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‘Everybody Here Is Rooting for You’

Musician Michael Foster finds quality at Vanderbilt he didn’t see elsewhere

Michael Foster
Credit Analyst, Q Investments

Vanderbilt MBA 2017

For Michael Foster, the time he spent after college at a bank in Hampton Roads, Virginia, was well spent. Initially, his work involved financial statement analysis and loan underwriting. “It was a great first job,” he recalls, “as I got to analyze a number of different businesses and learn about different types of financing deals.”

But after five years, Michael knew it was time to seek a new professional challenge. An MBA, he concluded, “was the most worthwhile investment of two years in developing a skill set for my career going forward.”

He applied to a few different schools, he says, “but I really got a great feeling from Vanderbilt when I visited and interviewed. I loved the small program size, and was particularly impressed by how much energy and effort the students invested in the program. The second-year students really went out of their way to set the first years up for success, which set the school apart from other programs I visited. Everyone loved the program and wanted to give back to make it strong, which I didn’t find at other schools.” (For Michael, a musician, it didn’t hurt that Vanderbilt is located in Music City USA.)

Owen’s Career Management Center helped him analyze which careers might be the best for his skills and interests, and then provided guidance on applications and interviews. The student-run Consulting Club, he says, was critical in helping him obtain an internship offer, thanks to a case certification program that helped him prepare for case and behavioral interviews.

“The education is top caliber,” he says, “but you know you also have an array of peers, professors and CMV staff that are rooting for you and supporting you to get where you want to go. You are not a number here.”

Fun Fact: An avid guitar player and singer, Michael plays in a band at Owen — and toured during fall break with a local music artist he met in Nashville.

“Everyone loves the program and wants to give back to make it strong, which I didn’t find at other schools.”