Author: Olin in the Media

avatar

About Olin in the Media

Posting the latest on Olin student, alumni, faculty, and staff stories from business and news outlets locally, nationally, and around the world.


When Sky Zone CEO Jeff Platt, BSBA’06, pitched his idea for an indoor trampoline park during his Intro to Entrepreneurship class at Olin, he couldn’t imagine the growth and success he would experience in the decade ahead.

Free Style Jump at Sky Zone (from website)

Sky Zone has grown from its original locations in St. Louis and Las Vegas to 176 franchised parks in six countries. “Twenty-five million people will visit this year, generating more than $300 million in sales. Last year, Sky Zone’s corporate revenues were $50 million, with a 20% profit margin,” according to an article on the Forbes website.

Alumni in the newsPlatt tells Forbes that he doesn’t plan to sell his fitness/entertainment venture any time soon, “We created a billion-dollar industry from scratch,” he says. “There’s a lot left to accomplish.”

Link to article on Forbes.

Link to related blog post: Platt shares business tips with CNBC.

Photo: Jeff Platt, CEO of Sky Zone, jumps at a company outlet in Gardena, CA. (Photo by Robert Gallagher for Forbes)

 

CATEGORY: Career, News



Before the food truck phenomenon, there were food carts. You can still see them on many corners in New York City. Now, try to imagine Dean Mark Taylor, as a teenager, outside a stadium in England hawking hot dogs to hungry football fans. We realize it may not be the most glamorous first job (few are), but Dean Taylor tells Poets & Quants that the experience probably inspired his career in business and finance. Here’s the dean’s description of his first foray into commerce:

Mark P. Taylor, Dean of Olin Business School.
James Byard / WUSTL Photos

“During my teenage years in England, I used to sell hot dogs on the weekend from a street cart outside pubs and outside the local stadium during soccer matches. I worked on a commission of twenty percent of the gross takings, but I figured out that the overall margin was probably two or three times that. I was always among the top sellers, so I tried to negotiate a pay raise with my employer but they did not want to pay me more because they would have had to pay all of the other hot dog sellers more. Quite rightly, they pointed out that while I was selling more on average, I was getting twenty percent of that extra amount, so I was already being rewarded for exceptional performance.

“Nevertheless, perhaps a little arrogantly, I accepted a job with higher commission at a new, rival company. However, the new market entrant did not have the top locations for their carts and overall sales were lower, leading to a lower sales commission. I was forced to go back to my original employer and ask for my old job back. However, when I did, I suggested that I could train some of the other sales people and help with accounting, to save the owner time at the end of a shift. My business takeaways from this experience were numerous; in fact, it probably pushed me into a career in business and finance.”

Link to P&Q’s article on Deans’ First Jobs here.

Photo: Sculpture by Seward Johnson, “Relish, too?” Celebrating the Familiar series

CATEGORY: Career, News



As part of their Best & Brightest nomination process, Poets & Quants asked students: “If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?”

Olin’s Markey Culver advocates for the minority of women in most business schools where most of the case studies focus on companies managed by men when she said she would “push for more cases and discussions that address international and female-focused topics.”

Other students called for more international experience.  “A Georgia Tech grad would tackle the issue by purchasing an airline ticket voucher, good for one international trip, for every student.”

What would you do if you were Dean for a Day?

Link to Poets & Quants story.

CATEGORY: Student Life



Picking a favorite professor is a tough assignment at Olin, but Poets & Quants dared to ask members of their Best & Brightest MBA list. Markey Culver, MBA’17, named John Horn, Senior Lecturer in Economics. Horn has a track record as an outstanding teacher and favorite prof – he’s received the school’s Reid Teaching Award five times from graduating classes since 2014. Students select recipients of the Reid Award that honors a teacher  “whose enthusiasm and exceptional teaching most inspire, energize, and transform.”

Here’s why Markey named Horn in the Poets & Quants survey:

Like business leaders, MBA professors are often the extensions of the cultures they work so hard to mold and maintain. Make no mistake: They aren’t teaching to enjoy those clichéd 9-to-5 clock outs with summers off. Washington University’s John Horn, for example, served as an unofficial board member for Markey Culver’s startup, helping her after hours with drafting strategic plans, refining the business model, and preparing to scale the operation.

John Horn

Horn was a Senior Expert in the Strategy Practice of McKinsey & Company, based out of the Washington, DC, office, before joining Olin. During nearly a decade, he worked with clients on competitive strategy, war gaming workshops and corporate and business unit strategy across a variety of industries and geographies.

He was also an adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining McKinsey, John assisted major U.S. financial institutions with fair lending compliance as a consultant with Ernst & Young LLP. He also worked as an economic consultant with The Brattle Group, specializing in economic expert testimony in litigation support, including anti-trust and patent infringement cases.

Horn holds the following degrees:

PhD 1998, Harvard University
MA 1994, Harvard University
BA 1991, University of Michigan

 

 

 

 




During the nomination process for the Best & Brightest MBAs, Poets&Quants asked students to share the biggest myths about their MBA programs. From Stanford to Simon and Oxford to Olin, P&Q asked members of the Class of 2017 to separate fact from fiction when it comes to stereotypes about their chosen b-schools.

Conn Davis, MBA’17, busts the myth about where Olin grads go to work after graduation.
Myth: An MBA at Olin means you’ll end up with a job in St. Louis or the Midwest.

Reality: “While you certainly can get a job in St. Louis or the Midwest at Olin, the opportunities at the school are all over. We have students that are going to the East Coast, the West Coast and all over the world. Olin may be in St. Louis, but it opens doors to wherever you want to go.”
– Conn Davis, Washington University (Olin)

Here are a few more myths from the Poets & Quants story:

  • Myth: Boothies are quants who don’t know how to have fun.
  • Myth: All the Notre Dame MBA students talk about is ethics.
  • Myth: Ross is in the middle of nowhere.
  • Myth: Kellogg is a marketing school and a feeder program to consumer products groups.
CATEGORY: News, Student Life