An MBA is the beginning, not the ending.

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A number of leaders at businesses throughout the Seattle area advanced their careers after earning MBAs at the University of Washington Bothell.

They gained business acumen, analytical and management skills while expanding their network with professors, alumni and a cohort of fellow students. But it wasn’t easy. Here’s what five of the grads would tell prospective students.

Luis Navarro (MBA ’05) says not a day goes by without drawing on skills learned in his MBA program. His MBA has helped further his career as the director of social responsibility for the Port of Seattle. He tells students time is short.

“Treat each moment, each project and each relationship as special, and pay attention to all individual differences because the world is just like that, different and special.”

Jennifer Olsen (MBA ’05) says her MBA education helped her recover from the economic downturn. She is president of Resourceful HR, LLC, and she tells students to take advantage of opportunities that will help them for years to come.

“Immerse yourself fully in the experience! Get to know your professors and fellow students as much as you can.”

Subodh Parulekar (MBA ’07) says his degree equipped him with tools to solve problems he encountered as co-founder and CEO of AFour Technologies, a software-testing company. He tells students not to wait to put their tools to use.

“Students should start applying the learning from their MBA program at work, rather than waiting for the MBA to get over.”

Joe Ridge (MBA ’07) says his degree gave him organization and critical-thinking skills that helped him as director of supply chain for Philips Healthcare. He says the MBA is the beginning, not the ending.

“A well-rounded, difficult-to-attain MBA from an outstanding institution like the UW-Bothell is only a starting point, not an end point. Customize the tool set derived through the MBA experience and leverage those tools to help you become a better problem solver.”

Ryan Smith (MBA ’08) says he learned teamwork that made him a better leader as director of application services at Providence Health and Services. He advises new students to be humble.

“If you come into the program open to learning not only from the professors but your cohorts, you will really maximize your growth potential. The investment of time and money will be well worth it.”

Learn more about UW Bothell.