Tag: Executive Education

Center Director  and W. Patrick McGinnis Professor of Marketing Seethu Seetheraman formally launched the Center for Customer Analytics and Big Data (CCABD) at it’s launch event titled, “Big Data Dilemmas & Little Data Discoveries:  Understanding the Data-Driven World & its Outcome Value to Your Business” on Monday, September 28 at Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall.  In his opening remarks, Seetherman explained that the CCABD was created to work toward greater understanding of the data driven world. “Why customer analytics? Because we have to determine which is the right model to solve the business problem, and to take advantage of existing knowledge of the problem and solutions.”  He also provided a now commonplace definition of Big Data, which is characterized by Volume, Variety and Velocity.

Warren Berger, author of  A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas contributed to the introductory remarks via Skype (photo above), by encouraging the audience made up of professionals, students and faculty to be persistent in asking fundamental questions such as “Why?”, “What if?” and “How?” in business and with data. He said, “Questioning is an app we are born with. It begins to manifest itself at a very early age. Between the ages of 2 and 5, kids ask 40,000 questions.  As we get older, we become less inclined to question everything. More inclined to accept things at face value. If you do this in business, you’re not going to be innovative.”

Event Agenda appeared on the Event App by Bonfyre.

Event Agenda appeared on the Event App by Bonfyre.

Speakers at the event included a wide range of data experts from small companies such as Evolve 24 and Alix Partners, and large companies including Boeing and IBM.

In addition, Laura Tellman, EMBA 43 and Director Clinical Informatics at BJC Healthcare delivered a presentation called “Accelerate Analytics with Data Governance” on how organizations can begin the daunting task of building a practice to govern their data.

Event attendee Victoria Busch is in Communications at Ameren Illinois and is on the Advanced Metering Project.

Victoria Busch of Ameren Illinois.

Victoria Busch of Ameren Illinois.

She said, “Big Data is really important to us because we’re trying to make sure that we can build those relationships with our customers, to interact with them better,  and provide them better self service tools.  We’re using customer segmentation to help drive this effort and  we want to make sure that we’re using the right data to communicate with the right customer with the right message.”

Jean Shuler and Brian Lawton of Washington University Information Technology (WUIT).

Jean Shuler and Brian Lawton of Washington University Information Technology (WUIT).

Brian Lawton and Jean Shuler, both of Washington University Information Technology (WUIT) also attended the event and are eager to bring the advantages of understanding big data to the IT organization. Brian said, “I’m here to try to find ways to help build internal user communities around big data.” Jean added, “I’m trying to work with our internal clients as well, trying to help them figure out how to look at their data and be able to make effective decisions with it.  This is a way to get ahead of the curve and have  more insight into what can be accomplished instead of just getting the data together, but figuring out how to break through it.”






Cybersecurity is perhaps the most pressing issue for a board of directors and business leaders. Hear how four leading companies keep their IT safe and secure at a panel discussion presented by the Executive MBA program.

Leading an Organization in the New World of Cyber Threats

WHEN: September 11, 2015, 7:15 AM – 9:30 AM

WHERE: Washington University’s Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center

Registration Required: ​There is no cost to attend; click here to register!

Gary B. Harbison, Chief Information Security Officer, Monsanto
Dustin Wilcox, Chief Information Security Officer, Centene
Ryan Frillman, Chief Information Security Officer, The Laclede Group
Jeff Pearl, Chief Information Security Officer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

AGENDA: Friday, September 11
Charles F. Knight Executive Education and Conference Center
7:15 a.m. – 8 a.m.   Continental breakfast and networking
8 a.m. – 9 a.m.   Panel Discussion
9:30 a.m.   You are welcome to join our panel for a session on cyber safety and career opportunities with local middle school children.

In partnership with Security Advisor Alliance and Optiv

Contact: Email emba@wustl.edu or call 314-935-EMBA (314-935-3622) for more information


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch caught up with Olin alumna Johnna Beckham, EMBA Class 39, to talk about her startup Johnna Marie Custom Made Clothing for Women.  Professors Ron King and Cliff Holekamp are quoted in the article.

Johnna’s company was in the first cohort of the Prosper Startup Accelerator, set up shop in the CIC @4240 in the Cortex district, and recently moved to larger quarters on Vandeventer where seamstresses piece together custom suits and pants. The company is on track to bring in $70,000 in revenue in its first year according to the Post-Dispatch article.

 Link to article, “Custom Tailor Johnna Marie focuses on un-tapped market: women”

Related blog posts about Johnna Beckham:

From EMBA to entrepreneur

Startup is custom-fit for alumna


Congratulations to the second cohort of the Certificate in Business Management for Non-profit Leaders who ‘graduated’ on July 30. The program is a unique Olin partnership with the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, and is offered to select executives with United Way agencies.  This year’s cohort included 11 top leaders from various services agencies. They completed a curriculum focused on effective application of strategy, leadership, management, finance, and marketing, while exploring several critical questions facing their organizations.

Guest Blogger: Michele Ralston, associate director of open enrollment, Olin Executive Education programs

Participants also completed a comprehensive active learning project in which they were asked to identify and investigate a key challenge faced by their organizations, and then develop recommendations and action plans for addressing the challenge.

To celebrate completion of the program, Dean Gupta and the Executive Programs team hosted a luncheon for the participants, members of their staffs, and agency board members. Each participant shared his or her project ‘elevator pitch’ and engaged in table discussions about the project.

Bonnie GSEM-Olin Talk 2Bonnie Barczykowski of the Girl Scouts of Greater St. Louis was selected to give a more in-depth presentation. Bonnie delivered a 25-minute project overview and made a compelling case for a program delivery innovation that was very well received by the 40 guests in attendance. In her talk, Bonnie credited the certificate program as a key catalyst that helped her re-frame an organizational challenge in a new light. We are so excited to see the impact of this certificate program with our students, their organizations, and the communities they serve.

DeCola Olin Certificate talkGuests at the luncheon were also treated to keynote remarks from Michael DeCola, Chief Executive Officer of HBM Holdings and Mississippi Lime Company.  Mike sits on the Board of the United Way and was co-chair for the United Way’s record-setting 2014 annual campaign.  He stressed the importance of clarity of purpose as well as the need for synergy with other community partners.

The Certificate in Business Management for Non-profit Leaders — along with the Olin United Way Board Fellows program and the Taylor Community Consulting Program — continue to place Olin at the intersection of leading business and non-profit thinking.

Barb Braun, EMBA 42 (with honors), announced in April that she is retiring this summer after seven years as Director of Student Technology Services at Washington University. Her list of achievements is long–undergraduate degree in Business; Masters and Doctoral work in Education; twenty years teaching business–before coming to Washington University. And now she has an MBA. But don’t call her “retired.”

Barb at graduation in December 2014 with fellow Student Technology Services and Information Systems and Technology colleagues.

Barb at graduation in December 2014 with fellow Student Technology Services and Information Systems and Technology colleagues.

Asked why she decided to pursue an EMBA Barb said, “I wanted to expand my opportunities.  I know my credentials are fine to continue working in academics with an academic purpose, and I know I can work in corporate because I’ve done it. I wanted the credential to get my foot in the door. I would love to work in a corporate environment with people, and I wanted to become retreaded–put a new layer over what was there and extend the use–not retired.”

Barb Braun and I both work in IT at Washington University. I knew of her prior to starting the EMBA Program, but didn’t get to know her until she and I showed up at the same information session about the program. Since she joined class 42, and I started a few months later in class 43, Barb generously provided insights into what the program had in store for me in the coming months, and we compared notes throughout the program about what we liked and didn’t like.

Barb finds it hard to put into words what she got out of the EMBA experience.   She said, “I met so many people who were much earlier in their career path than I am, but I don’t think they have any idea how much they taught me. I also think my seasoning may have sprinkled some spice into their learning as well. The first night of Go! Week, some of the folks on my team said they wanted to get all high passes and honors. When it came to me–I’ve already got many pieces of paper on the wall with letters after my name, I said, ‘I’m here to retread and to see what kind of life I can kick on the tires. I’m here for the experience.’ I think that resonated with my teammates.”

11174221_10153328751814548_4864256207216155915_oAs to what she will do next, Barb is philosophical and a little reticent. She has a book in progress, some consulting projects in the works, and grandchildren to enjoy. She is very clear that she won’t be working nine-to-five anywhere, but other than that is open to a variety of opportunities. She said, “I have renewed confidence in what I can do and what I can bring to the table. I have broken through some stereotypes for myself and for others. I never had a computer class in my life, but I can take very complex material and information, dissect it and put it into common words. I want to take that and teach people how they can tap inner potential, particularly women, and help them build their toolbox. We all have a toolbox, do you choose to put dull tools in there or do you sharpen them?”