Olin alums Bethany Curd, Michael Nordlund, Rick Butler, Gregory "Max" McDaniel and Arjun Sharma, who participated in the 2019 career tech trek to Silicon Valley for current students.
The critical link: Alumni reaching back for Olin students

A recent career trek to the west coast was a smash hit for first- and second-year MBA students—but it couldn’t happen without engagement from Olin alumni and their link to key companies.

Greg Hutchings

That’s the most important message from Greg Hutchings, west coast business development manager for Olin’s Weston Career Center. That critical alumni link opens doors in key companies, offers opportunities for current students and creates ambassadors for the school across the country and around the world.

“The alumni are key,” Hutchings said. “Alumni advocates are crucial to developing successful recruiting relationships with many companies.”

In that spirit, Hutchings applauded seven Olin alums for their work toward making the west coast “tech trek” a success October 17–18, 2019:

  • Bethany Curd, Adobe, AB ’08/BSBA ’08
  • Michael Nordlund, Google, MSF ’10
  • Flora (Fei) Wang, Google, MACC ’12
  • Don Yakulis, Visa, MSPT ’91
  • Rick Butler, Cisco, BSEE ’80/PMBA ’86
  • Gregory “Max” McDaniel, Applied Materials, MBA ’02
  • Arjun Sharma, Apple, MBA ’17

With their collaboration, Hutchings and the Olin Technology Club was able to put together an aggressive schedule of company visits in Silicon Valley for 12 first- and two second-year MBA students. In addition to the companies those alumni represent, students also visited Uber, Visa, Square, Amazon AWS and The Gap.

Students recounted their experience in this blog post—experiences that included direction on what roles MBAs fill in their companies, strategies for how to interview and advice on preparing for interviews.

Kasey Lucas, associate director of development for Olin alumni and development, along with the alumni also arranged for a round-table reception with the students, something of a “speed-dating” opportunity in which every student spent time with every alumnus to pick their brains and gain career perspective.

The WCC’s partnership with Olin A&D—particularly with Lucas, Jamie Hansen and Kate Lyford—has been critical to establishing these alumni relationships for the sake of our students.

“These companies will not just come to you, so you have to have that alumnus who is willing to raise the WashU flag and lead the charge,” Hutchings said. “They’re absolutely the vital link for our way into those companies.”

Pictured above: Bethany Curd, Michael Nordlund, Rick Butler, Gregory “Max” McDaniel and Arjun Sharma.

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