What did you do before the MBA?
Prior to the MBA I was an Air Force Acquisitions Manager (aka Product Manager), but my background is in Mechanical Engineering. I supported cool stuff like satellite launches and advanced weapons research, but after 8 years I was ready for a life of peace, and for an opportunity to recharge. So I chose to get an MBA and devote two years of my life entirely to personal development, and Foster had just jumped up in the rankings. After the MBA, I hope to work in marketing or product management, working with cool people and tackling new challenges!
Why did you choose Foster?
I came here for a welcome weekend and met with some fellow veterans who were in the program, and I was immediately hooked. I wrote the deposit check and started looking for housing the next day. Foster has a beautiful campus, PACCAR Hall is amazing, and the Pacific Northwest has great access to the outdoors.
Why did you want to get involved as an Admissions Coordinator?
I wanted to get involved with the admissions team (the A-team!) to help get the word out about this program. I want the best and brightest to come to this program and excel in their post-MBA careers and grow the network, but I also want people who can ‘win the right way.’ That means being a part of the Foster culture – we’re inclusive, collaborative, and we support each other here.
What has been your most valuable academic experience at Foster?
Really anything that involves teamwork. Every team is different, and getting to work with such fascinating people is very rewarding. My favorite team experience has been the Applied Strategy project from our second quarter, where we spent 10 weeks working on a particular business challenge for a client company. It was a great learning experience, and I felt really lucky to have a great team and to have the opportunity to get a look inside the company.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned at Foster so far?
Learning to say no has been a challenge, because I love to work. It took me a long time to understand how much our time is worth, so I’ve been very careful to avoid being overcommitted to extra activities and classes. My natural instinct is to volunteer for every extra duty (that’s the Air Force in me talking), but the number of opportunities here is overwhelming. Something gets sacrificed: time with your family, time to sleep, or time to work on other projects or classwork. This doesn’t mean that you should say ‘no’ to everything, but just recognize that you have limits.
What are your summer plans?
I am extremely grateful to have secured a position at Nike, working on Manufacturing Direct Procurement with some extraordinary people. I’ll be doing a heavy quantitative job working with data and creating predictive models, which could change the way that they make their products.
Hear more from Nelson Tang by following this blog or his personal site at http://www.nelsontang.com