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Learning in the Executive MBA program extends far beyond classroom walls—in this case, to the other side of the world. As part of the curriculum’s four required residencies, EMBA 48 traveled to Shanghai this week for the last half of their International Management Residency, where they explore global economies, markets, and leadership.

Executive MBA Student Services Manager Cory Barron sends this update from the cohort’s last days in China (be sure to check out part one):


The last three days in China for EMBA 48 were a flurry of educational activities. Starting with a tour of the new Johnson & Johnson headquarters building in Shanghai, Dr. Hong Xin, Sr. Director of New Ventures, explained that a major focus of J&J innovation in China is developing drugs to combat China’s top health issue, lung cancer. But she says J&J embraces the non-pharma solution to lower the number of cases with prevention and interception.

EMBA 48 toured Johnson & Johnson’s new headquarters in Shanghai, China.

The class’ next assignment was to travel on their own from J&J to the afternoon business panel discussion on the other side of Shanghai. With maps and a little instruction at the subway station, all successfully traversed the city with little problem.

The afternoon business panel discussion consisted of several WashU Olin alumni, who covered major business topics in China like IP protection and joint ventures, along with expiate adjustments, making for an energetic Q&A with the class.

(Left to right): Jacklin Zeng, DeLage Landen, Shanghai Olin EMBA Class 11; Patty Sun Tsau, Windeson Enterprise, Olin Shanghai EMBA Class 12; and Gloria Rong Gao, Novartis Pharma, Olin Shangai EMBA Class13, listen to Flemming Mahs, Novus International, Olin MBA 1993, talk about life as an expat in China.

EMBA 48 in front of the Pearl Tower in the Pudong Financial District of Shanghai.

Friday was the field study day. A group, consisting largely of those in the health care sector, toured a large urban hospital and a community health clinic. They also had their evidence-based practices challenged when exploring the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. About ten other EMBAs visited four advertising companies located in the same high rise. The other half of EMBA 48 was assigned local Chinese markets and Western malls to try and discover new branding schemes and store or product concepts.

This day concluded with an optional market and cooking experience. The trip to the market included multi colored eggs, slithering eels, and unique Asian vegetable varieties. They then stretched and twirled the noodle dough, sliced and stir fried the chicken, while others filled and pinched-up dumplings, readying them for the steamer.

Kate Gase, EMBA 48, shares with Katie Hamilton, EMBA 48, some original education materials she found at the First People’s Hospital of Shanghai during the Health Care Field Study.

EMBA 48’s Dan Kohnen and Gail Presswood prepare soup dumplings for the evening meal during their cooking experience class.

We started our last full day in China on Saturday by joining Shanghai Olin EMBA Class 15 at Fudan University. Professor Panos Kouvelis prepped the class for a simulation that the two classes tackled together in teams.

Saturday concluded with the U.S.-based EMBAs presenting their teams’ Field Study findings.

Panos Kouvelis lectures to a joint class of EMBA 48 and Olin Shanghai Class 15 prior to an Operations simulation.

Learn more about the Executive MBA curriculum and residency opportunities

Guest blogger: Cory Barron, Student Services Manager, EMBA team

CATEGORY: Global, Student Life



The winning team, named Project Starfish, is creating a device that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UVC), which kills bacteria, molds, viruses and other pathogens, to continuously and effectively kill bacteria in urinary catheters. About 75 percent of urinary tract infections acquired in the hospital are associated with the use of a catheter, and up to 25 percent of hospitalized patients in the hospital receive a urinary catheter, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Elizabeth Bowman

Project Starfish has received a provisional patent for its device and has confirmed with FDA consultants that the device will follow a relatively inexpensive regulatory pathway, said Elizabeth Bowman. Bowman received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in commercial entrepreneurship May 19.

“We’re really glad that we won this competition because we needed to the money to move us forward to the next step,” said Bowman, who plans to continue working on the project in addition to working as a health-care consultant in Silicon Valley.

The team’s initial funding to build a 3-D prototype and a small circuit board came from  Sling Health (formerly IDEA Labs).

Other team members are:

  • John Bisognono, sophomore, majoring in computer science with a minor in bioinformatics
  • Elliot Jaffe, BS/MS student in electrical engineering with a second major in physics
  • Caleb Ji, first-year student majoring in math
  • Daniel Lane, doctoral student in biomedical engineering
  • Jessica Miller, founder and an MD/PhD student at the School of Medicine and in biomedical engineering
  • Vineet Chauhan and John Henschen, MBA students in the Olin Business School
  • Jay Vasileva, a graduating biomedical engineering student from Saint Louis University

Project Starfish plans to incorporate this summer.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science’s Discovery Competition promotes innovative discoveries that solve a particular challenge or need.  The competition provides undergrad engineering students a forum to explore their entrepreneurial interests with support from mentors, to use their creativity to develop solutions for real-world problems, and to compete for financial resources that could help turn their ideas into businesses. The annual competition is funded by Engineering alumni.

Link to more about the 2017 Discovery Competition.

By: Beth Miller, School of Engineering & Applied Science

CATEGORY: News



Learning in the Executive MBA program extends far beyond classroom walls—in this case, to the other side of the world. As part of the curriculum’s four required residencies, EMBA 48 traveled to Beijing this week for the first half of their International Management Residency, where they explore global economies, markets, and leadership.

Executive MBA Student Services Manager Cory Barron sends this update from the cohort’s first two days in China:


Day 1 | The Great Wall of China and The Forbidden City

Muted blue skies, ideal June temperatures, and a light crowd greeted EMBA 48 at the Great Wall of China. Many in the class expressed that they “never dreamed” of having the opportunity to visit this historical site. The 5,000 mile long wall delivered a morning of intense climbs to gorgeous vistas of the Chinese dragon snaking atop the mountain contours.

John Flath trudging up the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China on a gorgeous June morning.

Jerod Mickelson, Tyler King and David Messner quick stepping on the Great Wall during the EMBA 48 International Residency in China.

By mid-afternoon, EMBA 48 was exploring the vastness of the Forbidden City. Over 8,000 rooms housed, in addition to the royal family, the palace guards, eunuchs, and hundreds of concubines. Up until 1911, this was reclusive home of the Emperors of China for hundreds of years.

EMBA 48 joined other tourists walking the original block stone courtyards of the Forbidden City.

Neeti Kailas enjoys a break from the afternoon sun while listening to her guide’s explanation of the Chinese dynasties.

Day 2 | Challenges facing multinationals

After weaving through the morning traffic, EMBA 48 made it to the northwest reaches of Beijing to tour Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co. This is the ground work for the business challenge discussion they would have with Miguel Kindler, Cummins-Beijing Plant Manager. After Miguel’s short briefing on the plant’s capacity and Cummins’ 40-year history in China, each study team was given a question with one common challenge facing multinationals entering the Chinese market. The teams were given 30 minutes to come up with a solution and then present that solution to the Miguel for his evaluation.

Dinesh Thotala adjusts his receiver prior to a tour of the Cummins motor plant in Beijing.

While David Willis listens and April Powell takes notes, Doug Jost shares his strategy for his team’s business challenge question.

Lauren Brown, David Messner, and Mellissa Jobe listen to Miguel Kindler, Cummins-Beijing Plant Manager, as he answers their questions about their team’s business challenge.

After Team 4’s victorious Cummins presentation, EMBA 48 traveled to Beijing’s Embassy District. Walking through the six inch thick doors of the outer walls of the United States Embassy, the EMBAs passed security before entering the grounds. A panel of three officers, representing some of the 21 government agencies housed at the Beijing Embassy, explained how they are serving United States business interests in China.


Stay tuned for more updates from EMBA 48’s International Management Residency in Beijing and China. Learn more about the curriculum and residency opportunities in Olin’s Executive MBA program. 

Guest blogger: Cory Barron, Student Services Manager, EMBA team

CATEGORY: Global, Student Life

While the federal minimum wage rate stands at $7.25 an hour, actual pay for low wage workers varies across the country because some states and cities have adopted higher wages than the nationally-mandated minimum. Studies have been conducted to determine the effect of these increases on employment, but consensus remains elusive because of small samples and specific industry-based studies.

For the first time, a group of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis used a big-data approach to determine the effects of minimum-wage changes on business. Two professors and two doctoral candidates from the Olin Business School processed wage data on more than 2 million hourly workers from across the country over a six-year period. The results? There are winners and losers.

Gopalan

“Asking if a higher minimum wage is good or bad is not productive,” said Radhakrishnan Gopalan, professor of finance at Olin. “It’s not a right or wrong proposition, it’s a nuanced answer depending on the composition of both employees and employers.”

In their working paper, Gopalan and his co-authors — Barton Hamilton, the Robert Brookings Smith Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Olin, along with Ankit Kalda and David Sovich, both Olin finance PhD students — utilized anonymous data obtained from Equifax, a leading information solutions company that collects data on individuals’ credit and employment histories.

In this map provided by the researchers, the states shaded dark red enacted large minimum wage increases. The medium-red states acted as control states in the data analysis, and the states with light shading were excluded from the data set.

To create a framework from which to analyze the data, they focused on six states — California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota and West Virginia — that enacted large increases in minimum wage during late 2014 and early 2015. The researchers included data from hourly workers across different industries and studied their employment dynamics for up to one year following the wage increase. Once crunched, the data gave an innovative new look at the effect of a large minimum-wage hike on businesses and employees.

“We found existing minimum-wage employees benefit from minimum-wage increases,” Gopalan said. “Their wages go up, and they are no more likely to lose their jobs as compared to their counterparts in adjacent states. But following state minimum-wage hikes, companies are reluctant to hire new low-wage employees. In the one year following the wage hike, they increase the proportion of higher-wage (read: higher-skilled) employees and reduce the proportion of low-wage employees.”

The effects, while slight, were most pronounced in establishments such as administrative and support services, finance, hotels and food and manufacturing industries.

“For example, our estimates indicate that when Massachusetts enacted a 10-percent increase in the minimum wage, there was a decrease in low-wage workers of 1.6 percent at the average establishment relative to establishments in the neighboring control states,” Gopalan said.  “In California, with the same 10-percent, minimum-wage increase, we saw a 1.2 percent decline in low-wage workers.”

According to Gopalan, these new findings can be of benefit to states and cities making decisions regarding minimum-wage policy.

“States and cities really need to take a look at what the employee composition is,” Gopalan said.  “Are they a growing area where a lot of low-wage employees are entering the labor force? Or do they have existing employees but not a whole rush of new employees coming in? Optimal policy will differ based on these factors.

“For an area experiencing fast growth, having a high minimum wage will be a bad deal for the new entrants as they might have a tougher time finding a job. On the other hand, if you’re in an area whose population is not growing very fast, then raising the minimum wage will definitely benefit your existing low-wage employees, and the number of new employees who are hurt will be a minimum. Optimal policy will also depend on the industry composition of the establishments in the local economy.”

Gopalan says the next step is to further analyze other long-term benefit variables linked to higher minimum wage, including employees’ debt load and credit scores. The research may be viewed here; Gopalan may be reached for comment at gopalan@wustl.edu




Reid Petty has been President of the Class of 2017 since sophomore year and before he graduates, he will address his classmates, and thousands of guests and graduate students in Brookings Quad at Commencement. The Source talked to Reid who is an Olin marketing major about what he plans to say and his post-graduation plans in the advertising industry.

Why did you decide on a career in advertising?

Growing up, I was always plopped in front of the TV with my family. That’s how we bonded — watching “The Office,” “Lost” and probably some questionable stuff like “The Sopranos.” I loved the shows, but I also loved the ads. I would challenge myself to come up with a better ad than the one I saw on TV.  It clicked that this is what I should do with my life. Last summer, I worked at Team One, an advertising firm in Los Angeles, where I wrote copy that will appear in an upcoming Lexus ad. And after graduation, I will be working in the Chicago office of DigitasLBI in a dual project management and account management role. I also studied film at WashU and I am hoping, at some point, to merge these two loves by going into advertising for film.

You spent a summer in Copenhagen and a semester in Singapore. How did your study-abroad experiences impact your education?

Those experiences are some of the best things that ever happened to me. In Copenhagen, I took a class on the Roskilde Festival, the world’s largest nonprofit music festival. We learned about festival management and festival culture. It concluded with us spending a week at the festival where we were just immersed in Danish culture. The week shaped my understanding of what it means to travel, to get outside of your comfort zone and discover new people and places. I then chose to go to Singapore because I wanted a totally different experience, and I loved it. Being abroad is challenging, fun, sometimes lonely and always exciting.

So what words of wisdom will you be sharing with graduates?

I’m 22 years old. I don’t have that much wisdom to offer to my peers. But I have thought a lot about why this place is so special. And it comes down to the people. And sure, you could say that about a lot of universities. But I found this school very different than the other ones I visited. As a tour guide, I would talk about the campus culture here — that Washington University is super-collaborative and very friendly. And I think that imparting those words on visiting students gives them the idea that this is a very welcoming place. And they make it so. Their expectations shape reality. And so this sense of community is passed down from class to class. For us seniors, it may feel like it’s all ending, but it’s not. This community will stay with us wherever we go in life.

CATEGORY: Career, News, Student Life