Albers School of Business and Economics

Graduate Programs Blog

  • Finance Career Insights

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 1/30/2015 02:21:31 PM

    Last week, the Albers Placement Center hosted an industry panel on careers in finance.  Earlier in my MBA program, I skipped these types of events but now that I’m halfway through, I decided to attend one.  The panel consisted of two finance managers from Microsoft and one from Amazon.  Each person gave an overview of their careers in finance and highlighted where they started and how they got to where they are today.  Their experiences shed light on how to break into the finance industry.  Specifically, both managers from Microsoft suggested starting in large, structured companies in order to learn and gain valuable experience before moving to less structured companies such as Microsoft.  Their collective insight and advice was extremely helpful as I prepare for the final stretch of my MBA with a Certificate in Corporate Finance.

    Interestingly, my mentor this year, a senior finance manager from Microsoft, was unexpectedly on the panel.  We originally planned to be in the audience but he was asked to speak because one of the original panelists cancelled at the last minute.  Afterwards, we debriefed and shared our holiday experiences at a bar in Capital Hill.  As always, his insight was invaluable and such an important supplement to the finance theories and models I learn in my finance courses.

    Loc Nguyen, MBA & Certificate in Finance Candidate,  

    AGSA Fall Social

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 11/3/2014 02:50:07 PM

    We had an amazing turnout for our first graduate student event this year and congratulations to the two students who won the gift cards!  Over 70 graduate business students came out to meet and mingle with each other.  Even one of the new MBA cohorts came from Bellevue to participate.  I had a chance to speak with the cohort and they had great things to say about the social nature of the new curriculum and they especially enjoyed their teams course retreat.  As an event planner, it's rewarding to see my fellow grad students participate and embrace the social aspects of graduate business school.  It's a reminder that it's not just what we learn in class that matters.

    14 AGSA Fall Social

    Loc Nguyen, MBA Candidate,

    MBA Second Year

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 10/9/2014 03:27:10 PM

    I can’t believe I’m already halfway through my MBA program! It’s gone by way too quickly. As I begin my second year, I remind myself of the reason why I’m in graduate business school- to change my career and meet new people along the way. To that end, this year I’ll be focusing on everything job related and fortunately, the Albers Placement Center has plenty of great events lined up. Furthermore, my course schedule this quarter has been noticeably more difficult. As expected, these second year courses are more demanding, especially when it comes to group work. For example, my marketing course has a consulting project where we need to assist a local business improve their marketing strategy and then at the end of the quarter, we present our findings to their ownership. It’ll no doubt be time consuming but will also be very rewarding.

    Mentor Fair 2014

    The turnout this year was impressive. There were about 150 mentors available and around 300 students will participate. During the fair, I was able to meet several consultants from different companies around Seattle and learn about their unique descriptions of the industry. My mentor last year was a consultant so it was interesting to compare and contrast them. I’m looking forward to a great experience this year!

    Loc Nguyen, MBA Candidate,

    One Year Over

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 6/20/2014 02:31:01 PM

    The end of spring quarter marks my first year in the MBA program and it has gone by too quickly.  Last night as I was doing my usual orientation presentation for incoming students, I couldn’t help but feel like it was only yesterday that I was sitting where they were, anxious and nervous to go back to school.  Over the 9 months that I’ve been a graduate student at Albers, I’ve learned a tremendous amount, not only in the classroom but also about myself.  Many things come to mind as I reflect on my experiences and I’d like to briefly share some of them.

    MBA 510 – The absolute best part of my MBA experience so far was my time in this class.  I met some of my best friends in Seattle here and I severely miss everyone from my group.  I’ve seen many of them in other classes throughout the year and it always brightens up my day when I see a familiar face in the halls.  I plan my classes with these people and I always know working with them will produce great results.  I’m also very fortunate to be involved with AGSA because planning student events has allowed some of us to stay together.  I can’t say enough great things about this class and I hope to meet many new people in my second year.  Also, those of you in the new MBA program taking MBA 5205 are in for a treat!

    AGSA – We are deeply appreciative of the student and faculty support of our mission and events this year.  We successfully hosted 4 events: a social mixer, a pizza party, a Mariners game, and an end of the year graduation celebration.  Next year will be even more exciting with more community building events that add value to our shared graduate school experience.

    Albers Mentor Program –  My experience was certainly atypical of the program because many of my friends had great experiences with their mentors.  However, I honestly have mixed feelings about my experience because I was only able to meet with my mentor twice this year.  Although both of the meetings were informative and rewarding, due to busy schedules, we were unable to meet as much as we would have liked.  I have high hopes that my experience next year will be more comprehensive.

    Classes – I’ve taken 9 courses so far and I’ve enjoyed most of them, particularly Business Ethics & Social Responsibility with Marc Cohen, Management of People with Colette Hoption, and Managerial Finance with Katya Emm.  These courses were especially memorable because of intensely rewarding discussions, a reflective case presentation, and discovering new interests, respectively.  I also want to say that graduate school is no walk in the park.  There’s a rumor that no one can fail in graduate business school but believe me, maintaining all A’s with 3 courses per quarter is both challenging and satisfying.

    Overall – I’ve sincerely enjoyed my experience at Albers.  Some things I could improve are participating more in class and making a stronger effort to engage people outside of class.  However, I’m positive that next year will be even better and I’m excited to begin year 2.

    Please have a safe and relaxing summer break!

    Loc Nguyen, MBA Candidate,

    AGSA Mariners Game

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 5/14/2014 03:04:15 PM

    Our first AGSA sponsored Mariners game was a huge success!  34 graduate business students and friends came out in the cold to cheer on the M’s against the Royals.  AGSA covered 56% of the ticket cost and we had awesome seats pretty close to the field.  We also met at Pyramid Alehouse before the game to distribute tickets and pregame.  I’ve been in Seattle for 9 months and this was my first Mariners game and it was fun!  Safeco Field was clean, well laid out, and had tons of food and drink options.  Consider me a new fan!

     Mariners Game Night

    Please visit our AGSA webpage at:

    Loc Nguyen, MBA Candidate,

    AGSA Welcome Back Pizza Party

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 4/23/2014 02:48:14 PM

    Thank you everyone who attended our pizza party last week!  We had another huge turnout- over 80 graduate students came to mingle over Pagliacci’s Pizza, beer, and wine.  There is definitely a huge demand for these social events and AGSA is excited to continue to organize them for us graduate students.  Our next event will be a Mariners Game Night on May 9 from 7-10 pm.  If you’re interested, please RSVP by sending me an email at

    Visit our AGSA webpage at:  

    Loc Nguyen, MBA Candidate,

    New Curriculum

    Posted by Loc Nguyen on 4/11/2014 03:29:26 PM

    Albers is modifying the MBA curriculum ( check-out comparison sheet). If you are a new student talk to Jeffrey Millard. If you are a current student trying to figure out which way to go this may help.

    Overall there seems to be some major advantages in the new curriculum such as:

    • More Electives: There will be 10 electives. This will give you a chance to focus more on your area of interest as well as to take some that interest you a lot and are not part of your specialization.
    • Lesser Number of credits: Now for an MBA you need 54 credits (much lesser than what I have to doL). Core would be 24 credits.
    • Cohort: The new core (19 of the 54 credits) is designed in such a way that you will be spending more time with your cohort. Instead of taking every other core class with a whole new bunch of people. You will take all core classes with your cohort.
    • Focus on Industry requirement: The new program has two core courses :
    • Professional & Interpersonal Communication
    • Business Career Planning and Development
    • Flexibility: You can go at your own pace.
    • Still starts 4 times per year.
    • You can take 1 or 2 core per term
    • You can choose electives the way you want, you do not have to choose electives as per your cohort.

    Needless to say the old curriculum was also focused on industry requirements but with time “needs” change. Stronger focus on soft skills has made it necessary for a MBA to master this domain as well.

    I wish these changes were introduced a little earlier. Now I am half way through and it would not be an intelligent decision to switch. Here is some information for the students sticking to old curriculum:

    • All the courses starting summer 2014 will have 4 digit code instead of old 3-digit format.
    • If you have already taken 3 or more core courses sticking to the old format could be a better choice. (Remember when in doubt speak to Jeffrey Millard)
    • At this time it would be an intelligent decision to concentrate on core and fundamental courses since all the electives would be offered in the new curriculum as well.
    • By spring 2015 you should be done with your core and fundamental courses.
    • All the core courses may not vanish over-night so if you still need to prioritize and are finding it difficult “speak to Jeffrey Millard”.

    Over all I believe the change is happening for the good. It may cause a slight stress to the current students but we are blessed with a great team of “friends, philosophers and guides” in Albers. They would help us get through and of course Albers and Seattle University as always would make sure our interests are given utmost priority. 

    Here are some useful links with detailed information:

    Professional MBA new curriculum 

    Professional MBA current curriculum

    By: Vaishali Agarwal,