Author: WashU Olin Business School

avatar

About WashU Olin Business School

Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander in scale. The education we deliver prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world.

Glenn MacDonald started in the entertainment industry at age 4 and has been involved as a business professional and performing musician ever since. Today, he runs a course on the business of entertainment at WashU Olin Business School—a course that is at the core of a minor that is available to undergraduates.

“I’m very passionate about the both the business and creative side of entertainment,” said MacDonald, Olin’s John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy.

MacDonald and two of his students discuss the content of the course and what they’ve gotten from it in this brief video. Students design marketing campaigns for artists, learn how to pitch movies and participate in a variety of other experiential exercises—while learning the nuts and bolts of accounting and contracts in the field.

“It’s nice to be able to do things that are fun and that you’re interested in and that you’re still getting a grade and learning from,” said Rob Hall, AS ’19.


A big #OlinKudos goes to Creative Director Katie Wools from Olin Marketing & Communications, who took platinum and gold honors from the Hermes Creative Awards for her work on two projects for the school. It was the third year running she’d nabbed a gold award from the organization.

Katie Wools

The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals recognized Wools with the Hermes Creative Platinum Award for her animated video message welcoming the new year, sent to students, faculty, staff and alumni from Dean Mark Taylor. Wools taught herself how to use After Effects, a digital motion-graphics tool, in order to produce the video.

Wools also received the Hermes gold award for the third consecutive year for her work on the poster for this year’s Shakespeare at Olin festival.

From the organization’s news release about the awards:

Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media. Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work in the industry while promoting the philanthropic nature of marketing and communication professionals.

The international Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital media production and free-lance professionals. AMCP oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and awards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.

As part of its mission, AMCP fosters and supports the efforts of creative professionals who contribute their unique talents to public service and charitable organizations. Hermes entrants are not charged to enter work they produced pro bono. Over the past few years, AMCP’s Advisory Board has given out over $250,000 in grants to support philanthropic endeavors.

Being a Platinum or Gold Winner is a tremendous achievement that is symbolized by the intricately detailed Hermes Platinum and Gold awards. Entries receiving scores of 90-100 are Platinum Winners. Scores of 80-89 are Gold Winners and 70-79 are Honorable Mention Winners. The name Hermes (Greek messenger) and the idea for the award were chosen to represent our roles as the messengers and creators of marketing and communication materials and programs.




Three WashU students and a departing professor were honored at this month’s second Skandy Awards presentation by the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The awards featured remarks from Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and recognition of honorees by II Luscri, Skandalaris Center Managing Director and Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Jessica Stanko, the Skandalaris Center Assistant Director of Programs.

Cliff Holekamp at the second Skandy Awards, where he was honored for excellence in service.

At the April 10 event, honorees included:

Arnav Kannan speaking with Chancellor Wrighton at the 2019 Skandy Awards.
  • Arnav Kannan, BSBA ’22, for creating video content that captures the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship at WashU, awarded a Skandy for creativity.
  • Ony Mgbeahurike, MBA ’19, founder of the Good Soul Company, and Danielle Wilsey, MBA ’20, founder of The Confluence, awarded Skandys for entrepreneurship.
  • And in special recognition, the Skandalaris Center recognized Olin Professor Clifford Holekamp, outgoing director of Olin’s entrepreneurship program and instructor for the Hatchery course. He was recognized with an “excellence in service” award for his work, noting that during his time at WashU, 50% of the businesses in the Hatchery have launched and 75% are still operating.

Read more about the event and other Skandy winners on the Skandalaris Center website.

Pictured above: Ony Mgbeahurike, Danielle Wilsey and II Luscri, Skandalaris Center Managing Director.




On any given day, Matthew Nyman and his team at Mastercard’s multidisciplinary anti-fraud hub—its “fusion center”—receive intelligence about potential attacks on the financial ecosystem.

Imagine learning about a software attack that could allow criminals to rob banks. In a coordinated fashion, potentially hundreds of individuals would simultaneously withdraw money from numerous bank ATMs. The combination of attacks could result in damages in the millions to the bank. Nyman’s fusion center team is able to identify, mobilize and thwart attacks such as this to protect Mastercard customers and partners.

Nyman is an Army veteran, wounded warrior, government innovator and 2017 EMBA alum from WashU Olin Business School.

Protecting Mastercard and their customers from the “bad guys” is nothing new to Nyman. As a member of the military, he had built similar nerve centers to coordinate US intelligence efforts and target narco-terrorists. From 2011 to 2014, he led a group of US government contractors working with the Mexican government to create a fusion center so authorities south of the border could target and defuse the work of drug cartels.

“A threat network is a threat network,” Nyman said. “They all operate the same.”

Nyman had considered business school for years. An accident while serving as an Army Ranger in 2005 helped accelerate his thinking. During a combat operation, he was a passenger in a helicopter landing atop a building in Iraq. The aircraft crashed, leaving him with multiple severe injuries to his head, back, lungs, femur and a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg.

After fighting his way back to health and building a stellar career developing and launching threat-assessment centers in the military and public sector, he was ready to pivot to the private sector.

WashU Olin’s EMBA stood out among the three top programs that accepted him. “My whole career has been globally dispersed. I wanted a university that could help add to my résumé and reinforce that international experience,” he said. “That was very important to me.”

Another deciding factor? Olin’s strong commitment to supporting military veterans and the networking opportunities the school offered. “That, combined with learning the language of business and then having the opportunity to marry up my (military) experience with a business degree,” he said. “So many people struggle to communicate what’s relevant about their experience in the language of business.”

While he came into Mastercard with the experience to set up the “fusion center”—where analysts and experts from across multiple company disciplines come together to identify and anticipate threats and vulnerabilities—Nyman said the WashU Olin experience gave him the skills to grow beyond that.

Nyman said, “WashU Olin taught me to step back and troubleshoot to find the solution which gave the best possible outcome.”

By some estimates, the fusion center—profiled in May 2018 in The New York Times—prevented millions in fraudulent transactions last year.

“Mastercard’s technology allows the fusion center team to make swift, but factual based decisions,” said Nyman. “If we have the means to stop fraud, we are going to. We want to do well while doing good.”