Q&A with Jory Pinter: First Impressions and the Transition from Me to We

Why did you choose the Evening MBA program at the UW Foster School of Business?

Jory Pinter_HeadshotFor me, it wasn’t rocket science on choosing my MBA program. I wanted to set myself up for success so I knew I wanted a top program. I knew I needed an evening program to fit with my schedule and with work, so I found the number one program for job placement that was in my geographical requirements and it was the only school I applied to. I also chose Foster because I did my undergrad here and I knew that I was placing my education in excellent hands because of previous experience. Even under COVID-19 conditions, I can already tell that I’ve put myself in exactly the program I need to be in. 

What are some of your initial thoughts after your first week in the Foster Evening MBA program?

Today (9/18/20) marks the end of the first unofficial week of class and already the experience has been overwhelming in its reach and scope. The profound changes have already begun for me, and for my fellow MBA candidates. We have had our first readings, our first papers, our first lectures and our first group project – which sounds exactly like what you would expect for school, but it has been so much more. The line between what has been done by “me”, and what has been by “we” have blurred, as we see the potential we have when we collaborate.

What has your experience been like kicking off the Foster Evening MBA program virtually?

These basic experiences have already made a shift in our collective thinking and spun the cogs of how I bring this home, bring this to my workplace, and bring this into the world. Our first readings explored the idea of Group Think and the dangers of being too agreeable in a team. We delved into the benefits of purpose driven leadership and how this builds authenticity. We have been coached by Chris Petersen, prior head coach of the Huskies, about the importance of redefining failure and aligning thoughts, words and actions. Finally, we have been guided to exploring our why, our defining and overarching goal in life to understand what drives our careers. However, even this has only been the tip of the iceberg because the people I have learned most from, are my fellow classmates. We have 125 students in the class of 2023, representing 60+ companies and nearly every industry imaginable. We have an incredible and diverse group that has already worked to reinvent the MBA experience under COVID conditions. We have already established our own unique platform of communication, forged our own committees and clubs, bounced ideas off each other, and most importantly, formed a bond of collaboration based on mutual respect. We came into this program as an experiment in virtual classes for the program, scrambling to find organization and structure but rather than let COVID destroy us, we came together and built a community.

How do you balance family/friends, work and school?

Balance has been quite the struggle so far, working to make sure that I’m meeting all my deadlines for work, school while still managing a family/friend life. Someone else in the program referred me to a glorious LinkedIn post about balancing all three that’s been really helpful in framing balance in my mind. The article is about recognizing that you’re juggling a bunch of different balls, some made of glass and some of plastic. You can let the ones made of plastic hit the ground and they won’t break, but don’t drop the ones made of glass. It reminded me to remember that not every deadline is a hard deadline and that understanding my own priorities was key to finding a good balance and rhythm. 

How have your fellow classmates influenced your experience in the program so far?

My fellow classmates have been incredibly helpful in shaping the structure of our community and being driving forces of engagement. Our class continues to provide a steady stream of new and creative event ideas to engage with the community during this challenging time and I am extremely grateful for this. I want to thank everyone who has made this journey possible for myself, who has built this curriculum, and especially those who have contributed to this new community of friends and colleagues. I’d like to thank everyone for making the class of 2023 what it is, an incredibly diverse and sharp group, ready to learn however we can to lead the world into a better future for everyone.