2020 Best & Brightest: Jackie Yeh, University of Washington (Foster)

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Yeh

Foster School of Business, University of Washington

A future dental-preneur, motivational speaker, author, and pun-teller trying to do some good in this world!”

Fun fact about yourself: Up until the age of 7, I thought I was born in Sweden. I later found out I was born in the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. I was really disappointed with my dad for breaking the news, but thankfully, I’ve gotten over it.

Hometown: Tacoma, Washington

High School: Charles Wright Academy

Major: Business Administration + Pre-Dental

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: This is so hard to choose for me. These are my top three: Management 300 with Kira Schrabram (Leadership and Organizational Behavior), Marketing 335 with Karen Bailey (Introduction to Sales), and Entrepreneurship 370 with Sorah Seong (Introduction to Entrepreneurship). MGMT 300 pushed my business acumen by forcing me to find a business, figure out a problem they are having, conduct my own research to analyze the problem, and propose a solution to the problem based on theory. MKTG 335 taught me the importance of sales and how much research it takes to be a good salesperson. I learned so much from that course I will use for the rest of my life. ENTRE 370 made me realize I love entrepreneurship and that I want to keep it as a part of me for the rest of my life. It inspired me to take Creating a Company (I’m enrolled now), a class where I have to create a company myself in the course of six months.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Marketing Intern at Everyone for Veterans (April 2018 to Current)

Organized several blood drives; led a nationwide project to connect dentists to combat veterans; emceed an Open Mic Town Hall featured by the Seattle Times; initiated partnership with RAM Restaurant for a marketing campaign to help Veterans in over 30+ restaurants in 7 states; and emceed a private fundraiser event for Jim Sinegal, Founder of Costco and helped in efforts to raise over $50,000+ dollars for combat veterans. Recruited over 50 dentists nationwide to help combat veterans by publishing Everyone for Veterans on the front page of the American Dental Association.

Development Director for University District Street Medicine (Nov 2018 to Current)

Recommended to be Development Director by previous director due to business skills and interest in health care. UDSM is an interdisciplinary student group that seeks to improve health outcomes for the homeless population of University District. Main role includes identifying outreach strategies for increasing UDSM presence, creating a mobile medical clinic, engaging volunteers, and providing grant management and oversight to ensure budget efficiency. Currently in the process of securing a corporate sponsorship to provide financial sustainability for UDSM.

HCASB (Health Care Alternative Spring Break) Team Leader (Sep 2017-Sep 2018)

Led a group of 10 students to Brewster, Washington to shadow medical professionals in a rural setting. Organized entire trip, including food budgeting, lodging, and schedule. Also served on Public Relations Board to promote the trip on multiple media platforms.

Volunteer at the UW Dental Fears Clinic and DECOD (Dental Education in the Care of Persons with Disabilities) Clinic (March 2017-Current)

Shadowed Dr. Tar Chee Aw and Dr. Espinoza for over 50+ hours at both clinics. Worked with Dr. Lisa Heaton on understanding how to deal with fearful patients. Worked with Dr. Espinoza on how to be a provider for developmentally disabled patients in the DECOD clinic.

Tour Guide at the University of Washington (Spring 2017-Current)

Represent the University of Washington as a student ambassador through leading tours around campus and interacting with visitors from all over the world. Gave a speech to over 1000+ newly-admitted students on “Why UW.” Selected by UW to film “UW Campus Tour: West Campus Residence Halls,” with over 30,000 views on Facebook/Youtube combined.

Chemistry/Organic Chemistry Tutor at the Instructional Center (Autumn 2018-Current)

Completied over 50+ hours tutoring students in organic chemistry and general chemistry at the Instructional Center, a national model for providing academic instruction and tutoring for thousands of underrepresented minority, first-generation and economically disadvantaged students affiliated with OMA&D programs at the University of Washington.

VP of Public Relations at Husky Toastmasters (Sep 2016-Sep 2019)

Helped grow a public speaking club at the UW from 8 to 30 members through organizing speaking events, creating marketing ads, and mentoring members on public speaking.

Medical Teams International Clinical Assistant & Husky Health Bridge Volunteer (Nov 2017-June 2019)

Completion of 100+ hours of a variety of volunteering opportunities helping dentists provide dental care to homeless residents in our community.


Dean’s List at the University of Washington

Mary Gates Leadership Scholar 

Recipient of $5000 as a Mary Gates Scholar in 2019 for my work in connecting dentists to combat veterans around the nation.

2nd Place at Toastmasters International District 2 Competition

Placed top 14 out of over 8000 competitors for public speaking in Washington State in 2018.

Teddy Miller Scholarship

Recipient of $1000 Teddy Miller Scholarship from Instructional Center at the UW in 2018, given to the student that highly exemplifies the values of the IC.

2016 Top 10 Youth Volunteers in Washington State [Prudential Spirit of Community Service Award]

Named one of the top 10 youth volunteers in Washington State in 2016 because of my work in creating the website “Jackie’s Volunteer Network” to identify and promote volunteer opportunities for teens. I created the website in the eighth grade after being told I was too young to volunteer for certain organizations.

Lavin Scholarship

Lavin program is a highly-competitive interdisciplinary entrepreneurship program at UW, with only 30 accepted each year. Recipient of $2,500 scholarship from the Lavin entrepreneurship program for my work as a marketing intern in 2018.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Professional Motivational Speaker: Hoan Do [Marketing Intern in Tacoma, Washington]

Everyone for Veterans [Marketing Intern in Issaquah, Washington]

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be attending dental school, hopefully! I am applying this upcoming cycle. My goal is to do business in a dental-related company in my gap year before dental school. I am also hoping to start my own digital marketing company in my gap year. My long-term goal is to become a dental-preneur.

What company do you admire most? I admire Starbucks. It’s possible because I’m addicted to their coffee, but it is also because I really love all of the work the company has done to include people from different backgrounds to work at Starbucks, including veterans and the homeless. They are also a company that strives to help their partners gain an education. I hope to start a company one day and treat my employees and the community just as well as Starbucks. (I also really like that they have fun with the designs on their cups during the holiday seasons.) 

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Everyone at the Foster School of Business is so motivated and out to accomplish great feats. I am thankful to Foster for providing so many incredible opportunities to their students.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? There is always more to learn. What I realized through being a business student is that it’s so difficult to feel that I have mastered marketing or mastered finance, information systems, operations, accounting, and the list goes on. With due diligence and persistence, I was surprised by how much I’ve learned in such a short four years. These skills have prepared me well to enter the real world.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out of your comfort zone, and don’t put yourself in a box too early. It’s easy to say, “I’m not a numbers person” or “I’m not good at marketing.” Just realize that if you put your mind to it, you can be good at ANYTHING you want! Take me for example – I never thought I could be good at accounting or chemistry or biochemistry. Now, I’m a chemistry tutor and I did just fine in accounting classes. All it takes is a positive mindset and some hard work and determination. You got this!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I think what surprised me most is that I never thought I’d be a business major. I realized my entire life I had been participating in activities that were business-like (creating mini start-ups, managing teams…), but I had no clue this is what businesspeople did. I realize now that I have the capacity and knowledge to be successful in the business world and have fully embraced being a business student.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Definitely being a marketing intern at Everyone for Veterans, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting dentists with low-income combat veterans in need of dental care and other services. The organization was founded by my beloved mentor Dr. Theresa Cheng and serving under her leadership has been such an incredible opportunity. Through this experience, I’ve had the opportunity to emcee events ranging from an open mic on Veteran’s Day at Town Hall Seattle to a private fundraising event hosted by Jim Sinegal, co-founder of Costco. I also got to connect over 50 dentists nation-wide to combat veterans by getting Everyone for Veterans featured on the front page of the American Dental Association’s newsletter and website. Dr. Cheng has empowered me to further understand my mission to serve, to build interpersonal relationships from afar through partnerships, and to focus on details so I can bring my big-picture ideas to fruition. She is a phenomenal human being and so very inspiring to me. Thank you so much Dr. Cheng!

Which classmate do you most admire? When I think of someone who helped me survive the Foster School of Business, I think of Imane Ayaba Reinhart. I met Imane in one of my first classes in business school, Financial Accounting. She is the reason I survived any class that was technical–classes like managerial accounting, operations management, and managerial economics – all thanks to this beautiful soul. She is one of the most honest and down-to-earth people I have ever met. She pushed me to work hard during business school and has always been there for me. It’s funny, because at first, she said she’d never get into the business school. I laughed and told her: “Yeah right, you’re getting in.” And guess what? She got in, no problem. And now she has been rocking internships at the Big 4. I know she will become an amazing accountant. I’m inspired by her resilient determination to be successful and by her strong, candid attitude. Thanks, Imane, for your constant support and love. You’re the best!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? If I had to choose, I’d probably have to thank my parents and sister. They have dealt with me when I have been at my worst and pushed me to pursue my best. I could not be here today without their unconditional love and support. They have pushed me to become the best version of myself and to keep getting better every single day. Thank you so much. Love you guys.

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

  • To write a book. I’ve always wanted to write a book on something I care about, whether it’s in dentistry, business, or motivational speaking.
  • To speak around the world. I love motivational speaking, and I hope one day I will be able to travel and speak to inspire communities around the world!

What are your hobbies? I enjoy playing with my two kittens, Poptart and Baozi. I love traveling and trying new restaurants. I also enjoy motivational speaking. And if I have a lot of time, I like jamming out on the ukulele!

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

“Jackie Yeh is a bright young woman who stands out to me for her kindness and compassion. She helped and supported her fellow students throughout the term and volunteers her time for a number of worthy causes. The one that stands out to me is her involvement in promoting well-being among veterans. One example is the work she has done for Everyone For Veterans to facilitate dental clinics for low-income and homeless veterans. Another example is the open-mic night for veterans she hosted last year on Veteran’s Day and invited me and her classmates to attend. Shestands out as representing the best of Foster.”

Kira Schabram, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor 
Management & Organization


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