mfs17_top10UPDATE: December 8, 2016, Victory Media announced today special awards for its 2017 Military Friendly® Employers and 2017 Military Friendly® Schools. Washington University was named a Top 10 School. Link to Press Release.

Olin Business School is proud to be named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media’s trademarked program that benchmarks and rates colleges and companies nationwide, helping veterans and military families make well-informed decisions about education and career opportunities.

Excerpts from the Nov. 10, 2016 Press Release:

Victory Media, originator of the family of Military Friendly® employment, entrepreneurship and education resources for veterans and their families, announced Nov. 10 its list of 2017 Military Friendly® Employers and 2017 Military Friendly® Schools.

mfs17_designationSignificant technological investment into the evaluation process enhanced the breadth of data evaluated, resulting in 210 Military Friendly® Employers and 1,273 Military Friendly® Schools recognized for their support of the military community. For more than a decade, the Military Friendly® ratings have set the standard for companies and colleges that provide positive employment and education outcomes for veterans and their families.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard across thousands of employers and schools gives veterans a comprehensive view of those striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly® development. “Relating data from companies and colleges positions us to further our goal of supporting service members and veterans along their entire path from military service to success in their chosen civilian career field.”

More Comprehensive Scoring Criteria

A significant change for 2017 was the consideration of three data sources in the scoring methodology: publicly available data from federal agencies; personal opinion data from veteran employees or students; and proprietary Military Friendly® survey data from participating organizations. Final results were determined by combining an organization’s survey scores with an assessment of the organization’s ability to meet minimum thresholds in six areas critical to success:

  • Employers—Military Employee Application, Hiring, Turnover, Promotion & Advancement rates and National Guard and Reserve policies.
  • Schools—Student Veteran Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence and Loan Default rates.

Each year, employers and schools competing for the Military Friendly(R) designation are challenged to a higher standard than in previous years via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and our Advisory Council. This year, Victory Media has published online federal contractors and schools that receive federal education benefits that would be eligible for the Military Friendly® designation based on public data. However, only those companies and colleges that completed the Military Friendly® survey were considered for and eligible to receive the Military Friendly® designation and special awards.

Recognizing Excellence

Also new for 2017 are Military Friendly® awards, showcasing the most powerful and effective military programs in the workplace and on campuses nationwide. Awards for Top 10, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners by category (annual revenue for employers and institution type for schools) will be announced on December 8. The move from a binary designation of “Are you Military Friendly®?” to “How Military Friendly® are you?” will highlight outstanding organizations that support veterans and their families.

“Companies and colleges no longer ask ‘why’ recruit military as employees and students. They realize that veterans are graduates of the premier training institution in the world: the U.S. military,” said Navy veteran Chris Hale, CEO and Co-Founder of Victory Media.

The 2017 Military Friendly® Employers and Schools lists are available online at and will be printed in the December issue of G.I. Jobs® and in the iannual Guide to Military Friendly® Schools.Read more about Military Friendly® ratings, methodology, and awards, or request a survey link, at

Photos from the OVA Dining Out event in 2014, by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

CATEGORY: Career, News

The GiftAMeal mobile app, conceived and launched by Olin junior Andrew Glantz one year ago, has reached another milestone as it continues to grow in popularity. Jacob Mohrmann, BSBA’16, Chief Marketing Officer of GiftAMeal, reports that the startup more than doubled its meal count since September, reaching a total of 15,000 meals donated to local food banks.

Each time a user of the GiftAMeal mobile app takes a photo of his or her food at a participating restaurant, a meal is provided to someone in need through a local food bank. Users may also recommend restaurants to friends and share photos on social media.

GiftAMeal is one of the featured businesses at Startup Connection, Nov. 16, at Olin Business School.


Mohrman and Glantz were featured in the 2016 Olin Business Magazine presenting their Elevator Pitch for GiftAMeal.

GiftAMeal is a for-profit social enterprise, charging a monthly fee to restaurants to participate and paying out donation to food banks to help provide meals to those in need. GiftAMeal has won multiple awards, including being named a “Top 3 Student Startup” in the country at the South by Southwest Conference. It received its first investment of $100,000 from the Capital Innovators accelerator in St. Louis, marking the first time that the group had invested in an undergraduate startup.

GiftAMeal helps restaurants acquire and retain customers, while also feeding the hungry in our communities.

Photos by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Video courtesy of WashU Fuse

CATEGORY: News, Student Life

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week! Startup Connection is here, at Olin, Wednesday, Nov. 16 (4:40-9 p.m.) on all three levels of the Knight Hall Atrium. This is the biggest annual celebration of the St. Louis startup community and you don’t want to miss it.

Startup Connection gives St. Louis’ top startups the opportunity to present their companies to a packed house of entrepreneurs, investors, and other members of the innovation community. The event combines a startup showcase, resource fair, and is topped off with fast-paced pitch session.

New this year: Student pitch session at 5 p.m.

Venture Showcase: Meet and greet with over 70 life science, consumer products, tech, and manufacturing startup companies.

Resource Fair: Meet and mingle with dozens companies (legal firms, marketers, accountants, venture capital firms) and entrepreneurial support organizations who can help your startup grow.

global entrepreneurship weekIn the meantime, enjoy this fun video about GEW: Global Entrepreneurship Week from the Kauffman Foundation’s Jonathan Ortmans, Global Entrepreneurship Week President and Kauffman Senior Fellow. Click above to watch.

Created in 2008, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to more than 160 countries. Each year it empowers roughly 25 million people through more than 25,000 activities, and is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of 10,000 partner organizations.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Learn more about the global movement on Facebook, Twitter and #GEW2016. In the U.S., visit GEWUSA on Facebook and Twitter.


CATEGORY: Global, News

New research from Olin sheds light on the relationship between employee benefits and the profitability and competitiveness of small businesses. Ulya Tsolmon, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Olin and her co-authors at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, reviewed data on some 15,000 firms over the 2004−2010 time period—before implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—to compare the labor productivity, employee turnover, profitability, stability, and growth rate of companies that voluntarily offered their employees health insurance and those that did not.

Providing health insurance is typically very costly, especially for small firms. Small firms generally pay more for health insurance per employee than larger firms because they have fewer employees and therefore smaller risk pools. Is the payoff for a small firm worth this investment? How do small businesses that provide health insurance fare compared to their counterparts that do not?

One key finding was that following the economic crisis of 2007, firms that did not offer health insurance lowered employee wages by an average of 25 percent; by contrast, the average wages in firms offering health insurance declined only 5 percent during the same period. Further, firms that did not provide their employees with health insurance laid off a larger percentage of their workforce during the Great Recession than did firms providing health insurance.

In comparison, the group of firms providing health insurance had a much lower employee turnover rate, higher profitability, and higher sales per employee. However, the average growth rate of the group that provided health insurance was lower when compared to the group not providing health insurance.

The cause of this discrepancy? The study results seem to indicate that firms with health insurance enter into an implicit contract with their employees: The firm shields employees from economic downturns but asks them to exert effort and commitment to increase the firm’s performance. However, according to lead researcher Ulya Tsolmon, “firms with health insurance seem to be more cautious than those without health insurance when expanding, as making and keeping commitments to employees is not an easy task, especially during economic downturns.”

This study offers important insights for policymakers—especially with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the question of whether to expand the employer mandate on health insurance to businesses of all sizes, likely to return to the congressional agenda early in 2017. Inasmuch as 99 percent of all US companies are small businesses that together employ more than 50 percent of US workers, expanding the mandate to require these firms to offer health insurance clearly has the potential to dramatically increase the number of insured Americans. But any such discussion, the researchers note, should include consideration of how a broadened mandate might affect the growth of these small businesses.

Paper title: “Health Insurance and Relational Contracts in Small American Firms,” under review R&R at Strategic Management Journal

Authors: Ulya Tsolmon, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis; Dan Ariely and Sharon Belenzon, Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business

Link to more research from Olin faculty.


Donald Trump’s election as president initially sent global markets reeling. What might we expect from the markets moving forward? John Horn, senior lecturer in economics at Olin breaks it down.

  • Economic Implications: “The election of Donald Trump will have long-lasting implications for the United States and global economy. The election will be significant economically because his main support came from the middle- and lower-class workers struggling in the face of globalization. Immigration (the wall on the border with Mexico), trade deals (NAFTA and TPP), taxes (across the board, but aimed mostly at the higher income brackets) and health care will all be addressed in the coming months. How these topics get addressed will fundamentally determine whether President-elect Trump can truly make America great again.”
  • Trade: “Most economists agree that trade and globalization have been good from a macro perspective: The size of the overall economic pie has gotten bigger in the U.S. and around the world. The core of Trump’s constituency are those who have not gotten a bigger slice of that pie … which is the downside of trade – not everyone shares equally in the gains. If we cut off trade with the rest of the world and the pie shrinks, how will President-elect Trump ensure that those who got left  from the bigger pie (with trade) end up taking a larger slice from the shrinking pie (without trade)?”
  • John Horn

    John Horn

    Manufacturing: “Manufacturing jobs have been hurt more by productivity gains (automation) than trade – those jobs lost to machines aren’t coming back. Unless there is a massive, large-scale retraining and skills-upgrade program, where will the new jobs come from? Infrastructure investments are good, short-term fixes to create jobs, but they don’t create long-term jobs (i.e., for 10 years or more) for those in the construction trade (unless we continually upgrade our infrastructure). Multiplier effects would help create ancillary jobs, but if the construction goes away, so do those support positions.”

  • Negotiating deals: “If the U.S. kills off NAFTA, and the Mexican economy tanks, how will that help reduce illegal immigration into the U.S.? If the U.S. starts to thrive again, and Mexico shrinks, the pressure on the wall will become immense. Trade deals are as much political as they are economic – the EU and Trans-Pacific Partnership are as much about regional political power as they are about GDP growth. President-elect Trump often had the advantage of negotiating business deals from a position of power. But the U.S. will have a harder time dictating terms to the rest of the world. Incentives matter, and the leaders from other countries are incentivized to help their constituents – and keep their own jobs! Trump might be able to perfectly thread the needle and get better deals, but it’s hard to see how they would fundamentally advantage the U.S. without simultaneously disadvantaging the other countries. It’s hard to envision why another leader would accept that kind of deal.”
  • Tax cuts: “Tax cuts to the wealthiest, including corporate tax cuts, could lead to more jobs, but could just as easily lead to more dividends to shareholders, or to further investments overseas. Economists will never agree 100% on which is more likely to happen… . Mandating what companies do with those tax cuts will be hard to pass Congress, and even harder to implement and enforce if authorized. There is no certainty that the lower and middle class will get pay raises and more jobs just because corporate tax cuts are enacted.”
  • Obamacare: “The Affordable Care Act will not look anything like it does today – but what will replace it? If the lower and middle class get hurt by the repeal, then another plank of Trump’s support will weaken.”
  • Be afraid. Be very afraid: “Ultimately, this is as much a political issue as an economic issue … though they are intricately linked. With the rise of nationalism in Europe with the U.K., Germany and France), with China’s struggles with a slowing economy, and with the collapse of oil revenues in the Middle East, the world is not in a great place to handle major shocks to the system. Trump’s supporters unquestionably have been hurt by globalization trends over the last 30 years. But there are major questions outstanding about how his major policy planks – immigration, trade, taxes and healthcare – will be implemented, how disruptive they will be and ultimately how well they will help that core constituency. If designed perfectly, they may well strengthen the lower and middle class. And a strong U.S. economy should help the global economy – as long as we haven’t cut ourselves off from it. But if the policies don’t help, or if Trump walks back those campaign promises, that dispossessed center will become even more angry with leadership in Washington. And that’s an election that we – and the rest of the world – should all be afraid of.”

Horn was a Senior Expert in the Strategy Practice of McKinsey & Company, based out of the Washington, DC, office, before joining Olin. Prior to joining McKinsey, John assisted major U.S. financial institutions with fair lending compliance as a consultant with Ernst & Young LLP.

From Washington University’s The Source Election 2016