MBA transformers: Crystal Wu

Once: Environmental Scientist, SWAPE

Now: Senior Analyst, Expedia

Crystal WuCollecting dust from old attics. Sampling oil field air in the middle of the night. Ah, the romance of environmental science.

Crystal Wu (MBA 2011) knows it well. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in molecular, cell and developmental biology, she began her career managing environmental consulting projects for SWAPE.

But eventually, Wu decided to come in out of this niche field. The Foster School helped her identify—and achieve—a broader role. “I didn’t know I wanted to move into finance,” she says, “but it was a natural step given my background in modeling and analysis.”

Wu found finance at Foster. She also founded the Seattle chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs.

But it was her internship at Mike’s Hard Lemonade, of all places, that activated her transformation to business finance. “It was the stepping stone I needed to connect my two careers,” Wu says.

Her re-launch has begun at Expedia, where she applies her modeling and financial analysis skills to its affiliate network. The company recently transferred her to London where, it is presumed, she’s able to avoid dusty attics and stinky oil fields.

Find out about the other alumni who transformed their careers via the MBA Program.