Author: Olivia Hanford

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About Olivia Hanford

Olivia Hanford is a student intern for Olin's Marketing and Communication Department. She is studying Communication on the Journalism and Media Studies track at St. Louis University with minors in Visual Communication and Marketing. She's an aspiring writer, creator, and designer.


Kelli Washington, BSBA ’94, received multiple accolades for her work as managing director of research and investment strategy at Cleveland Clinic.

In June, Washington was named one of Institutional Investor’s Most Wanted Allocators. The list features executives who are “most coveted for chief investment officer roles.” The ranking is determined by both the candidate’s portfolio and the candidate’s non-portfolio management skills, judged by executive recruiters in the industry.

Out of 25, Washington was ranked 14th and was recognized as “very polished” with “a great deal of credibility.” Recruiters encourage readers to “keep an eye on her.”

Rightly so, as Washington was named to another list about a week later.

Washington was one of 30 named to Chief Investment Officer’s Class of 2019 NextGens for her ability to “effectively harness and analyze a vast amount of data.” NextGens are nominated anonymously by the investment community for their leadership skills.

In her role, Washington works to manage institutional assets at Cleveland Clinic, one of the largest and most respected hospitals in the country.

Although her work is based in Cleveland, Washington constantly thinks global. In an interview with Chief Investment Officer, she spoke about the opportunities and challenges when investing in other markets like China, India and Saudi Arabia. “To be able to think about how we can help companies in…other markets to grow and expand while earning a return that will serve our mission is very exciting,” she said.

Washington’s interest for endowment and foundation management started at Olin where she served as a student representative to the board of trustees on the finance committee. Through that experience, she “came to understand the role and importance of having a pool of assets to support operations, research, and scholarship.”




Olin students traveled to Madrid and Sarajevo to study entrepreneurship and serve as startup consultants in a new undergraduate summer program.

ACCENT’s July Newsletter features the 16 Olin students who studied the impact of startup businesses in cities undergoing economic transition.

While in Madrid, students examined the role of start-ups in the economy after Europe’s “Great Recession.” In Sarajevo, students analyzed the opportunities found in an emerging economy after war.

The students in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the day of their presentations

The program culminated in a group consulting project where student consultants shared opportunities for growth on a particular aspect of the startup company.

During the program, classwork was combined with rich opportunities to understand the historical, cultural, and economic environment of the European cities. Students visited museums and local companies, toured the cities, and participated in workshops from international lawyers and activists. 

Madrid and Sarajevo are considered ideal cities for start-ups with unique historical and economic environments, dedicated investors, and skilled young professionals.




Olin welcomed the first participants in the BOLD@Olin program last month.

The new program, BOLD—Business Opportunity and Leadership Development—was a week-long immersion for female rising high school juniors and seniors interested in learning about opportunities for women in business.

Small groups worked together to strengthen critical thinking skills.

The program ran from July 22-26, 2019, and included 23 women from 10 states. Participants applied for the program by submitting a personal statement explaining their interest in business and hopes for the program, as well as a high school transcript and letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or administrator.

Small groups worked to solve problems for a local nonprofit, Variety the Children’s Charity of St Louis. On the last day, each group presented their solutions while Variety staff and Olin faculty listened, posed questions and ultimately praised BOLD participants for their innovative insights.

Small groups collaborate and create a plan of action.

The program offered participants the chance to network with current Olin students and faculty while developing their brand, strengthening their leadership skills and collaborating with a team.

However, the program was just as much of a success for the participants.

Sydney West, a rising senior from California, was inspired to overcome obstacles in pursuit of her business career. While she acknowledged awareness of gender division in business is necessary, it will not hold her back from getting a job in business. “It is an attainable goal and you shouldn’t let gender get in the way,” she said.

Aisha Adedeyo, a rising senior from Minnesota, praised the opportunity to learn from other women in business through various sessions. “Not only were they very engaging, but they really helped you dive deeper into what your core values are… It helped me figure out… exactly I want to do.”

Emily and her team discussing their project together.

Emily Potter, a rising senior from St. Louis, gained confidence through the program. “I’ll put myself out there more just because…now I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin,” she said after learning about her brand and leadership style.

After a week of learning and growing at Olin, BOLD participants could envision their futures as leaders who will change the world, for good.

To learn more or to apply for next year’s program, visit the website.




Part of a series of Q&As with Olin alumni. Today we hear from Ellen He. Ellen completed her master of science in supply chain management in 2014 before earning her MBA in 2016.  She now lives in New York where she works at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

What are you doing for work now, and how did your Olin education impact your career?

I’m currently working at Deloitte & Touche LLP New York City Office serving financial services industry. I’m a Financial and Risk Advisory Consultant under the regulatory and operations umbrella serving client needs in Finance, Operations, and Compliance area.

Olin education impacted me in numerous ways. I actually learned of the Deloitte opportunity via a 2008 Olin MBA Graduate. Academically, the organizational change and communication lessons were used in day to day work.

What Olin course, ‘defining moment’ or faculty influenced your life most, and why?

Professor Sergio Chayet has always been my mentor since I joined Olin as an MS supply chain management student. His advice regarding choices with my Practicum Consulting projects at that time, and later advised me to take the opportunity and join Olin MBA Class of 2016, no single word can express how I appreciate Sergio’s class style and his mentorship to me.

Additionally, Dean Kurt Dirks’s Corporate Strategy class also left deep impression on me. Via different angels from peers and also from movies such as “Twelve Angry Men” I started to look into the huge impact corporate strategy has towards firm growth for different industries. Corporate strategy has been an area I really want to invest more time in and hope to continuously pursue at my career.

How do you stay engaged with Olin or your Olin classmates and friends?

I have attended Olin MBA Admission activity with Associate Director in the Graduate Admission office Ashley Lautzenheiser in New York City 2016. I have also met with Molly Mulligan from Wash U Alumni and Development a couple times when she travelled to New York City. The most recent face to face lunch meeting with Molly I also got to meet the Associate Dean and Director for Western Career Center Jen Whitten and was glad to learn of some changes that Western Career Center is embracing now.

Why is an MBA important?

To me it is not so much about different Business areas that I got to know via the MBA program, because I triple majored in Accounting, Finance and Supply Chain when I attended Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Bloomington for undergrad. However, the most important value the Olin MBA program brought to me was via different practicum projects, CEL projects, the amazing professors, and all the wonderful classmates that you can form a relationship. I got to touch real life consulting projects for both Fortune 500 companies and local non profit organizations; I got to be impacted by rich experienced professors’ thinking process; I formed relationships that can last lifelong.

Looking back, what advice would you give current Olin students?

I would say definitely try new things, including new areas that you were not familiar with prior to MBA, new friends with diverse backgrounds and/or ethnicity, and organize new events. Besides the academics, I personally involved in many things that Olin had to offer: President of Olin Women in Business, 2015-2016; Co-president of Supply Chain and Operations Association, term 2015-2016; MC for Chinese New Year Gala; XMBA Case Competition 2015 (Olin Team got 2nd Place). I was also Chair for the Olin Follies in April 2014 which demonstrated a fun and conclusive event for the year to Olin faculty and students with 300 attendees. Those events and roles completed me more as a person and set me ready for professional growth in the future.




OAri Lewine, BSBA ’09, co-founder and chief strategy officer of TripleLift, was recognized for his innovative contributions to the advertising industry with over-the-top (OTT) marketing.

Lewine was named a Broadcasting & Cable 2019 Digital All-Star for his work at TripleLift. The 12 All-Star executives have not only made a great impact over the past year, but also blaze a trail for the future.

During Advertising Week in September, Lewine was featured in the Native Disrupter series. He spoke about how brand integration, specifically with over-the-top marketing, can combat ad-free experiences within on-demand subscription services such as Netflix.

“People are used to an ad-free experience, but the cost to produce content keeps going up, so the big challenge is to create program and brand integration, to get the brand message into content,” Lewine said in an interview with B&C. “We want to use new technology to create ads relevant to viewers.”

TripleLift uses over-the-top market tactics to bring new ways of advertising onto screen. “Overlay” ad techniques place relevant ads in the corner of the screen during programming, while “brand insertion” techniques insert ads onto blank space, like a billboard, during programming.

Lewine sees the future of the advertising industry focusing on the needs of individual consumers.

“We’ve gotten really good at understanding who our customer is, how we can reach them, and how we can see whether ads are working,” said Lewine in an interview during Advertising Week. “Now the question is, now that we’ve found that person, what are we actually delivering? What is the message? What does the message look like?”