Real Humans of the University of Washington Foster School of Business

Washington Real Humans

James Han, UW Foster Hybrid MBA

Age: 31

Hometown: Vancouver, WA

Undergraduate Institution & Major: United States Military Academy – Systems Engineering and Mandarin-Chinese language major.

Pre-MBA Work Experience: Before I started my new civilian job, I served as a US Army Special Forces Detachment Commander.

Washington Real Humans
James Han, UW Foster Hybrid MBA

Why business school? Why now? When I made the decision to leave the military, I wanted to round out my knowledgebase and also make myself more marketable. Civilians may not know to interpret my military experience, so I wanted to bridge that gap and decrease the odds of being pigeonholed in a career that would underutilize my strengths.

Why the UW Foster Hybrid MBA program? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? UW Foster is a well-respected institution and has extensive connections with Seattle area companies. The Hybrid Program allows me to work as a full time professional, be a single parent, and pursue my MBA. Those factors made it an easy decision.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to your MBA class? Dank memes.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I am not exceptionally talented, just happen to be too stubborn to quit.

Post-MBA career interests? I recently landed a job as a Technical Industry Specialist with Amazon Web Services. I am working to be a Technical Program Manager within the organization and looking forward to keep growing in cloud computing.

Advice to Prospective MBA Applicants:

One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? Apply! But sooner.

One thing you would change or do differently? I wish I knew about the program earlier. I found out about it by accident near the deadline to apply, while I was in Afghanistan.

Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? I don’t remember any portion of it being needless. Shoutout to Erin Aselas who accommodated calling me via WhatsApp while I was overseas and went above and beyond to ensure if the program was a good fit with my work schedule.

Greatest highlight so far at UW Foster? Becoming friends with my classmates and networking with them.

One thing about the UW Foster that you didn’t expect before arriving? The caliber of my entire cohort. I am regularly astonished and humbled by the brilliance of my peers.

Thing you were most anxious about in your first year? Whether or not I had the bandwidth to do all my schoolwork or if the Army would drop surprises on me that would pull me away from the quarterly immersions and place me in areas without reliable internet.

Thing you were most excited about in your first year? Exploring what regular civilian universities are like.

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About the Author

Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is a writer on MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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