Desire to lead and serve drives Foster MBA

Kelsey Ingram’s decision to apply to the Foster Full-time MBA Program was driven by a desire to explore new career opportunities in her hometown, Seattle.

“I’m originally from Seattle, and I really wanted to build my professional network in the Seattle area, so that was a huge reason for coming to Foster,” she says. “The relationships and the reputation that Foster has with the Seattle community just don’t compare with any other school.”

Kelsey’s route back to her old stomping ground took detours through South Bend, Indiana, where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Information Technology Management at Notre Dame, and San Francisco, where she started her career at a major accounting firm.

“My IT management degree was a great segue into my career with Ernst & Young,” she says. “After working there for a few years I felt a bit siloed into technology and decided that I want a broader foundation of business skills. That was the main driver for going back to get my MBA.”

The process of applying for admission at Foster led Kelsey to some surprising insights about what was really important to her in her future career.

“The application requires you to sit down and think about why you want to get an MBA and what you want to do here,” she says. “And while most people’s plans change between the time they apply and the time they graduate, I really was able to use that as a driver for what it was I wanted to focus on.”

Writing her application, Kelsey found that service and leadership emerged as important themes.

“In my application, I wrote about joining a non-profit organization eventually. When I came to Foster, I realized that was more of a passion and that it might not be a career path for me, but I was able to use that passion to focus my energy on the Challenge 4 Charity organization. Serving the community is something that I’m very passionate about and something that I was reminded of looking back at my application.”

“There were also parts of my application that related to leadership development, and that dovetailed into my involvement with the Fritzky Leadership Fellows Program,” she adds.

Kelsey’s post-MBA position with a consulting firm promises opportunities to combine her passions for service, leadership – and business. With help from Foster’s MBA Career Management office, she landed a summer internship that turned into a great job after graduation.

“In the summer between my first and second year I was lucky enough to work for Point B. It’s a management consulting firm with an office here in Seattle,” she says. “I was working on an IT project for a large family foundation in the area. It was a great learning experience, and I’m really excited to go back this coming August for my full-time position.”