As experience impressed upon me the importance of

As a teenager, I founded a
henna art business in Seattle, and employed several artists to contract with
small to large clients including Nintendo and Microsoft. This early
entrepreneurial experience impressed upon me the importance of human capital; my
biggest challenges were not with inventory or marketing, but with developing
and retaining employees. The henna business sparked my interest in talent, and
since joining Liberty Mutual after college, I have built functional HR
knowledge in areas from compensation to employee relations.

During the last few years, I
experienced how technological advancements dramatically changed skill demands,
employee expectations, and workplace cultures. Last year, when artificial
intelligence software caused job redundancy, I conducted an employee layoff
affecting 600 people. I saw people at their most vulnerable, facing an
uncertain job market or the loss of employer healthcare. It was heartbreaking. I
also found it deeply troubling to see how anxious the survivors of the layoff remained
afterwards, fearful of the next technological innovation. When cyclical layoffs
occur, the process of identifying who to let go becomes a futile and painful
task for HR.

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Because of this experience, I
decided to become a consultant to help companies develop better HR tools to
break the traumatic cycle of layoffs that will only accelerate with automation
in the coming years. To address this major issue, I want a Foster MBA in order to
gain a more holistic understanding of the links between finance, technology,
and people processes. I do not have a formal education in traditional
management disciplines, and with Foster’s core courses, like ‘Micro-Economics of Competition and Strategy’
and ‘Financial Reporting and Analysis’,
I will place human capital issues in context and grasp the interdisciplinary
nature of most business problems.

My immediate post-MBA goal is
to join the people analytics group at an established global consultancy such as
Boston Consulting Group or Deloitte. After consulting for a five to seven years
and learning best practices, I aspire to return to my entrepreneurial roots and
build a boutique human capital consultancy utilizing predictive insights.

As a native Seattleite having lived
in the city during the Amazon-induced tech boom, I’ve seen how technological
innovation can be a force with more potential to create rather than extinguish jobs.
Businesses must invest in human capital strategies to realize this potential, for
instance, by leveraging analytics to generate predictive talent forecasts. In
HR, we have struggled to keep up with rapid technological change. Improvement
requires an overhaul of longstanding processes, and expertise in advanced data
analysis, which I do not have. At Foster, I will strengthen my quantitative
capabilities through courses such as ‘Forecasting
Models in Business’ and ‘Supply Chain
Management’, which complement my HR experiences. Through the Applied
Strategy Project, I can refine my soft skills in negotiation and presentation while
on a project team. This experience will be invaluable when communicating with
clients on consulting engagements. Solving multifaceted business problems and
producing recommendations in nine weeks confirmed that Foster’s pedagogy is
ideal for my hands-on style of learning, and will translate directly into my
post-MBA consulting career. I also intend to bring my HR perspective to my
teams, and to learn from my peers, particularly those with backgrounds in law, since
legislation often affects employment practices.

Beyond my coursework, I will engage with Foster’s
dynamic student and alumni community through the Diversity in Business Club and
Foster Creative. From speaking with alumna Lydia Islan (’17) about Foster’s
Consulting Society, I know I will find a supportive group of peers and mentors
for one on one case interview preparation in my first year, and I will be able to
contribute in my second year by preparing first-year students. Given my long-term
entrepreneurial goal, I will participate in the Business Plan Competition
through the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship to try testing and pitching an
idea. Additionally, Foster is the best fit for my MBA because I care deeply
about Seattle and local nonprofits. I intend to be a Board Fellow and add Team
Read and Rainier Scholars to the list of nonprofit boards that Foster MBAs can
serve with.

Combining my previous HR
knowledge with a Foster MBA, I will be able to successfully transition into a
career in consulting, and ultimately be equipped to launch a consulting firm
that addresses human capital issues alongside the inevitable technological
disruptions that will continue to change when, where, and how people work.

 

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