Recent Class of 2017 alumna Stacy Hanks delivered an energetic and passionate graduation speech to her classmates and the Foster community. The Class of 2017 voted (in a landslide) for Stacy to represent them at graduation. They describe her as “confident (inspires everyone around her), insightful (asks the tough questions that benefit the entire class), and generous (shares her marketing expertise with classmates and her time with the community), doing it all with a smile.”
After beginning her career in B2B and CPG sales, Stacy started at Amazon textbooks in Vendor Management, tasked with disrupting and strategically growing Amazon’s oldest book business. She then moved on to running the marketing team, growing new customer accounts by more than 10%. Her current role is in Amazon global vendor management where she seeks to leverage the strength of Amazon in the US to grow top vendors around the world. She works with America’s most iconic brands in emerging countries like India, Japan and focuses on global expansion efforts with Australia and the Middle East. Stacy continues to be passionate about marketing: “Nothing else matters if you don’t move product.”
Post-MBA, she is interested in continuing her growth at Amazon and pursuing board service. Her super power is presenting in front of large groups and maximizing growth, especially in challenging industries. Stacy looks forward to spending more time on her hobbies, like yoga and making stationery.
Stacy’s Key Foster takeaway? How to bring it all together and be a master of all, jack of only a couple – but know exactly what those couple are and how to fill in the gaps with the right people!
Watch Stacy’s speech or read on to see Foster from Stacy’s perspective.
Great things happened in 2017.
The Husky football team kicked off January playing for a national title.
The University of Washington Foster School of business raised over $153K and volunteered 3,600 hours for the Special Olympics & Boys & Girls Clubs, more than every other top west coast business school to bring the GOLDEN BRIEFCASE back to UW.
2017 also marks the moment the incredible group of people behind me are coming together to graduate with our MBAs, armed with new knowledge, new friendships and destined for even greater success.
When we entered this program we were individuals, unsure of what we might find, classmates unknown. To our surprise we found a reason to get out of bed early on weekends – classmates that would become teammates, and more importantly, friends.
These friends are the reason we made it here today, because they brought out the very best in each one of us. They challenged us to learn concepts and disciplines we never thought possible. They challenged us to be better versions of ourselves, better versions that stood up for our convictions when pushed and better versions that learned to concede when needed.
When we doubted ourselves, every single person in this class was there to support us, to demand we brought everything we had left, even if we doubted there was anything more for us to give, especially during those early mornings and late nights.
The life of an evening student is not easy, but you would never know if from talking to my classmates, who literally did it all.
If I had to summarize our entire class is just a few words, I would say the Evening Class of 2017 is the coolest, most laid-back bunch of overachievers you’ve ever met.
Because over-achieve we did, both inside and outside the classroom.
Numerous placements and awards in the Business Plan Competitions, participation in many field studies with top Seattle companies, putting our classroom learnings directly to work, capped off by our stellar all-female-team taking second place in the Venture Capital Investment Competition Western Regional, beating out USC, Berkley and others.
Not to mention the countless businesses formed, career changes, and promotions.
Outside the classroom, we may have faced challenges but we also found and shared tremendous joy, whether babies, engagements, weddings or even that time Gonzaga played in the final four.
We leave Foster today, forever thankful to the professors, staff and everyone who made this journey possible. Everything you did for us contributed to our success and we promise to continue the tradition of excellence and community found at Foster.
To everyone in the audience out there- you know we couldn’t have done it without you. But it’s safe to say – To the spouses and significant others, there’s a good chance your graduate owes YOU at least one home-cooked meal. To the friends and families, your graduate probably owes you a phone call when they aren’t driving TO or FROM school or a team meeting. And to the children and the pets, well you should have been asleep anyways, so you don’t actually know how late we stayed out at happy hour.
And to the class of 2017, if this was high school, I would sign off with a “Stay Cool” and “Don’t ever change”. But it’s not – so KEEP changing, keep growing, and keep asking the hard questions that make you better with every passing day, even if those questions drove our professors crazy. Our time at Foster may have come to an end, but we still have a lifetime to use what we learned here to refuse acceptance of average, continue to exceed all expectations and finally, accept the fact that our futures will always be #SOBright.
Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at [email protected].