Reflecting on Women’s Weekend

Note: Women’s Weekend is Nov. 10-11, 2017. Find information here.

This time last year I was flying to St. Louis for Women’s Weekend! I felt so lucky to have gone to WashU for undergrad about 5 years ago that when I heard about Women’s Weekend, I jumped at the chance to visit campus again.

It sounds cliché, but campus was just as I remembered it: gorgeous fall foliage, students playing ultimate frisbee on Mudd Field… But where I remembered a colossal, cement building from the 70’s (formerly Elliot Hall), now stood Bauer Hall, the new home of the Olin Business School.

No, really—see the atrium in person!

The new building took my breath away. (You should definitely come see it in person!) My eyes immediately rose to the glass ceiling above me, covering the atrium. Flash forward one year and that atrium is my favorite place to study under the skylight or grab coffee with friends between classes. (Thank goodness for the Starbucks on the third floor!) In my first three months as an Olin MBA candidate, Bauer Hall already feels like home.

The Olin Women In Business (OWIB) club got us off to a running start with my first MBA classes. I remember walking through my first case in a practice session at Women’s Weekend. It was quickly followed by a highly sought-after seminar on negotiation taught by Prof. Hillary Anger Elfenbein.

We also heard from amazing Olin alumnae like Dr. Mary Jo Gorman, EMBA ‘96, and Zoe Hillenmeyer, MBA ‘13. Dr. Gorman is a serial entrepreneur who founded Prosper STL, a start up accelerator for women in the St. Louis innovation ecosystem. She’s just one of the many incredible WUSTL alums who visit campus regularly. Zoe Hillenmeyer won the Forte Foundation’s Edie Hunt Award and has since gone on to IBM. At Women’s Weekend, her energy and devotion for Olin was contagious and convinced me that I could make my MBA experience exactly what I wanted it to be at Olin.

Zoe Hillenmeyer, MBA ‘13, presents to attendees at last year’s MBA Women’s Weekend.

With my first semester flying by, I know that is true. I’ve found campus to be welcoming and open to new initiatives, suggestions, and feedback. One recent example is our new OWIB initiative to involve allies on campus. Our aim is to deepen conversations on gender equity and inclusion on campus, and provide more structured ways for allies to get involved. Even before applying, I knew this was a priority for me—and from Day 1, the Olin community has found ways to support and facilitate this goal.

I can’t wait to meet women just like me a year ago at this year’s Women’s Weekend! I’m excited to tell you more about what we’re working on in OWIB and to show you more of my favorite aspects of the Olin experience!

Guest Blogger: Julie Kellman, MBA 2019

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