Name: Steve Mortenson
Location: New York, New York
Current Position: Management Consultant
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration & Bachelor of Marketing, Utah State University
I grew up in Utah and spent my weekends snowboarding and exploring the mountains. Now I spend my free time exploring the greatest city in the world! I love finding new restaurants, walking down new streets, and learning from the diverse community around me. I do, however, still try to get away from the city to reconnect with nature on a regular basis.
Coming from NYC, why did I choose the Hybrid MBA program at the UW Foster School of Business?
I did extensive research of many different MBA programs before deciding where to apply. In my research, I was looking for a top tier, well-ranked program that would allow me to continue my career as a consultant.
While I wanted to continue my career throughout the program, I also wanted to ensure the program provided the same level of rigor that full-time programs do. When I discovered the Hybrid MBA at the Foster School of Business, it felt like a perfect match for me.
What part of the Hybrid MBA Experience do I enjoy most?
Remote: My favorite part of the experience is the large focus on teamwork. At the beginning of the program I was assigned a team of 6 individuals who I work with on a regular basis. Even though we live all over the country, we speak via Zoom several times a week and have all become great friends. I have learned so much from my teammates.
In Person Immersions: Immersions are an intense 3-5 days. I love flying to Seattle which provides me with an opportunity to catch up with all of my classmates and participate in a packed agenda of class, professional development events and social/networking opportunities. Immersion truly is immersive. The fact that many of us have flown in to Seattle to be with each other results in a culture of everyone wanting to make the most of the experience. It is exhausting, but incredibly rewarding.
How has the Hybrid MBA supported you from a career perspective?
Towards the end of my first year in the program, I attended a virtual career event hosted by the Foster School of Business where I spoke with recruiters from many companies. In the following weeks, I was able to work with Susie Buysse in career services to refine my resume and practice my interview skills. It resulted in me obtaining a new job with a prestigious consulting firm here in New York City. Susie provided me with incredible best practices and a significant amount of references that I was able to use in my job search and career transition.
How has your MBA experience enabled you to see your career differently?
One aspect of consulting that I love is the ability to shift focus so quickly. I have been involved in projects involving marketing, product design, process improvement, design thinking, change management, etc. The MBA experience has provided me with an arsenal of thought-provoking articles, models, and discussion topics that I have been able to readily apply to my work on a regular basis. I have really appreciated the focus on manager decision making that has been present throughout the program. I truly feel like I am now equipped with everything I need to lead a team to success.
What are your fellow students like? Have they enhanced your experience?
My classmates are incredible. They are smart, generous, and diverse. I have learned so much from the different group projects I have been able to be a part of and the discussions that take place in our synchronous lectures. The Hybrid nature of the program has given my class a leg up in light of COVID . My classmates and I were already versed in utilizing Zoom and other means to network, so we haven’t missed a beat in terms of connecting with one another. This program has provided me a national network full of people who are willing to provide support whenever I reach out.
Have any classes from the MBA curriculum particularly struck you?
It is difficult to pick just one class that sticks out to me. All of our professors are so passionate about their subjects that I can’t help but experience the passion myself. I absolutely enjoyed the Leading Teams class taught by Bruce Avolio and I still visit my notes from that class on a regular basis. Managerial Accounting, taught by Darren Bernard has also provided me with incredible insight into how managers should go about making financial decisions to ensure their unit contributes to the overall business objectives.
The Hybrid MBA program at the Foster School of Business is truly unique. As I looked at online programs, it was important to me to ensure I was not giving up anything from a full time on-campus experience. The Hybrid MBA program provided me everything that I could have asked for including career support, broadening my network, thought provoking lectures, and student experience opportunities. This experience has been additionally fulfilling because I have been able to apply my learnings directly to my career in real time.
This post is part of a series called “Flying In” where we feature students who come in from the region and across the nation to earn their MBA at Foster.
The series shows behind the scenes on what it’s truly like to be earning your MBA at Foster while not physically in the Greater Seattle area.
Meet more UW Hybrid MBA Students through our Hybrid MBA Student Q&A blog posts.
Learn about Steve’s role as the Hybrid MBA Student Council Chair Here: Meet the Hybrid MBA Student Council