Tag: Alumni

Part of a series of Q&As with Olin BSBA alumni. Today we hear from Andrew Glantz, BSBA ’17. Andrew founded GiftAMeal, a company that developed a mobile app that helps restaurants reach new audiences while empowering users to feed someone in need.

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

I am working on growing a startup I founded while I was a student at WashU called GiftAMeal. GiftAMeal is a mobile app that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo at a partner restaurant.

Restaurants pay a monthly subscription to be on the app for marketing, and then we cover all the costs of donations to local food banks to feed the hungry. My Olin education has massively assisted GiftAMeal’s growth. From entrepreneurship courses like The Hatchery to marketing to negotiations to organizational behavior, I constantly pull from knowledge learned in Olin.

Additionally, the professors have been amazing advisors of mine, and we have actually been able to run some marketing experiments on GiftAMeal led by WashU professors to get their expert analysis!

In addition to the valuable course content and professors, my fellow classmates were majorly impactful. Olin has so many smart, driven students that are also incredibly unique. From conversations in the dorms, over lunch, or in the BSBA lounge, I was constantly learning from my peers and seeking their feedback.

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

The course that influenced me the most was organizational behavior. I bounced around from finance to economics and strategy. After taking OB 360, I realized my passion laid at the intersection of business and psychology.

Learning how people and organizations operate fascinated me and directed how I formed my team, negotiated contracts, built sales pitches, secured investment and built sustainable practices for my business.

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

I stay engaged with Olin in a variety of ways. I serve as an associate member of the Alumni Board of Governors, a member of the Olin LEAD Committee, and as a member of the Skandalaris Center Eliot Society Committee.

I also occasionally guest lecture at WashU, hire WashU interns, conduct research with WashU professors, work with students who do class projects on GiftAMeal and mentor WashU student entrepreneurs. I stay in touch with my friends who graduated alongside me through Facebook, LinkedIn, phone calls, texts and occasional visits to one another.

Why is business education important?

Business education is crucial to build a solid foundation for how to think through problem solving and the fundamental components of what is needed for an organization to succeed.

Regardless of the organization, knowledge of finance, accounting, marketing, organizational behavior and strategy is just so necessary in order to make yourself a value add and to be able to see the bigger picture.

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

Looking back, I would advise Olin students to write down a few key takeaways at the end of each semester that they had about each of their courses. Then, when you have graduated, you can occasionally look back to remind yourself of those learnings and have them act as sparks to help you remember important things you learned in your courses.

I would also say to enjoy college, balance having fun and academics and get involved doing something you are passionate about. Olin presents so many opportunities for students, and this is the time to experiment and learn what you like and don’t like and find out who you want to be as a person in your future career.

Commencement season is upon us, and we couldn’t be more proud of the class of 2019. Whether you’re finishing your BSBA, your master’s or your doctorate, we have plenty of reasons – and opportunities – to celebrate you. Here’s the rundown on your Olin graduation ceremonies.


The 158th annual WashU May Commencement Ceremony takes place Friday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Brookings Quadrangle. Learn more.

BSBA Recognition Ceremony: Friday, May 17, 11:30 a.m. at the Field House, Athletic Complex. If you’re attending, get the details on arrival, seating, the ceremony and more.

Can’t make it? Watch via livestream on the Olin graduation website or our Facebook page.


The 158th annual WashU May Commencement Ceremony takes place Friday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Brookings Quadrangle. Learn more.

Graduate Programs Recognition Ceremony: Friday, May 17, 3:00 p.m. at the Field House, Athletic Complex. If you’re attending, get the details on arrival, seating, the ceremony and more.

Can’t make it? Watch via livestream on the Olin graduation website or our Facebook page.

Other recognition ceremonies

All week, WashU will hold ceremonies to recognize and honor various populations – from members of our military to cultural recognition to students with children and families. See the full list.

For faculty

Graduation isn’t just for the students – it’s a celebration and an honor for our faculty members, too. Faculty information can be found on our graduation website (password protected).

Did we answer your question?

If not – check out our graduation website for more information, or for WashU questions, contact commencement@wustl.edu.

Part of a series of Q&As with Olin alumni. Today we hear from Brooke Hofer, BSBA ’16.

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

I started my career in the campus sales program on the beverage side of PepsiCo after doing a summer internship with them, but around a year ago, I left to work for Waste Management. My current role is as pricing analyst for the Illinois Missouri Valley Market Area.

I am the disposal pricing lead, so the vast majority of my time is spent analyzing the current state of our pricing strategies for third-party customers who use our Waste Management-owned landfills and working with the industrial account managers to make sure new business is being sold at a profitable rate.

It is crucial for me to understand the market rates and the competitive environment so that not only do we remain profitable, but also competitive. Although the waste industry may not be the most glamorous (especially coming from somewhere like Pepsi), it has proven to be multi-faceted, ever-evolving and extremely competitive.

I graduated from Olin with degrees in Finance and Marketing, with the sole intention of going down a Sales or Marketing career path. When I was ready to make a career change, the finance courses that I took at Olin allowed me to have the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and take on a new role that was much more financial and analytically focused.

I have seen many courses that I took at Olin come to life at both Pepsi and Waste Management and that can be attributed to Olin’s emphasis on real-life examples and case studies that not only allowed us to better learn and understand the material, but also implement it in our work post-graduation.

After graduating from Olin, I felt that the classes I took, the projects I worked on and the interactions that I had with peers and professors had fully prepared me for a career in the business world, whether it was on the sales/marketing trajectory or something entirely different.

What Olin course, “defining moment” or faculty influenced your life most, and why?

Hunter Wasser (’17 Olin Grad), Kenzie James (teammate on WashU softball), myself and Mitch McMahon

Without the Woods Scholars program, I would not have been able to attend WashU or Olin and for that I am forever grateful for the Woods family for making that possible.

From the moment I stepped on campus for scholarship weekend my senior year of high school and was greeted by Paige LaRose and Dean (Steve) Malter, I knew Olin would be the best place to prepare me for a career in the business world and life post-college.

Paige ended up becoming an incredible mentor for me, guiding me through my four years on campus and even beyond when I needed help with a job search, and the Woods Scholar Program connected me to students, faculty and others I would not have otherwise had the pleasure of knowing.

Being a part of this program enhanced my time at Olin greatly and the education that it provided me continues to be a constant influence in my career and life.

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

My 4 roommates from WashU – Emily Erani (Olin 16′), Claire Garpestad, Breanna Valcarel, myself and Hannah Towle (Olin ’16)

A lot of my friends, and even softball teammates, were Olin graduates as well and the best part of WashU is that it brings people together from all walks of life, so now I have friends to visit all over the country! Whether it’s just a weekend trip or a wedding with a lot of us in attendance, it’s great to stay in touch with everyone that played such a big role in my life for my four years on campus.

Throughout the job search about a year ago, I realized how beneficial it was to know someone that worked for the companies that I was looking at or even in the same industry, so I definitely plan on making sure to continue utilizing all of the connections that I made at Olin and WashU in general.

Why is business education important?

Amanda Kalupa (Olin ’16), myself and Annie Pitkin | 2016 WashU softball graduating class

In my opinion, the most beneficial part of the business education, specifically one from Olin, is that I graduated feeling like I had a well-rounded understanding of the business world and its various functions. Although I focused on Marketing and Finance, I still was able to understand the basics behind Accounting, Operations, etc. because of the courses that a business education allowed me to take.

With this basic understanding of all different facets of a business, I feel comfortable taking on new roles or new industries throughout my career. In addition to the courses that we took, the group projects and presentations absolutely prepare you for projects, meetings and presentations that will happen often, if not weekly, throughout your career.

Olin group projects put us in great positions to learn how to work with others that may think differently than you and that’s exactly what happens in the office every single day.

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

My parents, siblings and I in Sedona, AZ | January 2019

Although Olin does require that certain beginner courses be taken in various fields of business, I would definitely recommend branching out and taking other courses at Olin that may not fall directly in line with what your career path will be or may not be required; these could end up supplementing your career very well.

When I was at Olin, I had only envisioned myself in a sales or marketing role, so I focused heavily on those types of courses, but now that my career path has taken a turn, I am glad that I took other courses in accounting, organizational behavior, etc.

Use the career center, job fairs and Meet the Firms! Now having been a part of the other side of recruiting, I have come to understand the importance of meeting applicants face to face before the interview process and the power of first impressions.

Often times we (as recruiters) made up our minds about candidates on the spot at the job fairs, so make sure to use the opportunities that Olin affords you (even though they can sometimes be nerve-racking) as a way to make a great first impression to potential employers.

Pictured above: Brooke Hofer with Mitch McMahon. A 2016 Olin Grad and fellow Woods Scholar.

Lise Shipley, EMBA

For nearly two years, Lise Shipley and Darcy Cunningham have worked together, shared stories, absorbed advice and enjoyed sports. Shipley, EMBA ’93, is a scholarship donor. Cunningham, BSBA ’19, is the recipient of Shipley’s scholarship.

“It’s all about the opportunities I’ve been able to have here at Washington University,” Cunningham said. “I would not have been able to come to WashU without Lise’s generosity.”

As she winds down her undergraduate life and prepares to launch her career as a commercial underwriter at Liberty Mutual in Chicago, Cunningham easily expresses her gratitude for the advice and the role model Shipley has provided since they became acquainted two years ago.

Shipley—a pioneer during the mid-1990s in developing and marketing internet and WiFi networks and services to businesses and consumers during a long career with AT&T—is now a partner in a women-led angel investing firm called Next Wave Ventures and consults with small business startups.

Cunningham—a star on WashU’s women’s soccer team with an NCAA championship under her belt—is the sixth recipient of the Lise Shipley Scholarship since Shipley started funding it in 2005. While her family funds scholarships at several institutions, Shipley finds WashU Olin’s approach to be unique—and the most rewarding.

“Olin makes such a great effort to introduce the awardee with the donor,” she said. “The Scholars in Business event is one of my favorites. Not only do I get to meet my recipient, but I get to meet other students. The real game changer is that you follow the recipients for two, maybe three years. You get a longer time to develop a relationship with the students.”

She’s been able to tell her story, explaining how she decided to get an MBA when she was well into her career, counseling women about managing their careers and providing advice about bringing balance into their lives and careers.

“She’s told me a lot about her career. I’ve been fascinated by the way she has taken ahold of her life—traveling, working with women in business,” Cunningham said. “It was cool to hear how once you have proved yourself, you have a lot of options to make an impact, to keep in touch with your passion.”

Eric Osman, BSBA 2013

Part of a series of Q&As with Olin BSBA alumni. Today we hear from Eric Osman, BSBA ’13. Eric recently left his marketing role at Harry’s to start his own company: Mockingbird, a direct-to-consumer baby gear company.

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

I’ve recently started a business called Mockingbird, so in my role as founder and CEO, I’m doing a mix of fundraising, hiring, managing, marketing, product development … a little bit of everything! Olin definitely impacted my career by helping me explore a diverse curriculum that gave me an understanding of all the different parts of the business world.

That helped me focus on what was most interesting for me to pursue. But also, having an appreciation for all the other facets of business, even if they’re not directly tied into your job’s function, is so valuable. It helps you interact with other teams better, have more empathy for the other roles at your company and ultimately be more effective.

And particularly in the position I’m in now, it’s vital that I at least have some basic comprehension of every function—from supply chain to marketing to accounting to economics.

What Olin course, “defining moment” or faculty influenced your life most, and why?

The course I remember most is probably the Hatchery. In general, I thought the entrepreneurship classes were so fascinating, applicable and tangible, and always loved the emphasis Olin and Skandalaris placed on providing students with opportunities to experience and appreciate entrepreneurship.

The Hatchery was one of the coolest manifestations of that, since we literally got to go through the full process of starting a company, from business plan all the way into execution (and our team’s leader actually continued running that business after graduating).

That experience highlighted for me that some elements of the process are exactly like you learned in class, but some require a totally separate application of knowledge, creativity and grit.

And I’ve taken that with me into my career—the idea that, while a lot of what you learn at any given time may at some point be directly applicable, the actual process of learning and being forced to overcome real roadblocks is the most beneficial thing of all. Because being able to apply that process and that fortitude to each set of challenges you face is a lifetime skill.

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

Some of my Olin classmates are still some of my best friends and I see them very regularly. It’s always great to hear where their careers have taken them, some to startups, some to banks, some to graduate schools, some to art. There’s a bond of those who went through Olin, and a desire to help each other out in a really genuine way—and that’s fantastic.

In fact, as I got my startup off the ground, I reached out to a fellow alum who helped us garner some of our first press coverage and another alum who let us work out of her company’s office for a while.

I think we all want each other to succeed, and there’s a real excitement watching and helping other fellow Olin grads in their careers.

Why is business education important?

No matter what field you go into, a business education is incredibly valuable. The skills and knowledge inherent to operating within the business world are so universally applicable in so many industries and job functions (and even personal life).

For instance, I remember doing a unit on negotiation in an Olin class I took. I don’t think anyone would argue that a business’s conference room is the only place negotiation happens. And imagine you want to be an artist. I’d have to believe that any artist who understands the market dynamics of how their art will be commissioned, auctioned, valued, etc. will ultimately be more successful.

In general, businesses are just about bringing valuable ideas into the marketplace and continually trying to make them more valuable. So the best business classes just teach you how to think about improving something—whether that’s improving a supply chain, improving a company’s marketing messaging, or improving the product itself.

That mindset is something you can truly apply to everything, both inside and outside the ‘traditional’ business world.

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

Try to maintain perspective on why you’re there, what you’re learning and how it will be applicable afterward. Know that the process of what you’re doing there is even more important than the functional material you’re being taught, so take the process seriously.

Push yourself and your professor to parlay the course material into real life situations, making sure you understand why it’s important, and how seemingly clean formulas and made-up scenarios might get messier and tougher when personalities and unpredictability and imperfection are very much in play.

And overall, relish in the fact that Olin creates an environment that encourages relationships over competition. The ability to collaborate well with others, not just how to “make do,” but to truly find ways to make a team more effective than the sum if its parts—that’s immensely important later on, so do your best to start flexing that muscle early and often.