Flying In [LA Edition]: Start up leader, Addy Mendoza

Profile photo of Adielyn (Addy) MendozaName: Adielyn (Addy) Mendoza
Location: Los Angeles, California LA
Position: Director of People, Pico

Undergraduate Degree:  Engineering, Stanford University

Fun Fact: I have an anxious and fluffy rescue dog named Maxwell who has resting sad face and loves to enter my office walking backwards while I’m on video calls.

Coming from LA, why did you choose the Hybrid MBA program at the UW Foster School of Business?

The Foster Hybrid MBA is truly the best of all worlds! You really want for nothing when you have the privilege of attending a top program at a top university, the flexibility of being untethered to any physical location, plus the opportunity to meet and network in-person to build invaluable relationships with classmates. I was also drawn to the program’s culture of social responsibility and their deep and humble commitment to constant improvement. LA

What part of the Hybrid MBA experience do you enjoy most?

Initially I was nervous about the team-based aspect of the program, but it has come to be the most enjoyable part of my HMBA experience.  My teammates have been essential in supporting my learning, pushing my growth, and creating a sense of community.

What are your fellow students like? Have they enhanced your experience?

They are phenomenal. My cohort is full of amazing human beings who have already accomplished so much in their careers yet are driven by a sense of purpose to continue learning and growing. It inspires me every day to keep pushing and I end up learn just as much from my peers as I do from my classes. They are fiercely supportive. When I’m in doubt I can always count on them for guidance or for a good laugh when things get tough!

How has the Hybrid MBA supported you from a career perspective?

Addy Mendoza Hybrid MBAI was inspired to get an MBA not to make a career shift but to supplement the many holes in my business knowledge that resulted from majoring in engineering during undergrad and then fumbling my way through with trial-by-fire-style learning for most of my career.  Working full-time at a tech start-up while attending the HMBA program, I was pleasantly surprised that I could apply knowledge from my classes to my career from day one! Our classes in the HMBA program are structured in a way that helps you build new and applicable skill sets from the get-go. I was already applying new learnings from my classes to my day-to-day job in a practical way even during my first quarter. LA

How has your MBA experience enabled you to see your career differently?

This experience has already shaped me into a more effective partner to my executives at my tech startup. I feel like I’m building the skills to become a leader in conversations and initiatives where I would have only been comfortable following previously. The HMBA program arms you with both a high-level strategic mindset and practical, actionable tools to become a highly effective leader in a wide array of contexts. I feel more confident and empowered to affect change in my career and my non-profit work!

Have any classes from the curriculum particularly struck you?

Working to build culture at my company, especially during an increasingly remote-friendly era, I found deep and impactful value in having Greg Bigley’s “Building Effective Teams” class be part of my first quarter’s curriculum. Not only is the class brilliantly meta-structured for you to apply your learnings to your immediate team experiences as part of a remote program, but the takeaways are undeniably universal and game-changing for the way we need to think about collaboration as future leaders in business.

I would also be remiss not to call out Weili Ge and her unforgettable class in Financial Accounting. She made every topic approachable, every module memorable, and made me realize it’s a miracle I made it so far in life without understanding financial statements.


This post is part of a series called “Flying In” where we feature students who come in from the region and across the nation to earn their MBA at Foster.

The series shows behind the scenes on what it’s truly like to be earning your MBA at Foster while not physically in the Greater Seattle area.

Meet more UW Hybrid MBA Students through our Hybrid MBA Student Q&A blog posts.