know MS in Entrepreneurship Student: Zane Dunham

The MS in Entrepreneurship program is made up of a diverse group of students who come from various backgrounds and experiences. We love to highlight students from the current cohort, so read on to hear more about Zane’s journey to the program!

Please tell us your name.

Zane Dunham

Where are you from?

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What did you do before entering this program?

Before entering the program, I actually was doing my undergrad degree also here at UW. I’ve worked in marketing consulting positions for startups, through various sales roles and in a couple restaurants too.

When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?

Growing up, my parents were entrepreneurs. We traveled the west going to national parks and monuments because they were my parents’ customers! Those experiences instilled a deep appreciation for the environment and for using business as a force for good in relation to sustainability. Seeing their work ethic and impact made me realize from a young age that I wanted the same for myself. I’ve almost always been somewhat of an entrepreneur. The first startup I worked for was my parent’s company, not surprisingly!  My brother and I used to tag and sticker for his products for hours. As I got older, I got into printing and selling shirts and stickers for a record label, selling Hopi jewelry, and in college I worked for a local startup too to help with marketing.

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

I think going to school during the COVID era, I felt a little robbed of my time to get the most out of my education. My last year was in person and by taking a series of classes surrounding business and sustainability I realized that is the impact I want to make on the world. The MS Entre program seemed like a perfect way for me to be more comfortable with taking that step earlier and live my dream of being an entrepreneur. What I’ve got out of the program so far has been such invaluable education and experience about finding opportunities in markets, helping customers, and solving problems. Along with how to actually run and start a startup of course! I’ve been continuously inspired by my fellow cohort members. We all seem very impact driven and genuinely want to make the world a better place. My favorite part of the program has really been being exposed to such an amazing group of professors, previous alumni, the Seattle business scene, and my fellow cohort members.

What advantages do you see to opening a business now?

I think this program has really opened my eyes to that there is never a bad time to open a business! Seattle really does have such a great community of entrepreneurs, VCs, and businesses that think differently. I couldn’t imagine wanting to start a business anywhere else right now.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Hopefully running a successful business! Along living an enjoyable and healthy life too!

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to do anything outside. Trail running, skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, etc. I also really love to cook! After working in a couple restaurants either on the line or as a head chef, I love to cook seasonally and grow what I can in my garden.

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

Think about if this is right for you! My dad said to me once that the only person you can BS is yourself. I think this is some of the best advice for someone who might want to be an entrepreneur. Only you can know if this is right for you, and you’ll have many people tell you it’s not. But listen to your gut and do it for you if it’s right for you!

Learn About MS in Entrepreneurship

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