Author: Olin in the Media

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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.


This press release was initially posted on REJournals.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Erin Valentine (EMBA ’08) to the position of Vice President of Business Development in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In addition to joining the leadership team that guides McCarthy’s strategic business operations across the Central Region, Valentine will manage McCarthy’s St. Louis-based business development team that focuses on the company’s core buildings markets of Healthcare, Commercial, Education and Advanced Technology and Manufacturing.

Since joining McCarthy in 2001, Valentine has helped position the company to secure numerous new projects while building valuable relationships with clients and industry partners. Her business development successes are visible throughout the St. Louis region, including the recently awarded Washington University School of Medicine Neuroscience research facility and a multiyear facilities contract with Parkway School District.

She was also instrumental in McCarthy’s national expansion into the federal government sector, helping to secure more than $3 billion in federal projects over a five-year period.

Valentine is a founding member of the McCarthy Partnership for Women employee resource group in the Central Region and has served on several national efforts, including McCarthy’s Business Development Leadership team. In addition, she has overseen several national McCarthy initiatives to strengthen the company’s client relationships, including the implementation of an enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) system and the rollout of a client feedback process to solicit ongoing feedback from project partners.

A LEED Green Associate, Valentine earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been recognized as a “40 under 40” business leader by the St. Louis Business Journal, a “Top Young Professional” by Engineering News Record (ENR) – Midwest and a “Women in Construction” innovator by Constructech. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum and is a board member of the St. Louis chapters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).




Seth Carnahan

Poets & Quants has recognized Olin’s Seth Carnahan as a Best 40 Under 40 professor.

Carnahan, associate professor of strategy, is highlighted an April 29 article that notes Carnahan, 34, is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He “has spent his early career building a strong and robust research pipeline with more than 600 Goggle Scholar citations and multiple grants and awards to boot.”

Carnahan provided “a great experience for one of my first MBA courses at WashU” with lectures that were relevant, current and generated engaging class discussion, one nominator said. “I feel as though my point of view changed greatly with regard to business strategy after having taken his class.”

A professor inspired him

Carnahan told Poets & Quants that he has no other academics in his family and was inspired by his strategy professor during his undergraduate. She mentioned her research during class, and “I dug up some of her papers an read them,” he said. When he learned her job was to write papers and teach, Carnahan said he thought, “I want to do that, too.”

Carnahan’s current research is examining the “human side of firm strategy.” He explores how organizations can out-compete their competition for talent and how firms can increase the performance of employees they already have by “managing their people more effectively.”

When P&Q asked what Carnahan thinks makes him a standout professor, he replied: “Based on the feedback they give me, I think students appreciate the open, inclusive culture that I try to create in my class. I think they see my class as a safe place where they can experiment with ideas, take risks, make mistakes, and learn from each other.”

Read the full article here.




For the second year running, WashU Olin has been named one of “10 Business Schools To Watch” by Poets & Quants.

In a recent post, Olin received recognition for two of its strategic pillars—entrepreneurship and global experience—that have been successfully implemented into the curriculum.

“Every course at Olin has to be accountable to entrepreneurship and innovation… That took entrepreneurship from being a really strong niche to something every Olin student is going to be exposed to,” said Cliff Holekamp, former professor of entrepreneurship at Olin.

However, Olin “places equal – if not greater emphasis on global business.”

“Deep global immersion in international business issues, cultures, and practices sets an important foundation for business today,” said Dean Mark Taylor discussing the MBA global immersion trip. “The cohort [also] really bonds as everyone gets to know one another and works together—especially as they begin the program by being thrown into the deep end on the global immersion where, at some point, every student must adjust to a foreign culture.”

P&Q also highlighted Olin’s location, accelerated graduation path, and the option for a STEM-designed specialized master’s degree paired with an MBA.

“We’re leaning into the needs of today’s business students, differentiating WashU Olin by leveraging our unique assets, preparing them to be globally-minded and globally-mobile and providing the tools to confront the challenge and create change,” said Taylor.

Other schools listed alongside Olin included the Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, University of Chicago’s Booth, USC’s Marshall, and IMD.

Read more of the P&Q article citing Olin as a top 10 school to watch.




Dean Mark Taylor addressing the Century Club on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

Saying WashU Olin’s newly rebooted full-time MBA program offers “a larger menu of options and opportunities to students,” Poets & Quants has named the school first among its “top 10 business schools to watch” in 2019.

In a post released Sunday, the online magazine covering business education cited Olin’s plans to launch an around-the-world global immersion in the first six weeks of the next MBA class among the reasons its program is worth watching (see Olin Blog’s “Desk of the Dean” column about the MBA revamp).

As Poets & Quants reported:

Olin first-years are meeting up in St. Louis for orientation before heading to Washington DC, where they receive intensive training from the Brookings Institution, the most cited think tank in the areas of foreign policy and global economic development. From there, candidates spend the next month in Barcelona and Shanghai, taking classes, conducting research, and delivering projects on behalf of corporate partners.

“It will be more than academic tourism,” Dean Mark Taylor said in the Poets & Quants piece. “It will be a chance to begin to understand doing business in Europe and Asia.”

In the post, P&Q also cited the school’s plans for a more flexible program, offering an accelerated 14-month MBA, and its investment in a revamped Weston Career Center, with an expanded staff and industry representatives stationed on both coasts and the far east.

The publication listed Olin Business School first among its top 10 schools, which included Michigan’s Ross School of Business, USC’s Marshall, The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs, and the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School.

Read more of the P&Q article citing Olin Business School as a top 10 to watch.

Pictured above: Dean Mark Taylor addressing the Century Club on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, where he elaborated on plans for the revamped full-time MBA program.




Jerry Steiner, EMBA

A St. Louis-based ag tech startup led by a WashU Olin alum has closed another round of financing as it moves toward the commercial launch of a new cash crop in 2021.

Jerry Steiner, EMBA ’92, is CEO of CoverCress, a post he’s held since January 2015, two years after the company was founded as Arvegenix. Steiner has 15 years’ experience previously with Monsanto.

CoverCress closed its latest $2 million round of funding November 14. Two prominent organizations co-led the funding round, Bayer Growth Ventures, the venture capital arm of Bayer and formerly Monsanto Growth Ventures; and BioGenerator, the investment arm of local nonprofit BioSTL. The round brings the company’s total funding to nearly $8 million, according to the St. Louis Business Journal (subscription required).

The company at the same time rebranded to CoverCress, reflecting its focus on developing a cash crop based on the native plant pennycress. According to the firm’s news release, “CoverCress is a new winter oilseed cash crop designed to provide winter and early spring soil cover between corn harvest and soybean planting, while producing an oilseed crop. CoverCress oil and protein meal are similar to that of canola.”

“Many farmers have told us that they want to do more to protect soil and water as well as find new sources of income from their land,” Steiner said in the release. “We are responding with CoverCress, a unique product to deliver both benefits to farmers.”