Part of a series of Q&As with Olin BSBA alumni. Today we hear from Elizabeth Liechti, BSBA ’18. After graduating, Elizabeth joined Bloomingdale’s in New York City where she now works as an assistant buyer for dresses.
What Olin course, “defining moment” or faculty influenced your life most, and why?
I have a lot of great memories from my time in Olin. I loved being at WashU and also having a smaller community within the business school to call home. However, one of my fondest memories was during the summer between my sophomore and junior year.
I was interning at a company in St. Louis and at the end of the internship, had a huge presentation to give to the company. Because I was in St. Louis, I invited a couple of my advisers (Yoon Groves and Konnie Henning) to come along to the presentation. I’d worked with them both closely the year prior through the Olin Peer Ambassadors Program, so I felt they might also enjoy getting to see students in action (there were other Olin students in the internship program as well).
Not only did they come to my presentation, they took me out for a meal afterwards. I was so grateful for the time they took out of their days to support me as a student and spend time with me away from the academic setting, and it gave me reassurance that the staff truly cares about their students.
When I was choosing colleges, that was a factor that I looked for, and that day solidified my confidence that I’d chosen the right school.
How do you stay engaged with Olin or your Olin classmates and friends?
So many of my friends also came to New York after college, which makes it so easy to stay in touch with and hang out with some of my closest friends from school. There’s several Olin alum at Bloomingdale’s as well, so I always feel like there’s a friendly face within and outside of work. For those friends who aren’t in New York, I try to keep in touch as much as possible in the obvious ways (social media, phone calls/texts, etc.).
Why is business education important?
I think business education is important because it places a huge emphasis on teaching tangible skills that have numerous applications. At Olin, I learned a ton about teamwork, time management, and communication.
Among all of my classes at WashU, it was my classes at Olin that valued these skills the most. I find that those lessons have allowed me to be both a better employee at my job and person in general.
Additionally, I felt confident from day one as a freshman that I would be ready to navigate the world of recruiting because I had so many people and resources at my fingertips to help me. Having seen so many graduating classes before me leave with such high job placement rates gave me a welcome sense of security and confidence.
Looking back, what advice would you give current Olin students?
I would encourage any student to expand beyond their bubble, no matter what that bubble may be. Explore beyond the WashU campus, join clubs outside of Olin, and consider other career paths than what is most popular. You’ll never know until you try something else.
Additionally, try to meet new people across all schools at WashU. In turn, you’ll find new experiences and opportunities that you maybe would have never imagined, but they will become some of the best memories.