Tag: Alumni

The Brickers are loyal scholarship donors and active members of the WashU alumni community. Craig works in risk management as the head of portfolio management and credit risk review at UBS, and Stephanie is an assistant principal at Sayville High School in Sayville, New York. 

Tell us about yourselves and how you met.

Stephanie double majored in Spanish and Russian studies at Muhlenberg College before coming to WashU for graduate study in Hispanic languages and literature. Craig came to WashU from Laurel, Maryland, to study mechanical engineering and then decided to pursue his interest in business at Olin through the BS/MBA program.

We actually met at the DeMun Laundromat. It was a rainy night, and Stephanie was trying to open the door while holding a basket full of clean laundry. Craig was walking by, opened the door and offered to walk her to her car under his umbrella. Seriously. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary and have twins who are high school seniors.

Since 2016, you have supported two scholarships, one for an Olin student and one for an Art/Sci student. What inspired you to create scholarships at WashU?

We both benefited from scholarships at WashU, such as the Guller Scholarship Craig received when he was admitted to the BS/MBA program. Scholarships made it possible for both of us to attend WashU, which was transformational in our personal development and careers. When we felt able to do so, we wanted to help others have access to what was a game-changing experience for each of us.  

The opportunity to support a named scholarship gave us a way to remember two people who were very important to us. The Olin scholarship we have supported is named for Craig’s father, Thomas Bricker, who was proud to have both of his children graduate from WashU. The Art/Sci scholarship was named for Stephanie’s grandmother, Angelina Sousa, who came to the United States from Sicily as an infant and worked as a seamstress in New York City from a very young age. 

Your family shifted your support to Make Way: Our Student Initiative and created a new centralized undergraduate scholarship. What motivated you to make this change?

Make Way is very much aligned with what we hope to do with our scholarship support—increase access—and so we fully support its objectives. While our scholarships began with specific schools, it is wider access to the overall WashU education and experience that we really want to support. We want the resources to be used where they are most needed, and the centralized scholarship model allows for a more efficient market.

You also serve as WashU ambassadors and have recruited many WashU students. Will you share what these experiences have meant to you?

Our interaction with the students has helped us stay and feel close to WashU. Students at Stephanie’s high school come to her excited about WashU and wanting to learn more about it. Craig spent most of his career at Goldman Sachs, where he enjoyed recruiting WashU students, seeing them develop as professionals, and then give back to WashU with their time and expertise, coaching and recruiting students that follow.

Photo: Craig, Anna, Stephanie and Cole Bricker.

Student entrepreneurs at Startup Connection, hosted by WashU Olin

WashU Olin hosted entrepreneurs from across the region at the 2023 Startup Connection on September 20. The event provides a platform for new business owners to spread the word about their startups and network with one another—and for aspiring entrepreneurs to gain some inspiration and practical knowledge.

Among the nearly 50 startup businesses showcased at the event were many launched by current and recent Olin students.  

One is Tossup, a platform offering a social approach to sports betting. Its four founders are WashU seniors, including two Olin students. Adam Haiken, BSBA 2024, said the team brought Tossup to the event to give it broader exposure. “We’re just launching now, and we wanted to advertise that we’re in beta testing,” he said. Their display included a QR code that attendees could use to access Tossup.

Haiken’s colleague, Max Williams, BA 2024, said the jam-packed event was a great showcase. “We’ve been set up for seven minutes and we’re really busy.”

The Tossup team has already taken their startup through Olin’s Hatchery business plan course and owners are currently participating in The League of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs accelerator class.

At last year’s Startup Connection, Izzy Gorton, BSBA 2025, and Chiara Munzi, BA 2023, had just launched ChiChi, their chickpea-based breakfast alternative. “It was a month into our startup,” Munzi said.

This year, their product is available online and in local grocery stores. “We’re hoping to get more people to learn about it and test new product ideas,” she said.

Like the Tossup owners, Munzi and Gorton have benefited from their connections to Olin and to the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We’ve worked with them a lot,” Munzi said.

The Startup Connection is part of STL Startup Week, a series of events to promote and encourage St. Louis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Photo: Adam Haiken, center, BSBA 2024, talks to attendees at the 2023 Startup Connection about Tossup, a platform that offers a social approach to sports betting.

WashU Olin held its first Leadership Perspectives event of the new academic year on September 6. “Now what?” revisited two stories from WashU Olin’s On Principle podcast—one from a military general, the other from a talented junior executive.

Both of their stories converge on the ideas of belonging, well-being and presenting our full selves to others in the workplace. And both stories speak to the way good leaders create a culture that leads to better outcomes and productivity.

Watch the video here.

From left, Kurt Greenbaum, Olin communications director and event moderator, Kendra Kelly, MBA 2021 and marketing director at Lancome, L'Oreal, US Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan and Hannah Birnbaum, assistant professor of organizational behavior.
From left, Kurt Greenbaum, Olin communications director and event moderator; Kendra Kelly, MBA 2021 and marketing director at Lancome, L’Oreal; US Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan; and Hannah Birnbaum, assistant professor of organizational behavior.

C-Suite Spotlight has named Curtis Wilgosh, Olin MBA 2006, one of the Top 100 consultants of 2022.

Wilgosh is a management consultant based in Chicago. He’s a director with PwC, a leading professional services firm in 156 countries with more than 295,000 employees.

“These professionals flourish in the face of disruption and are quick with their strategic problem solving expertise,” the announcement said.

“As economic uncertainty surges, this year’s awardees are heavily relied upon to provide advice and direction to the companies and industries they serve. They are intuitive, skilled communicators with the ability to listen and evaluate the myriad of considerations when making big complex decisions.”

Wilgosh is a leader within PwC’s cloud & digital practice who guides Fortune 500 clients through complex business transformations. He digitizes their financials, supply chain, planning and budgeting, customer relationship management and human capital functions. 

He serves on the Olin Advisory Board, the Dartmouth Hockey Alumni Advisory Board and the Oracle Cloud Planning & Manufacturing Field Advisory Board.

“My Olin MBA helped shape how I think about problems and opportunities,” Wilgosh told the Olin Blog.

“I continue to lean on Olin’s values-based, data-driven learnings, which cultivated a global-mindedness, coupled with experiential learning, analytical rigor and an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Olin prepared him to lead large, diverse teams, he said. “It’s more than just a myopic focus on improving the bottom line. Its about driving sustainable outcomes that adhere to our values.”

In addition to his MBA, Wilgosh graduated from Dartmouth College with an undergraduate degree in environmental studies.

Considering a career change? Olin Business School is excited to once again offer our free comprehensive Virtual Career Boot Camp this fall to assist working professionals and alums with navigating career opportunities and transitions. 

This bi-weekly, seven-session series is designed to enhance fundamental career development and transition skills. Course leaders will provide content at each session. In addition, the sessions will be interactive and provide an opportunity for participants to share and ask questions, as well as get connected with other EMBAs, PMBAs, OMBAs and Olin alums. 

You can sign up for the entire series or for individual sessions, depending on your interest.  

September 20 through December 13

The series runs every other Wednesday at 6-7:30 p.m. from September 20 through December 13.  When you register, you will be able to select the sessions you plan to attend. If you plan to attend the entire series, select all sessions. 

September 20: Taking Charge of Your Career—Learn to set career priorities and objectives, the importance of a positive mindset and using a strategic approach.

October 4: Defining Your Personal Brand—Know who you are, your value proposition and how to differentiate yourself.

October 18: Communicating Your Brand—Create effective marketing messages and materials including your resume, networking documents and other visuals.

November 1: Leveraging LinkedIn—Learn how to use the power of social media, particularly LinkedIn, in communicating your brand. Learn how to be found by recruiters and hiring managers, improve your profile, expand your network and apply for open positions. 

November 15: Building Your Professional Network—Learn how to use the power of networking to enhance your career transition efforts and create strategies and approaches to build and expand your relationships over time.

November 29: Acing the Interview—Prepare for and excel at job interviews, improving your chances of getting an offer. 

December 13: Negotiating the Offer—Negotiate an offer that works for you and is consistent with your value, ultimately improving your compensation over your career.

Register here: Overview ⋮ Virtual Career Boot Camp – Fall 2023 ⋮ Blackthorn ⋮ Events (wustl.edu)

Cost: FREE

Olin Career Coaches Mary Houlihan, Don Halpin and Anne Petersen will lead the sessions.

To maintain the confidentiality of attendees, the sessions will not be recorded. PowerPoint slides will be available after each session. 

Please contact maryhoulihan@wustl.edu with questions.