Jennifer Olsen was interviewed by Dr. Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Dean, UW Bothell School of Business.
Sandeep: What has been your biggest challenge since graduating with your MBA in 2005.
Jennifer: It’s difficult to narrow it to one challenge when you own your own business and that is the most fun part of the experience. I love that every day I get to take on a new challenge and learn something new. The trick has been to not get caught up in the minutiae of the challenge but instead to always stay above in the big picture and keep the desired outcome and qualities of that outcome in mind.
Sandeep: Tell me more about your company.
Jennifer: Resourceful HR is privately held and currently has a staff of fifteen. We provide outsourced HR for companies that have less than 100 employees and HR staffing for those with HR departments but intermittently need extra fulltime HR support.
Resourceful HR is built on two pillars: 1) delivering the highest quality service to clients that takes weight off their shoulders and 2) makes a valuable impact on both our client’s business and our community. Part of our decision to work with a client is based on the economic and/or social impact we can have servicing the relationship.
Sandeep: What did you get most out of your MBA education?
Jennifer: I started Resourceful HR right as the 2008 recession commenced. I didn’t intentionally start the business knowing a recession was on the horizon. I was a bit naïve starting out. My MBA set the foundation for where to go when the bottom fell out. Collectively the courses I took at UW Bothell provided me tools with which I was able to recover the company completely from the economic downturn. Since starting 10 years ago, we’ve been included on the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Washington’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List in 2016 and 2017 and included in the top 50% on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies List in 2017.
Sandeep: What advice do you have for future MBA students?
Jennifer: Immerse yourself fully in the experience! Get to know your professors and fellow students as much as you can. Take advantage of your professor’s office hours to chat about the material or about how to apply what you are learning to current situations at work. When working on a project team, volunteer to take on project pieces that are out of your comfort zone. Use the time to explore information and your own abilities as much as possible. Your efforts and the results will position you for success during your degree program and for years afterward.