Club Spotlight – Foster MBA Huddle

MBA Huddle – a social club of the Foster MBA (student) Association – has a focus on team building through sports. It runs all the tailgates, plans the annual Sailgate event, organizes the annual Whistler trip and partners with other clubs like C4C to host unique events such as the Beer Mile fundraiser. Members also participate in intramural sports throughout the year, In this interview, Huddle Co-Presidents Jose Brito, Evening MBA, 2023, and Mark Patterson, Full-time MBA, 2023, shared their experiences of leading this club.

Huddle co presidents Jose and Mark

Huddle co presidents (outgoing) Jose and Mark

Please tell us a bit about yourselves. 

Jose: I was born and raised in Southern California and I enjoy warm days on the lake and spending time with friends. I spent seven years in the Army and my last duty station was in Washington State, which is how I ended up here. I am unsure as to what I will do post-Foster but I am optimistic and excited for the future.

Mark: I am from Southern California and worked as a structural engineer before Foster. I love basketball. I played for two years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In Seattle, I love anything outdoors, including the tailgates! After Foster, I will be at Amazon as a Sr. Product Manager.

What unique role does Huddle play in promoting students’ goals at Foster? 

Mark: Huddle plays many roles in my eyes. During fall quarter, there will be one social event that everyone will be at – and that’s the tailgate. It allows students to connect with classmates that they don’t intersect with as much. It allows students to bond over sports. And, it provides casual networking opportunities when we have alumni crash some tailgates! For me personally, it allowed me to make friends and bond with many people I don’t see regularly in Paccar!

Jose: Huddle provides a way to network with classmates in a low-stress setting and a way to decompress from the academic pressures in that first quarter. After the last tailgate, I was repeatedly asked by students, “Now, what!?”, which shows that students love having the opportunity to come together and build connections.

Huddle and Challenge for Charity's Annual Beer Mile fundraiser

Huddle and Challenge for Charity’s Annual Beer Mile fundraiser

Which Huddle events have been most popular or successful and why?

Jose: I am obviously biased, but I feel like every event has been pretty popular. The Sailgate was completely booked and the weather was perfect that day. The Alumni tailgate had over 240 attendees, which was the largest tailgate to date; and the Whistler trip had over 100 students and their significant others crossed the Canadian border for a weekend of non-stop festivities.

Mark: The most successful event was the first annual Diversity Clubs tailgate. We partnered with the Foster MBA diversity clubs (Diversity in Business, Out in Business, Women in Business, Foster Veterans Association, and Global Business Association)  to dedicate one tailgate to them. Non-Huddle members who were members of those clubs got discounted single-day passes. We cooked chorizo con huevos tacos for everyone. And played music provided by those clubs! It was one of the biggest tailgates we had. This is my favorite memory with Huddle. Many classmates that never went to tailgates came out to that one and it made me very happy to see them. We danced and partied in the parking lot until the football game ended. I have many hilarious photos and videos.

Huddle Members at the December 2022 Whistler Trip

Huddle Members at the December 2022 Whistler Trip

How has Huddle influenced the continued evolution of the Foster MBA program?

Mark: It has done so by providing an inclusive community. Tailgates and other events are for everyone, whether or not they are sports fans. Our tailgates have all options when it comes to beverages, food, snacks, etc. My Co-President Jose and I really wanted to push the boundaries this year. I can confidently say we did.

What have you learned about leadership while in this role?

Mark: I’ve learned to be open-minded to new suggestions to run the club. This year, Jose brought in a ton of new ideas that elevated our tailgates as well as Huddle. It was very different from what we did for Huddle when I was a first year. I was cautious of the change, but I was open to it. It definitely was the right choice. Shoutout to Jose!

Jose: Our role is basically as large-event planners, so I learned all the nuances that go with that such as pivoting quickly when plans inevitably change. Additionally, we learned to challenge our assumptions and to ask for different perspectives. This allowed us to remain inclusive and ensure that everybody felt welcomed.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time with Huddle?

Jose: One of my favorite memories would have to be the tailgate where I looked around and realized we were the only group still tailgating in the parking lot. The playlist was perfect and people were having a good time. Needless to say, only a few of us made it to the actual game.

Welcome Back Tailgate

Welcome Back Tailgate

Which students or why do/should students join Huddle?

Mark: All students should join Huddle! Not only will you have free access to all tailgates, you will get priority sign ups to amazing events like the Sailgate, Whistler hotel bookings, Whistler bar crawl, and any others! It is a great way to also spend a few hours in the sun on a Saturday with your friends after working your butt off during the week in fall quarter!

What tips do you have for incoming MBA students thinking of joining Huddle leadership positions?

Mark: Stay connected! You will meet many Huddle members and will talk with the presidents and Huddle captains. Anyone who is interested should show interest early on to learn the ins and outs of running tailgates. It’ll be an amazing experience!

What were your expectations and intentions as you took on the role? Did your experience line up? 

Mark: I underestimated the back office work that went into Huddle. Being a first year rep, I helped set up and clean up tailgates. But once I took the leadership position, we had to do budget forecasting, pricing strategy, relationship building with partner businesses, and many other aspects that went into organizing tailgates and the Whistler trip. It was challenging, but luckily Jose and I handled it well.

Jose: I benefited last year just by showing up to the events and having a good time. Taking on the role, I knew there was going to be a lot of work involved. Sure enough, there was a lot of planning, setting up, cleaning up, and everything in between, but overall it was a rewarding experience and I am glad I was able to give back. Additionally, I enjoyed working with my Co-President, Mark Patterson. he is a great leader, is always on top of things, and we communicated well together. 10/10 would do again.

Huddle Co-Presidents and Captains

Huddle Co-Presidents and Captains