Go Forth, With Purpose

A few of Foster’s finest from the class of 2023 reflect and project on the power and potential of their educational experience

The UW Foster School of Business graduating class of 2023 is a cohort comprising people of purpose whose characters have been forged in a global pandemic and empowered by Foster. As they prepare to commence their next chapters, we asked a small sample of grads, from several degree programs, to reflect on what made their Foster education and experience indelible, and to discuss what they plan to do with it—how they intend to “better humanity through business.”

Emma Dahleen (BA 2023) is graduating with a BA degree in marketing and supply chain operations and a sales certificate from the Jack and Ann Rhodes Professional Sales Program. She has distinguished herself at Foster through leadership, collaboration and competition. Dahleen served as president of the Undergraduate Business Council and the UW American Marketing Association, and also led marketing for the UW Global Business Case Competition. She competed in 30 case competitions while at Foster—winning 11, most notably the SDSU International Case Competition and the UT Austin National Women’s Business Case Competition. Her team also was runner-up at the Rotterdam School of Management STAR International Case Competition. This record inspired Poets & Quants to dub her a case competition “legend” in listing her among its “Best & Brightest Business Majors” for 2023. Emma interned at PitchBook and Apple, and will join Apple’s supply demand management team after graduation.

André Stone (MS 2023) is graduating from the MS in Entrepreneurship Program. Prior to Foster, he graduated magna cum laude from the UW with a BS in mechanical engineering, conducted research in the UW Applied Physics Laboratory and began his career in engineering roles at consumer product companies including VICIS, JointMetrix and Nebula Mat. He holds five patents. On the side, André is a host and emcee for organizations ranging from the Seattle Seahawks to Monster Jam to Pokémon to Digital Trends. While at Foster, he has engaged with UW CoMotion’s NSF I-Corps, the UW Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, WTIA Founder Cohort and the UW Science & Technology Showcase. He also founded Nomi, an interactive pet robot designed to increase your self-awareness of and better manage stress, which made the Sweet 16 of this year’s Dempsey Startup Competition. After graduation, André plans to continue developing Nomi.

Rocio Arellano (MBA 2023) is graduating from the Full-time MBA Program, an achievement that honors her mother, who passed away during her first year in the program. A first-generation student who dedicated her early career to nonprofits working for educational access and equity, Rocio has contributed enormously to the Foster community. She served as co-president of Diversity in Business and LatinX @ Foster, and worked with Foster Alumni Engagement to organize the inaugural Latinx Alumni Celebration. She also was active in the Marketing Association, Strategy Club, Wine Club and Women in Business, where she mentored undergrads. A Wallace L. Jones, Forté and Consortium Fellow, Rocio served as Consortium liaison to Foster MBA Admissions and was an MBA Ambassador. She consulted for Talking Rain and, through Foster’s Board Fellows Program, served on the board of Community in Schools. After graduation, Rocio will join Congra Brands as an associate brand manager.

Nazrawit Dessie (BA 2023) is graduating with a BA in information systems and marketing. Her immense legacy at Foster begins with her work with Black @ Foster, where she served as vice president of events, president and senior advisor for the Association of Black Business Students (ABBS), where she helped re-envision and elevate the annual Celebration of African American Alumni Achievement. Naz also has served two years as a mentor in the Young Executives of Color (YEOC) Program, giving back to the program that helped her develop professional skills when she was in high school. She also was a Hovind Global Leader, a Business Bridge participant, a Rainier Scholar and recipient of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship and the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship. Naz has interned at PEMCO and EY. After graduation, she will rejoin EY as a technology risk consultant.

Mike Babowice (MBA 2023) is graduating from the Full-time MBA Program. The president of his class at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, he graduated with a BS in marine engineering systems. Mike went on to serve as an engineering officer in the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the branch responsible for the replenishment and sealift capabilities of the US Military and Allied forces. He served on the USS Frank Cable, the USNS Charles Drew and the USS Miguel Keith. Putting down roots in Seattle, Mike has been vice president and treasurer of the revitalized Foster Veterans Association and vice president of the Operations Club. He is an active volunteer at the U District Food Bank (through Foster MBA Challenge for Charity) and a board fellow of The Breakfast Group, a nonprofit supporting the education of BIPOC youth. While continuing to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Mike will join Accenture as a senior strategy consultant after graduation.

Shannon Gee (MBA 2023) is graduating from the Executive MBA Program. Shannon is the general manager and executive producer of the Seattle Channel, the city’s government access television network. She’s also an acclaimed documentary filmmaker and the recipient of a dozen Northwest Regional Emmy Awards, multiple National Association of Telecommunication Officers awards and numerous awards at various film festivals. She has been a member of the Mayor’s City Leadership Academy and has served on one of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative change teams. Her leadership has earned the 2019 International Examiner Community Voice Award for Media Leadership and the 2019 Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity from the Alliance for Community Media. In 2020, Shannon was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Northwest Chapter. She has already applied her Foster education and network toward sustaining the Seattle Channel and elevating the Chinatown-International District.

Andy Vielman Manzano (BA 2023) is graduating with a BA degree in human resources and information systems. During his time at Foster, Andy has served as co-president of the Association of Latinx Professionals for America (ALPFA), mentor in the Young Executives of Color (YEOC), student representative of the UW Foundation Board, a student ambassador for the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and Upward Bound, and a career prep fellow in Management Leadership for Tomorrow. He has been a Presidential Scholar, a Seattle International District Rotary Scholar and a Hovind Global Leader. He interned at Nike, Slalom, where he was a global inclusion, diversity and equity talent acquisition analyst, and Undergraduate Diversity Services, where he worked to support fellow underrepresented students at Foster. He was elected by his classmates to deliver the student address at the 2023 Foster Undergraduate Programs graduation.

Shravani Bheema (MS 2023) is graduating from the MS in Business Analytics Program. The native of Bangalore, India, turned her undergraduate degree in literature into an early career producing data-driven insights for social impact organizations including the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Sattva Consulting, a firm that helps companies and nonprofits achieve greater CSR and social good. Shravani has volunteered with Viz for Social Good. At Foster, she served as an MS in Business Analytics Ambassador and completed a consulting capstone for Alaska Airlines. Among her data analytics projects at Foster, she has visualized traffic flows, predicted mid-term election outcomes, quantified misogyny in hip-hop music and built a book recommender system. After graduation, Shravani, whose motto is “data for good,” will be working in the healthcare sector as a data analyst at Acumen LLC.

Videography by Paul Gibson.

Ed Kromer Managing Editor Foster School

Ed Kromer is the managing editor of Foster Business magazine. Over the past two decades, he has served as the school’s senior storyteller, writing about a wide array of people, programs, insights and innovations that power the Foster School community.