Author: WashU Olin Business School

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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.


WashU Olin alumni have continued to benefit from their membership in the community many years after leaving campus. This is part of an occasional series of vignettes about the alumni experience. Today, we hear from Jim Holbrook, EMBA ’96, adviser, Advantage Solutions: Sales Marketing, Technology 

Last spring, when Olin’s Executive MBA candidates traveled to Washington, DC, for a residency at the Brookings Institution, they had a special guest tag along. Jim Holbrook, who got his EMBA 23 years ago, accepted an invitation to participate in the residency —an option that didn’t exist when he graduated.

Olin opened the opportunity to EMBA alums so they could benefit from today’s experience, allowing them to participate for the cost of airfare.

“I got the invitation from Olin saying it was a four-day program focused on healthcare,” Holbrook said. “Literally, I responded in four seconds.”

For Holbrook, the experience was enlightening, to say the least. It’s given him an enriched outlook on how to provide more health benefits to employees, yet control costs—especially rising drug costs. While he calls his participation in the Brookings residency serendipitous, Holbrook is also an advocate of finding a self-curated way to take advantage of Olin’s programs and resources.

“I’ve gone back and done a guest lecture or two. And, along the way, I’ve kept in touch with some of my classmates, from an alumni standpoint, so my relationship with the school has continued. I also recommend joining the Eliot Society, which provides tremendous access.”

Stay in touch.

Center for Experiential Learning

Business Development

  • Dorothy Kittner, MBA ’94, associate dean and director of business development and corporate relations 314-935-6365 | kittner@wustl.edu

Alumni & Development

Weston Career Center

Executive Education

  • Kelly Bean, senior associate dean and professor of practice in leadership 202-797-6000 | beank@wustl.edu



WashU Olin alumni have continued to benefit from their membership in the community many years after leaving campus. This is part of an occasional series of vignettes about the alumni experience. Today, we hear from Onyi Oradiegwu, BSBME ’15/MBA ’15, consultant, Boston Consulting Group

While working as an internal auditor and process consultant at Owens Corning’s fiberglass plant in Tennessee, Onyi Oradiegwu decided she wanted to make the jump to management consulting. She connected with Olin for help during her case interview preparation process. The coaching and advice she received through Olin were integral to her interview preparation—and to receiving an offer from Boston Consulting Group.

“With each practice session, I grew more comfortable with my behavioral and case interview skills and more sure of my genuine interest in working as a management consultant,” she said. “Practice matters.”

Oradiegwu especially enjoyed being able to schedule time online with career advisers, the use of resume tools and access to a bank of prep materials. “I feel like I can rely on WashU and Olin for the rest of my life for support if I ever do look for another job,” she said. “I’m glad I was able to tap into those resources because it really did make a difference in my job interview.”

Stay in touch.

Center for Experiential Learning

Business Development

  • Dorothy Kittner, MBA ’94, associate dean and director of business development and corporate relations 314-935-6365 | kittner@wustl.edu

Alumni & Development

Weston Career Center

Executive Education

  • Kelly Bean, senior associate dean and professor of practice in leadership 202-797-6000 | beank@wustl.edu



WashU Olin alumni have continued to benefit from their membership in the community many years after leaving campus. This is part of an occasional series of vignettes about the alumni experience. Today, we hear from Dean Meyer, EMBA ’15, director of product management group, Duke Manufacturing Co.

Halfway through his twenty-month EMBA program, Dean Meyer switched employers and made a big advance in his career. He did that by taking advantage of the career coaching services that were integrated into the EMBA program.

The career boost was in big part because of his work with Frans VanOudenallen, Lee Konczak and Mary Houlihan, who acted as, and continue to serve as, coaches and mentors.

“The three of them are extremely connected, extremely learned. They help you recognize your strengths and find your untapped potential,” Meyer said. “I wasn’t thinking of myself as a global business leader, but as I started to recount with them, listing things off, it became almost embarrassingly obvious that I didn’t see it for myself.”

Meyer said he continues to benefit from the strong EMBA network with members willing to help each other. “At Olin, it’s very intimate, heavily engaged and delivers top-notch results.”

Stay in touch.

Center for Experiential Learning

Business Development

  • Dorothy Kittner, MBA ’94, associate dean and director of business development and corporate relations 314-935-6365 | kittner@wustl.edu

Alumni & Development

Weston Career Center

Executive Education

  • Kelly Bean, senior associate dean and professor of practice in leadership 202-797-6000 | beank@wustl.edu




WashU Olin alumni have continued to benefit from their membership in the community many years after leaving campus. This is part of an occasional series of vignettes about the alumni experience. Today, we hear from Evan Waldman, EMBA ’09,CEO, Essex Industries

Two years after Evan Waldman graduated with his Executive MBA, his company, Essex Industries, engaged Olin’s Anjan Thakor, director of doctoral programs and John E. Simon Professor of Finance, to help establish a base for its strategic planning.

“There were three of us on the executive team who had been through the Executive MBA program. We were excited to work with the business school—particularly Anjan Thakor,” said Waldman, who had taken a strategy course with Thakor and was happy to reconnect.

“We wanted to update our strategic plan and we really didn’t have a process for it at the time,” he said. “Anjan was a good resource to help us establish a solid foundation and common vernacular. He also worked with us to level set on where we were and where we wanted to head.”

Waldman continues to draw on Olin and its resources —particularly the faculty expertise and their network of real-world companies and case studies.

“They also know the theoretical and academic approaches, which can be provocative to those who are tied up in the day-to-day realities,” Waldman said.

Stay in touch.

Center for Experiential Learning

Business Development

  • Dorothy Kittner, MBA ’94, associate dean and director of business development and corporate relations 314-935-6365 | kittner@wustl.edu

Alumni & Development

Weston Career Center

Executive Education

  • Kelly Bean, senior associate dean and professor of practice in leadership 202-797-6000 | beank@wustl.edu



Business school students gain a keen understanding of the business world as they began their career. But for students pursuing nonbusiness studies, many do not have that foundational understanding—or the realization of how business savvy can positively impact their job search and long-term career success.

To meet this need, WashU Olin is offering nonbusiness students—both inside and outside WashU—a business fundamentals and career preparation course called Gateway to Business. Offered virtually for six weeks over the summer, this course is specially designed to provide nonbusiness students with a comprehensive introduction to business, leadership and teamwork skills development, and career preparedness.

Perhaps you know a student who would benefit from this course—someone pursuing a degree in arts, sciences, engineering or medicine? Gateway to Business will give undergraduate students and recent college and high school graduates a leg up on the competition by helping them:

  • Develop an understanding of business concepts and the ability to apply them to solve real, unstructured problems
  • Engage in self-assessment and use the results to create a professional development plan
  • Further leadership skills to more effectively work on team-based and peer-led projects
  • Strengthen communication skills, including writing a compelling resume and cover letters

Start Date: June 9, 2020
Length: Six weeks
Sessions: Tuesday/Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Format: Virtual/Zoom
Students: Any nonbusiness undergrad or new high school or college graduate, inside or outside WashU
Credit: 1.5 credits
Tuition: $1,500

The course begins soon, so please be sure to pass this information along to anyone you think needs to expand their understanding of business and career readiness to help ensure their future success.

WashU students register here.

Non-WashU students register here.