2020 Best & Brightest: Alfred Mugho, University of Washington (Foster)

Alfred Mugho

Foster School of Business, University of Washington

Simple multicultural guy with big goals driven by gratitude and pinch of ‘bias for action.’”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve lived in 3 countries, 7 states and provinces, and 8 cities and towns.

Hometown: Mombasa, Kenya

High School: Darrington, WA

Major: Finance, Marketing

Minor: Professional Sales Certificate

Favorite Business Course: Finance 457: Entrepreneurial Finance (taught by Dianne Legg)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Vice President of Outreach 2018-2019: Lavin Entrepreneurship Program: The program is a selective four-year program for aspiring and student entrepreneurs fueled by the Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship and a generous donation from Leonard Lavin, UW alum and founder of Alberto-Culver, who brought us iconic brands such as VO5, St. Ives, and TRESemme.

Vice President of Marketing & Information Systems 2017-2018: Association of Black Business Students (ABBS): The Association of Black Business Students is a non-profit student organization founded in 1970 at UW which that encourages academic excellence, personal growth, and professional development.

Final Round 5/32 teams, Russell Investments 2018 Case Competition: Solution for Maersk blockchain and supply chain strategy. We were a final round team – Top 5 of 32 teams.

PwC Digital Acumen Badge: Issued July 2019 by PricewaterhouseCoopers for an understanding of key digital topics and how these important technologies are influencing business decisions and transforming how we work.

2016 Business Bridge Program: Four-week Early Fall Start (EFS) Program where students enroll in a five-credit college-level writing course (BA490) offered by the Foster School, engage in a broad offering of core leadership, and strategy topics while gaining exposure to employers and workshops.

ALVA Professional Development Certificate (Alliances for Learning and Vision for Underrepresented Americans): Issued June 2017 and administered by Hitachi Consulting, Foster Undergraduate Programs, & Foster Undergraduate Diversity Services.

Volunteering with Ticket to Dream Foundation (Backpack & “Cozy up to Read” PwC Intern volunteer), Kids U Dallas (PwC Day Volunteer), Northwest Harvest, United Way (Day of Caring 2016).

Where have you interned during your college career?

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC): June 2019 – August 2019

Seattle Strong Coffee: Aug. 2018 – Dec 2018

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):          June 2018 – July 2018

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC):          June 2017 – July 2017

Where will you be working after graduation? Incoming 2020 Management Consulting Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Seattle under the Tech, Media, Telecommunications (TMT) vertical & Customer competency.

Who is your favorite professor? Karen Bailey, Professor of Marketing 335: Principles of Selling. Karen was my professor during one of my most difficult times in college. She not only helped me process through that time and was understanding and willing to listen, but her class on selling changed my perspective on communication, building trust, and relationship-driven business.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The people – life is all about relationships and the people who surround you. Foster is a competitive and challenging environment. From that, you learn to put your ego aside, effectively work in teams, and seek discomfort. People are the ROI of life and time in the investment.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The world, as hard as we try to quantify it, measure it, and benchmark it, is extremely subjective. Business is driven by psychology and emotion and is utterly fluid.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Self-awareness is key to any decision in life. Ask yourself why you want to pursue business; ask yourself what you want to gain from your experience. For me, I love people, innovation, and the idea of fulfilling my potential. Business was my conduit as I assessed my strengths of communication, leadership, and love for understanding the world – but it could be different for you.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The importance of emotional intelligence and communication. This is part of the reason I decided to complete the Sales Program. Value and problem-solving are driven by empathy, asking the right questions, and being able to create stories while selling your ideas and principles.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my time with the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program. I am extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and see it in my future. As VP of Outreach, I was responsible for a team of three directors and together we organized 20+ events with 25+ guests. We started new partnerships with startup labs such as Stripes39, were able to hear from leaders such as Brent Frei – Founder & Chairman of Smartsheet, Jonathan Rosoff – CEO/founder of Formative, and many others. We took the program to new heights.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire Vivian Dao. She is a friend, classmate, and was Lavin President during my year on the Exec team. She is currently a Forbes 30 under 30 scholar, was a Product Manager at Tableau while taking four Foster classes, works remotely as a Technical Product Manager for a startup in LA, teaches piano, earned internships with Microsoft and Pacific Hyperloop, and – best of all – is completing her senior year at UW at just 20 years old. She is inspiring and a great friend who has helped me through a lot of hard times.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I can’t thank one, but rather two. Without Robert and Polly Johnson, I would be nowhere. My freshman year of college I needed to find a new place to live as my aunt and uncle moved back to Kenya unexpectedly. The Johnsons took me in and, four years later, there I was graduating with their son and as their son. They have seen me at my best and my worst and are a second family to the Mughos. I am eternally grateful.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Invest in three multifamily properties in the next five years and start on my path to becoming a full-time real estate investor. Financial control and independence are very important for my goals to give back and support my family.
  2. Create a scholarship and foundation for young people in Taita, Kenya, where my Dad broke free from the ring of poverty to eventually make his way to Atlanta, where I was born. This also includes investing in Kenya’s development and education as a whole.

What are your hobbies? I love reading and meeting people to improve myself and learn. I work out five days a week at 6:00 a.m. and have been for two years – I want to make health and wellness a cornerstone in my life. I love change and thus, I love to travel. This summer I studied abroad in South Africa for six weeks and even made a 5-episode vlog for my YouTube channel while I was there.

What made Alfred such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?  

“As an alumnus, and employee of 5+ years at the University of Washington, I am immensely proud of Alfred Mugho as a person, and as a representative of this institution.  Academically, morally and in a professional sense, Alfred embodies the world-class quality the UW strives to put forth. He is also the perfect picture of the immense potential higher education has to change lives in our country. Often, I have asked Alfred to support our Undergraduate Diversity Services team with outreach efforts to the community –corporate partners, students and/or families –and I have done so because I know Alfred will engage in a thoughtful, respectful and dynamic way regardless of the audience.  I have seen Alfred network to equally effective degrees with Foster faculty, as with prospective students of low-income and diverse backgrounds, so that both groups made proactive efforts to remain in contact with him after the first interaction.  A true global citizen –one with personal ties on multiple continents –Alfred earnestly wants to make the world a better place.”

Andrew Marzano
Associate Director, Undergraduate Diversity Services


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