What is an MBA Trek?

A critical complement to MBA curriculum is a deep understanding of their practical application in the business world. To facilitate such learning outcomes, Foster’s Career Management team offers regular MBA Trek opportunities to students across Foster programs. 

An MBA Trek is a curated trip to a key metropolitan area wherein students visit local companies and engage directly with senior leadership about company culture, operations, career opportunities, among other things, with the aim for students to experience a diverse set of industries, from tech to manufacturing to consulting. Ultimately, the Trek provides students a holistic understanding of the business ecosystem in the given locale. 

Most recently, the Career Management team “trekked” with 30 Foster MBA candidates on October 24th and 25th to Portland, Oregon, a rapidly growing innovation hub home to established multi-nationals as well as a bustling start-up scene. Comprised of students from the Technology Management MBA, Hybrid MBA, and Executive MBA programs, this combination trek allowed students to continue to expand their network across the Foster MBA offerings.  Lidia Kusnadi (Hybrid MBA Class of 2021) mentioned “having the chance to network and bond with my cohort and other MBA students was a major bonus to the MBA Trek. These in-person opportunities truly enhanced my MBA experience.”
MBA trek to Portland


The trek included 8 dynamic company visits over two days, providing students insight on these businesses, from careers and culture to rapid prototyping for insights, sustainable practices, strategies for growth, and so much more.

Portland MBA Trek Highlights

  • Tour and dynamic discussion at Uncorked Studios with Founder & CEO Marcelino Alvarez and COO John Furukawa.
  • Information conversation with Portland Incubator Experiment‘s Co-founder and General Manager, Rick Turoczy about the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Substantive and wide-ranging suite of meetings at Puppet, the company shaping the industry standard for managing infrastructure as code. The visit included an introduction to the Puppet culture with Laura Nichols, Director of Global Workplace; a tech leadership panel with Alex Bilmes, VP of Growth and Matt Young, Senior Director of Product; and a Career Exploration Session with a diverse panel of hiring managers and individual contributors.
  • Exclusive tour of the Smith Teamaker tea lab and manufacturing facility, as well as a meeting with CEO Darren Marshall.
  • Engaging conversation with AskNicely, an award-winning customer experience software, VP of Marketing, Nina Church-Adams, and Director of Talent & Culture, Teija Spinzyk.
  • Candid discussion at Vacasa on supporting the value cycle of owners, guests, and employees with an experienced panel including Travis Green, VP of Real Estate, Todd Meyer, Director of Product Management – Real Estate, and Foster TMMBA alum Thaddeus Hanscom, Director of Real Estate Partnerships.
  • Lunch meeting at Propeller, a management consulting firm rated one of Fortune Magazine’s Great Places to Work with AJ Oberlan, Managing Director, and Campbell Glenn, Consultant.
  • Exclusive visit at footwear innovator, adidas, including a tour of their Maker Lab and Innovation Space and panel discussion with corporate leaders, including Michael Browne, Senior Director of Omnichannel Marketing, Alison Adair, Legal Counsel, and Tibi Iovu, Senior Manager Maker Lab & Global Operations.

Portland Trek Itinerary

Day 1
Uncorked Studios
Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE)
Smith Teamaker
Happy Hour with local Foster alumni

Day 2


MBA students visit a local business






MBA students at an on-site lecture






MBA students networking




My favorite visit of the Trek was AskNicely because the speakers were clearly passionate about the firm and its culture. They were able to articulate what makes them enthusiastic to work at AskNicely, in a manner that truly presents as genuine.
– Zin Min Aye, Hybrid MBA Class of 2020


MBAs learning from real businesess

Thank you to the Foster staff, students, alumni, and corporate partners who helped make this Trek to the Rose City a huge success.

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