Tag: Alumni



As part of their Best & Brightest nomination process, Poets & Quants asked students: “If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?”

Olin’s Markey Culver advocates for the minority of women in most business schools where most of the case studies focus on companies managed by men when she said she would “push for more cases and discussions that address international and female-focused topics.”

Other students called for more international experience.  “A Georgia Tech grad would tackle the issue by purchasing an airline ticket voucher, good for one international trip, for every student.”

What would you do if you were Dean for a Day?

Link to Poets & Quants story.

CATEGORY: Student Life



Picking a favorite professor is a tough assignment at Olin, but Poets & Quants dared to ask members of their Best & Brightest MBA list. Markey Culver, MBA’17, named John Horn, Senior Lecturer in Economics. Horn has a track record as an outstanding teacher and favorite prof – he’s received the school’s Reid Teaching Award five times from graduating classes since 2014. Students select recipients of the Reid Award that honors a teacher  “whose enthusiasm and exceptional teaching most inspire, energize, and transform.”

Here’s why Markey named Horn in the Poets & Quants survey:

Like business leaders, MBA professors are often the extensions of the cultures they work so hard to mold and maintain. Make no mistake: They aren’t teaching to enjoy those clichéd 9-to-5 clock outs with summers off. Washington University’s John Horn, for example, served as an unofficial board member for Markey Culver’s startup, helping her after hours with drafting strategic plans, refining the business model, and preparing to scale the operation.

John Horn

Horn was a Senior Expert in the Strategy Practice of McKinsey & Company, based out of the Washington, DC, office, before joining Olin. During nearly a decade, he worked with clients on competitive strategy, war gaming workshops and corporate and business unit strategy across a variety of industries and geographies.

He was also an adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining McKinsey, John assisted major U.S. financial institutions with fair lending compliance as a consultant with Ernst & Young LLP. He also worked as an economic consultant with The Brattle Group, specializing in economic expert testimony in litigation support, including anti-trust and patent infringement cases.

Horn holds the following degrees:

PhD 1998, Harvard University
MA 1994, Harvard University
BA 1991, University of Michigan

 

 

 

 


Jerry Kent is a recognized entrepreneur and trailblazer in the telecommunications and technology industries with an outstanding track record for customer service and delivering superior returns for investors. Prior to assuming the role of TierPoint’s CEO, he served as its chairman. He also serves as CEO of Cequel III, which he co-founded in January 2002.

Cequel III is a technology management company. Previously, the Cequel III team built AAT Communications into the largest privately owned cell tower company in the United States before selling that enterprise in 2006. Cequel III and Jerry also managed Suddenlink Communications, building it into the seventh largest U.S. cable company with operating results among the best in its industry before it was sold to Altice Group in 2015 for an enterprise value of $9.1 billion.

Jerry began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen in 1979, and in 1983 left to head up acquisitions and finance for an upstart cable company, Cencom Cable Associates, Inc. He later became CFO of Cencom, which grew by acquisition and eventually served 550,000 customers in the U.S. before it was sold in 1991.

Jerry and Judy Kent sponsor the Kent Scholarship Fund which currently provides partial-to-full tuition scholarships for 18 BSBA students.
©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

After serving a year with Cencom’s acquirer, Jerry left and co-founded Charter Communications, Inc., in January 1993. He led Charter to become one of the 10 largest cable operators in the U.S., serving 1.3 million customers. In 1998, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen acquired Charter, providing substantial rewards for Charter’s private investors. Jerry continued as President and CEO, growing Charter to serve more than 7 million customers and making it the nation’s fourth largest cable company at the time. The company went public in November 1999, in what was then the third-largest IPO in U.S. history. Charter consistently led the industry in superior operating results and from the IPO date until September 2001, the month Jerry left, Charter’s was the best performing public cable stock.

A native of the St. Louis metropolitan area, Jerry is very active in the community, serving on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for his alma mater, Washington University, and on the Olin National Council from which he earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA. He is Vice Chairman of The Magic House/St. Louis Children’s Museum Board. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Zoo and Chairman of the St. Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict Commission.

Source: Cequel III




“When I found out that our offices were literally across the street from each other,” Amanda Signorelli, BSBA’13, said, “we had to meet.” The newly named CEO of Chicago-based TechWeek, a conference and media company focused on building startup communities, couldn’t wait to meet Rick Weisberg, BSBA’81. After all, he had made it possible for her to graduate from Washington University.

Signorelli had just been named one of the Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by CIO.com and was preparing to share her success story at the Scholars in Business dinner last fall. Meeting Weisberg would provide an important piece of the story from her undergrad days.

During her sophomore year, Signorelli learned that her family was in financial straits and could not afford to pay for college; she would have to drop out of WashU. “It was terrifying,” Signorelli recalls. The prospect of leaving the school she had worked so hard to attend, and where she was happily pursuing interests in languages and entrepreneurship, was devastating.

Signorelli was unaware of the Scholars in Business Program and the generations of students, like her, that it has helped since 1979. She was overwhelmed when she learned that she qualified for a scholarship and would be able to stay in college and earn her degree at WashU. “It was amazing to see how connected the Olin network was, to sense I needed help, and they were there,” she said.

Signorelli was a recipient of the Lawrence Krulik Memorial Scholarship created in 1991 by Rick and Sheryl (BA’81) Weisberg in honor of her father. More than 25 students have benefited from the fund. Each year, the Weisbergs have received notes of appreciation and thanks from grateful Olin students, but until this past year, the Weisbergs had never actually met one of their scholarship students in person.

At their first meeting in a Chicago coffee shop, Signorelli told Rick Weisberg, “I don’t think you have a sense of just how important this scholarship was for me.” Amanda remembers the meeting as, “Very surreal. It was a really special moment for me.”

Amanda Signorelli and Rick Weisberg chat during video shoot for Scholars in Business Dinner.

The feeling was mutual for Weisberg. “Frankly it really hit me in a very, very positive way. I was very touched that she reached out to me. I never really fully understood the impact that the scholarship had made on her and others who received it because I never saw the outcome.”

Weisberg is quick to add that he takes no credit for Amanda’s success. “If I helped her on her path that’s one thing, but you know it’s up to the individual to find their path and be successful at it.” Weisberg found his path and passion in finance while at Olin. He says he will never forget the support and encouragement he received from Dean Bob Virgil when applying to graduate school at New York University. “Dean Virgil set up an interview for me with the dean of NYU’s business school. Thanks to that conversation, I was accepted into the MBA program right out of WashU and it changed my life.”

On Giving

“I’ve been involved in a lot of organizations, whether it’s been in in the theater, religious, or otherwise, but I have not found a better organization than Washington University both in terms of the purpose of donations and in terms of the operational side of the equation. The attention to detail in terms of the care that you feel from the university prior to the contribution, during the contribution, and after, it seems seamless and effortless and actually makes it a very pleasurable experience, and it’s just a great place to be a part of.”   – Rick Weisberg

After 26 successful years with Goldman Sachs, Weisberg continues to work as a private investor. He has remained connected to WashU through the Eliot Society and the regional cabinet in Chicago where the Weisbergs have lived since 1988. Meeting Amanda, Weisberg admits was a learning experience. “It has re-motivated me in a very positive way to re-think my philanthropic process. When you give to a large organization you know you’re doing something good, but you never directly see the outcome. In the case of the scholarship program, you know there is a proportionate and direct impact from what you provide.”

Amanda Signorelli will never forget the impact that the Weisberg’s generous gift had on her life. And now that she has connected with the fellow alumnus and donor who made it possible, she realizes she is a part of the Olin network that will be there to support the next generation of students with time, money, mentoring, and friendship.

Link to Entrepreneur’s Business Rockstars video with Amanda Signorelli.

Link to 2016 Scholars in Business Dinner video featuring Bob Virgil and Amanda Signorelli.

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life



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