Alf Lee, a member of the Class of 2017, moved from the East Coast to pursue the Foster Evening MBA Program. Born in Marshfield, WI and having grown up in Boxborough, MA, Alf left the familiar behind to start the Foster Evening MBA chapter of his life. Why would one move across the country to pursue a “part-time” MBA Program? He shares his experience with us in the first installment of this new Blog Series.
Why did you choose the Foster Evening MBA Program?
I was lucky enough to get into three great MBA programs: University of Washington, Babson College, and University of Texas at Austin. Ultimately, three factors separated UW from the pack. First, the quality of the faculty and students when I visited really blew me away. Every conversation I had was inspiring. Second, the immediate camaraderie with students that resulted from Evaluation Day. Even though I was competing with these individuals, there was an instant bond of taking this challenge on collectively. Third, the culture of the Pacific Northwest sealed the deal: Good nature, good food (this was actually on my checklist), good people, and- especially- the entrepreneurial spirit here.
What prompted you to move to Seattle from the East Coast to pursue a part-time program?
Well, not shoveling snow for 6 months is pretty appealing! In all seriousness, I had wanted to explore life outside New England for some time and I had reached a stage professionally where I needed to take a big leap and step out of my comfort zone. Seattle has a great economy with prospective work in every industry, so I felt there was an opportunity here to learn in both the classroom and the work force.
What is your assessment of the program so far?
A year in, I can say it’s definitely delivered. As a transplant, there are tons of challenges I wasn’t prepared for (like driving only 60 MPH on the highway), but interestingly, it’s the program that has stabilized me thus far. I come to class each week genuinely excited to learn and interact with everyone. I’m constantly humbled by the talent around me. It’s intimidating and inspiring at the same time.
What is your favorite thing about Seattle?
You mean, aside from seeing my Patriots beat the local team in the Super Bowl? It is definitely the worldly culture. People here are so well-traveled which fosters (pun intended) outside-the-box thinking. This feeds the entrepreneurial mindset and a pervasive understanding that there is always a better, more efficient way to do things. Definitely the biggest strength of the region. The food is a close second.
Any advice for prospective students?
Stay focused. There is an overwhelming amount of stimulation here, and it’s all good! But you’ve go to be selective about where you invest your time and energy. My biggest mistake in Year 1 was going after EVERYTHING. It’s just not possible. This is the time to explore in your career, but remember why you came in the first place – you had a goal so make sure you stick to it…because you can get derailed pretty easily if you don’t stay centered.
Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram to see the program through the eyes of current students.