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Filling up warehouse-size buildings with trampolines and charging customers to jump and fly through the air may have sounded like a crazy idea 10 years ago, but it's turned out to be a game changer in the fitness and entertainment industry. Jeff Platt, BSBA'06 shares his startup story.
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



With more than ten thousand dollars at stake, student teams competed in the first-ever Project of the Year Symposium, hosted by The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation (BCSCI), on May 17 at Washington University. The BCSCI symposium featured the top five corporate mini-consulting projects executed via our Center in the 2016-2017 academic year. The top prize, $5,500, for Best Project of the Year was awarded to the Emerson team. A second award, $3,000, was given to the Belden team for a project that demonstrated the greatest immediate business impact.  A third award. $2,000, was given to the Monsanto team for delivering the best presentation. All winning teams will be inducted into the Boeing Center Projects Hall of Fame.

Each student team had 15 minutes in front of a panel of judges composed of BCSCI advisory board members and representatives.

While all of our project teams (a total of 15 corporate projects) did an excellent job this year, these five demonstrated a particularly high level of execution, which set them apart. We are grateful to all of our member companies for providing us with interesting and challenging projects, and to all the students who worked on Boeing Center projects this year.

A special thanks goes out to our judges and board members in attendance: Greg Krekeler (Boeing), Mike Woerner (Edward Jones), Eric Carlson (Emerson), Marcelle Pires (Monsanto), Becky McDonough (Monsanto), and of course our own Sergio Chayet (WashU) and Panos Kouvelis (WashU & BCSCI Director). We look forward to developing more innovative supply chain solutions in the fall semester!

Representing this academic year’s projects in the competition were:

ABI student team: Serena Chen, Xinyue Du, Marcus Lei, Yanyan Li, and Cauthen Mordente.

Anheuser-Busch InBev  |  Fall 2016

The Anheuser-Busch InBev team’s project revolved around optimizing the inventory mix at distribution centers for some of ABI’s craft beer products. The need to achieve shipping efficiency by shipping full truckloads is a challenge when lower volume craft beers are involved. It is also important to maintain high service levels of performance when delivering to wholesalers.

The team utilized simulation models to support either the use of higher inventory levels at the distribution center, or shipping lower volume and higher volume beers on the same truck to achieve higher service levels for craft beers.

Belden  |  Spring 2017

Panos Kouvelis with Belden student team: Bonnie Bao, Michael Stein, Yuying Wang, and Yuyao Zhu.

The award for the “Greatest Immediate Business Impact,” with impressive overall cost savings to the company, was given to the Belden team.

The Belden team used the continuous review modeling approach, together with concepts of ABC analysis and market uncertainty, to identify opportunities for lowering costs and improving service levels at PPC, a Belden subsidiary in Syracuse, NY. The proposed decision support spreadsheet will be immediately implemented by the company, and will result in substantial savings. This project delivered the most immediate business impact.

Boeing  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Vineet Chauhan, Phil Goetz, Brian Liu, Sontaya Sherrell, and Fan Zhang.  

The Boeing team’s goal was to determine the most influential order and part characteristics affecting suppliers’ on-time delivery statistics of Boeing’s transactional spare parts business.

Emerson  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Kushal Chawla, Serena Chen, Kai Ji, Jeffrey Lantz, and Zoe Zhao, pictured at top of page.

The judges determined that the Emerson team had delivered the best overall project performance (problem solution, business impact, and presentation), and was declared “Project of the Year” winner.  The Emerson project team worked with ProTeam’s Richmond Hill facility to determine the optimal product mix, optimize inventory management of stock, and develop a data analysis model to facilitate future upkeep of the system. This was a well-executed project, with rigorous analysis and strong presentation by the team.

Monsanto  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Hai Cao, Yanyan Li, Ashwin Kumar, Jonathan Neff, Tom Siepman, and Xukun Zan.

Finally, the Monsanto team’s goal was to understand, define, and map out the credit processes within Monsanto. The audience enjoyed this team’s excellent presentation. The Monsanto team impressed the judges with the quality of its work and its exceptional presentation, and received the “Presentation Excellence” award.

Boeing Center Symposium photo gallery • click here

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and our website [olin.wustl.edu/bcsci]

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A Boeing Center digital production

BCSCI

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

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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



Alumni in the news

Congratulations to three Olin alumnae named among the Most Influential Business Women of 2017 by the St. Louis Business Journal. The awardees are accomplished business leaders from a wide range of industries and markets throughout the region. They also have made a difference in their own communities and at various nonprofit organizations.

From left: Sara Hannah, BSBA’01, Managing Partner, Barry Wehmiller Leadership Institute; Shelley Lavender, EMBA’03, President of Boeing Military Aircraft, a business unit within Boeing Defense, Space & Security; Theresa Ruzicka, MBA’86, President of Catholic Charities of St. Louis

CATEGORY: Career, News