Albers School of Business and Economics

Graduate Programs Blog

  • Executive Speakers Series: Jeff Raikes, CEO, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Posted by Thuy Vien on 5/25/2010 03:31:15 PM

    Last night, Jeff Raikes of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spoke to an overflow crowd at the Albers School of Business. He was invited to be the last of this year’s speakers at the Executive Speakers Series. His talk, entitled “The Business of Doing Good” drew upon his decades-long leadership experiences at Microsoft, his current role as CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and as an owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. He spoke about the role of philanthropy and its relationship to business and government and the lessons he learned in business that applies to philanthropy. Jeff Raikes gave three short case studies of excellence in leadership; the lessons he learned from each leader were:

    • Jon Shirley, former Microsoft President: Know when to step in, “roll up your sleeves” and make things happen. This is not micro-managing, this is about the criticalness of timing and knowing when to exert your influence.
    • Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder: Learn from your mistakes. If you’re succeeding 100% of the time, you’re not taking enough risks. Mistakes will be made if you’re trying something new for the first time. The real question is: are you learning from your mistakes?
    • Lou Pinella, former manager of the Seattle Mariners: You have to be able to work well with people (both the team and the front office), learn how to help people perform at their best, be accountable and keep others accountable and be aware of your role as a spokesperson for the team.

    When asked by a student in the audience about what advice he would give our generation of business leaders, he replied: “Follow your passion.”

    Written by Thuy Vien. Thuy can be reached at

    Congratulations to the first Red Winged winner!

    Posted by Thuy Vien on 5/18/2010 02:44:28 PM

    Congratulations to the first Red Winged Leadership Award winner, Rahwa Habte! The award was organized by students in the Graduate Leadership Formation Certificate program at Seattle University to "honor leaders committed to embracing the unique intersection where leadership, business acumen, and social impact overlap."  


    Rahwa Habte is co-owner of the Hidmo Eritrean Cuisine restaurant in the Central District. According to the Red Winged Leadership Award website, "Rahwa’s mission for the restaurant is not only to foster community, but also to increase the visibility and availability of art, music, media culture and cuisine in the Central District through socially responsible actions. Rahwa loves her neighborhood and is passionate about addressing different social issues affecting it, creating pride, cultivating a safe space and open dialogue for all, and fostering local creativity and talent."

    How do you balance full-time work with graduate school?

    Posted by Thuy Vien on 5/17/2010 03:18:58 PM

     I interviewed some classmates who work full-time and take 1-2 classes each quarter about how they balance work, graduate school and “the rest of life”. Their advice follows:

    • Be willing to ask for help. The two areas are with scheduling family responsibilities and schoolwork. Make use of professor’s office hours; it may save time and energy spent in frustration trying to lessen the gap in knowledge that can be easily accomplished with a few minutes with a professor.
    • Go for a walk to clear your head. Take time for hobbies and eat well. These are easily overlooked, but they are important!
    • In picking classes, get recommendations from classmates about the teaching styles of different professors.
    • Plan to spend 3-4 focused hours per week outside of class for each class.
    • To ease communication for group assignments, designate a communication leader whose role is to make sure the group’s project advances on schedule and who can coordinate communications within the team.
    • Consider going one of the two-week international study tours: it's a great way to see the world and learn about international business


    Time Management

    Posted by Thuy Vien on 5/5/2010 04:37:45 PM

    Like most graduate students, my To Do list gets out of control quite frequently. Recently, I ran across a time management technique to help prioritize items on the To Do list that was presented by the authors of First Things First (Simon & Schuster) that I found quite helpful. The authors advised that you draw a 2x2 table and place items on your To Do list into one of the four squares. They suggested that you begin by tackling those items that are in the square marked Important/Urgent, followed by Important/Not Urgent before turning to “not important” items. 


    Important/Not Urgent

    Not Important/Urgent

    Not Important/Not Urgent


    Posted by Thuy Vien on 5/3/2010 03:59:29 PM

    There are a lot of great opportunities to connect with the Albers School of Business this month! Below are a few of the upcoming events students and the general public are invited to attend.

    No RSVP is necessary for the Albers Executive Speakers Series. To find out more about the Business Plan Competition final, click here. To RSVP to this event, please email Kim Eshelman. To RSVP to the Red Winged Leadership Award, click here.

    May 10, Monday       

     Albers Executive Speakers Series presents

    Robert Cremin, Chairman of Esterline Technologies

    Pigott Auditorium, 5:30 to 6:30pm

    May 12, Wednesday         

     Business Plan Competition Final

    Campion Ballroom, Noon to 6pm
    May 13, Thursday              Red Winged Leadership Award Pigott Auditorium, 6:00 to 8:00pm