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Real Humans of the Washington Foster School of Business MBA Class of 2022

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Allie Glans, Foster MBA Class of 2022

Age: 29
Hometown:  Chesterton, Indiana
Undergraduate Institution and Major:  Construction Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry):  Construction Project Management, 6 years

Why business school? Why now? 
After six years of working with increasing complexity in different project management roles, the timing is perfect to apply more business frameworks to my past experiences. I have also seen firsthand what a tremendous difference a compassionate and motivated leader can have on a team and believe an MBA will help me further develop my leadership capabilities. I also recently finished four years of working and living abroad, so I felt that this was a great way to acclimatize back into American culture and life.

Why Foster? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? 
The location of Foster definitely played a role in answering this question! Not only does Foster have access to, and partnerships with, some of the most innovative and exciting companies in the world, but they do a tremendous job at connecting the students with such a diverse array of leaders and founders of these companies. I also think that Foster is unique in that the organizations are truly student-led and actively engaged with this vibrant city.  Last but not least – I must admit that the mountains played a role in my decision.  The mountains have been my escape throughout the COVID lockdowns of 2020!

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022? 
My time in Norway really exposed me to different ways of doing business, and life in general.  Norwegians are very collaborative in their approaches to partnerships and they place a higher value on things outside of the office. I carry this with me in my teams and will do my part to make work-life balance better here in America.  I think we’re on our way, though.

But–the entire class of 2022 is unique in that we’ll forever be known as The COVID Class!

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
My favorite podcast is EconTalk, a program where Russ Roberts (an economist from Stanford) interviews economists, business leaders, and authors. It’s my favorite not so much because it’s about economics, but because it’s so refreshing to hear bright people discussing topics thoughtfully instead of the standard tv-format, 2-minute discussions where the victor is the loudest and has the best zingers.  I’m also really into Bitcoin.

Post-MBA career interests?
The great thing about doing an MBA is that it gives me the opportunity to explore a wider set of possible careers than most other graduate degrees. I’m really trying to keep an open mind by not narrowing my interest down too early. That being said, I’ve always had a deep interest in energy and finance. If I could do something in that space, either in the energy markets or a technological application of green energy, it would be pretty special.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

Reach out to current students from all the schools, and really try to get a feel for the experience and quality of the classes.  Learn what’s not in the brochures.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would hesitate less in making the decision to apply, I waited until October of last year to make the decision to apply.  I had two months to prep, take the GRE, and get all my recommendations in order. When you know, you know–just get after it!

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I can’t really think of anything, school applications are what they are and there’s no getting around that.  My husband helped me get through the application process by helping me to narrow down my choices based on what’s best for the family.

What is your initial impression of Foster’s students/culture/community?
Honest and non-competitive.  Everyone truly values the learning and community experience!  Even with COVID, there have been constant Zoom happy hours, outside activities, (socially-distanced) BBQs, and other fun activities from the very beginning. The community has a lot of energy and passion.

One thing you have learned about Foster that has surprised you?
I have been impressed with how many international professors there are teaching us, I think it’s awesome that Foster is able to attract talent from all over the world.  Each and every professor has been able to relate our classwork to real-life business cases, as well.  It’s all just so applicable!

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
The pressure and competition for strong internships is a reality, and there’s no getting around the fact that we’re competing against a lot of very capable and smart people. We all want to focus as much as possible on academics, but finding that balance can be a challenge.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m incredibly excited about meeting all these new people and hearing the stories that my fellow students have been through.  I have a classmate and friend who has spent the last few years working in human rights in the middle east, for example.  I love connecting and making new friends.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.