Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in the coastal city Mombasa, Kenya with quite the itch for adventure and aviation. This had me roaming the east African country for the entirety of my teenage years and then some, as I started college at a University about 14 hours west of my hometown. I eventually transferred to a different university in Michigan where, for the first time, I got access to resources that truly helped me tap into my potential for growth and development in every sense whether it was in career, academics, personal or human relationships etc.
I’d like to think I’m a decent cook if my audience is to be trusted and music is my alternate fuel right next to food. My personality can probably be summarized to a deep curiosity for everything within the limits of our universe and relentless positivity of which I’m still not sure is a good thing.
Where did you start your career and what led you to choose the Evening MBA program at the UW Foster School of Business?
My career started off in aviation where I worked as an aircraft mechanic then transitioned into academia/student affairs where I worked as an assistant residence hall director and academic advisor to engineering students. A few years after that, I made my way to an engineering role with a pharmaceutical company and it was at this role that I got exposed to strategy development from a business perspective. This experience connected well with my problem solving skills, love for working with and learning from people in different areas of expertise, and drawing over-arching pictures of the entire organization. Wanting to keep the momentum going, I connected it back to business school and decided that would be my next stop.
I knew that I’d like to continue working while attending business school, so I made a list of target schools based on potential for meeting my career goals as well as location. I decided on UW’s Foster Evening MBA Program since I love Seattle, always wanted to be an engineer for Boeing, and Foster is an amazing business school with a stellar reputation. Once a few key pieces lined up I made the journey out west and that’s how I found myself as part of the Foster Evening MBA program.
How do you balance family/friends, work and school?
I prioritize all 3 as important facets of my life that need my attention. I go about intentionally planning to engage my family/friends the same way I plan on finishing my homework or work project by a certain date. Though it sounds a bit mechanical when one thinks about it like that, I’ve found that if you don’t pencil in lunch dates with your mom or drinks with a friend chances are they’ll only happen once a year if at all since relationships just like any interest fade into things I used to think about if not given priority. That being said, life isn’t without its challenges, and I don’t think I’ve ever achieved a perfect balance, but if I’m willing to sacrifice a Friday night towards finishing a work project then I can do the same for my friends. The key is clearly knowing what’s important and do whatever it takes to get it done.
Tell us about your experience participating in extracurricular activities or clubs. Which ones would you recommend to other students and why?
I wasn’t expecting much going into the program, but there are a lot of extracurricular activities and clubs that we have access to on top of programs organized by the MBA program. Everything has been interesting and I’d want to do it all, but couldn’t even if I wanted to. I’ve participated in clubs such as Consulting Society, Challenge for Charity (C4C), Diversity in Business, as well as social extracurriculars such as happy hours after class, various group gatherings organized by students, and the quarterly Friday “Thank Goodness” (TG) events.
I recommend Consulting Society if you are interested in consulting as a career path. It has great resources and programs for your development. There are other interest clubs in health care, data analytics, supply chain, operations etc. At the very least, I recommend you find your interest group and participate in it as part of your development plan in the program. As for extracurriculars, you shouldn’t feel like you need to do everything but I also wouldn’t say don’t do anything because part of the program’s value proposition/appeal is the interactions you’ll have. As implied, take care of your well being and don’t feel pressured to do it all