Tag: Alumni

Albert Ip, board of trustee member and executive fellow in Asia; Greg Hutchings of the Weston Career Center; Roger Shi, Mack Yang, Wendy Cai, Ethan Xu, Sarah Liu.

Written by Carl Chen, MSFQ 2018, on behalf of Weston Career Center.

For finance students, asset management firms in Hong Kong typically won’t hire new graduates. Instead, they prefer experienced professionals on their teams. Meanwhile, in the United States, asset management firms provide plenty of job opportunity for newly graduated students.

These are a few of the insights Olin master of finance students received recently during a visit to the Weston Career Center by Albert Y.K. Ip, BS ’73, WashU board of trustees member and dedicated alumnus.

Students also learned during Albert’s visit that in Hong Kong, sell-side firms have a more prominent presence compared to their counterparts in the United States. For students who wish to start a finance career in Hong Kong, sell-side firms might be a better choice.

Albert’s visit was welcome after I had met him for the first time on January 8 during the Hong Kong Wealth and Asset Management Career Trek.

Students with Albert Ip at a happy hour event during their January career trek visit to Hong Kong.

Students with Albert Ip at a happy hour event during
their January career trek visit to Hong Kong.

He showed great passion for helping young students and investing in us, and he gladly accepted our invitation to meet with us again on campus two months after we first met.

Albert is an experienced veteran in financial services. He has worked for banks both in the United States and Hong Kong in a variety of functions, including investment banking, corporate banking, real estate financing, and asset management. After retiring from Citibank, he took up even more responsibilities, both in the corporate world and in higher education.

He is CEO of a Hong Kong’s Langham Hospitality Investments Limited and serves on the boards of six other companies while contributing a large amount of his time at several universities in Hong Kong.

‘Mentor and Good Friend’

As a member of WashU’s Board of Trustees and the executive fellow in Asia of Washington University, he has always hoped to dedicate more of his time and efforts to help students at Washington University with his knowledge and global network. His generosity and dedication are recognized by the school by naming a classroom, the Ip Classroom, in Simon Hall after him.

I feel connected with him because he understands our positions and the challenges we are facing as students. “He is a great mentor and a good friend. It’s truly been a pleasure talking to him,” one student said after the meeting. “He is very sincere and humble, and really puts himself in our shoes.”

Albert is also enthusiastic about building more connections between alumni in Asia/Greater China and students on campus. As one of the fastest growing markets in the world, Greater China region is attractive to many students at Olin, and we need alumni who are very successful in that region to help lead the way.

Being a council member and adjunct professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which has one of the best business school in Asia, Albert knows what it takes to make a great business school. He believes having an excellent career office holds great significance for Olin. He also wishes to help the school have a global presence by helping students seek a career in Hong Kong.

Giving back is really a big part of Albert’s life.

“I can help six or seven students at a time, and spend about 10 hours a week,” he said, laughing. “I just need to spend my Fridays or maybe weekends with students instead of my family.”

I feel very grateful people like Albert are making Olin such a tightly-knit community and for his willingness to share his success with the schools and students.

Pictured above: Albert Ip, WashU trustee member and executive fellow in Asia; Greg Hutchings, Weston Career Center; Roger Shi, Mack Yang, Wendy Cai, Ethan Xu, Sarah Liu.

She Suite, International Women
She Suite, International Women's Day, March 8, 2018

She Suite, International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018

For International Women’s Day on March 8, the Executive MBA Leadership Series at Olin featured the “She Suite,” a panel of six women WashU EMBA graduates who have risen to the top of their organizations. For 60 minutes, these women answered questions about how their organizations work toward gender parity, how they dealt with challenges, and how they explain their successes.

On Risk Taking: “Your greatest achievements are out of your comfort zone”

Andrea Faccio, chief marketing officer at Nestle Purina North America, has risen to the top at Nestle and has worked in four different countries, but was most challenged by a manager at Nestle who asked her to take a role in an area in which she didn’t consider herself an expert.

“He offered me a job developing a strategy on nutrition. I looked at him and said, ‘I am NOT a nutritionist.’ He said, this is what I want. I want someone that can work with other people. I took the job and now I think it was my greatest achievement in part because since I wasn’t an expert, I had to ask people for help. If somebody offers you something that you’re not sure about, trust that they see something in you and that you can do it,” she said.

On Breaking the Rules: Nevertheless, she persisted

When Linda Haberstoh, president of Phoenix Textile Corporation, was considering the EMBA Program at Olin, she wasn’t sure it would help her because Phoenix is a small, family-owned business. She ultimately did it because, as she says, “I felt about an inch wide and a mile deep,” and credits the program with a wide range of her personal and business growth.

Joyce Trimuel, chief operations officer and chief diversity officer at CNA Insurance, asked for support from her leadership at a previous company to do the EMBA, and was told, “You don’t need an MBA to be successful here.”

Nevertheless, she persisted.

“This was so important to me, that I did it anyway. I was self-sponsored and used my vacation days for class, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. However, my brand took a hit. I was no longer the rule follower, I was the person who doesn’t listen,” Trimuel said. “So, what I ended up doing was working extra hard. I had to make sure that I didn’t compromise my team, or make any miss-steps. For the time that I was in school, I had my best performance at that company.”

On Setbacks: “I was willing to take a short-term hit to reach my long-term goal”

Trimuel acknowledges that her insistence on pursuing the EMBA resulted in a hit to her personal brand at that company. “The EMBA helped me become a better leader, but in terms of managing my personal relationships, I had ruined some and worked hard to repair them,” she said. “Sometimes you take a short-term setback in order to have long-term success and I was willing to do that.”

Rebecca Boyer, chief financial officer at KelliMitchell Group, made a choice to take a step back professionally for what looked like a better opportunity long term. Boyer found success very early as a financial professional, taking a controller position in her early 20s. She describes always telling people she was 30 in those days in order to avoid inevitable questioning of her authority for one so young.

“My next job, I took a role as senior accountant, but my gut told me it was a better opportunity,” Boyer said. “Ultimately, the opportunity included helping start four companies and shutting down a 75-year-old company. It was the right choice.”

On Diversity and Inclusion in Business: “Lead with the data”

As chief diversity officer at CNA, Trimuel spends a lot of time working on the problem of inclusion. She says you have to show leadership what is in it for them.

“There is so much data out there that can substantiate that companies that are very intentional about diversity and inclusion will outperform companies that take a more passive approach. Even if they don’t believe it’s just the right thing to do, numbers and data don’t lie. It’s going to help with the bottom line, it’s going to help with retention, it’s going to help with attracting new talent to your organization, and if you build that business case for it, people are much more likely to get on the bus, and for it to be a more sustainable culture shift for your organization.”

On Culture: “The values of the organization matter”

After a long, successful career at Ameren, Mary Heger, chief information officer, looks back and understands why she is still there.

“I think about my career, I was not one who had a goal from the get-go, grand plan. I started work, I found positions that I loved, and I gave it my all in terms of learning the business,” Heger said. “I looked for opportunities for education and opportunities to prepare myself for the next step, I was willing to take the risk of working in an area that I wasn’t familiar with—it’s what we all have to do to get that experience. I worked at an amazing company whose values lined up with mine that I think is absolutely critical.”

On Gender Differences in Business: “Don’t cry until you get to the elevator”

Linda Haberstroh has a unique perspective on the textile industry, which is still a very male dominated industry. Phoenix Textiles is an anomaly, and has been since it was founded by her mother in 1983. She is pleased to report that the business they do now with mills in India and Pakistan involves many women-led companies and that it’s exciting to see women stepping up globally.

“My mom is the founder, our fiduciary board is a majority of women, my fellow shareholders of our privately held family business are my sisters. Our executive leadership team is 50/50, and our joke is we are looking for a few good men so we can have gender parity,” she said. “When my mom was trying to get the mills to open up, she would go down to New York every week and try to get them to talk to her, and she would hear ‘no’ every week. Every week she would go back. Every time, they would tell her no she would always say to herself, ‘Don’t cry until you get to the elevator, don’t cry until you get to the elevator.’ Finally after the first company went with us and we were able to get that crack, and a place in the marketplace, we were on our way.”

A standing-room-only crowd showed up for Olin’s event celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018. The event featured six top woman executives at leading companies who shared their insights.

The speakers—all of them graduates of Olin’s Executive MBA program—were: Rebecca Boyer, chief financial officer, KellyMitchell Group; Andrea Faccio, chief marketing officer, Nestle Purina North America; Linda Haberstroh, president, Phoenix Textile Corporation; Mary Heger, senior vice president and chief information officer, Ameren Services Company; Deborah Slagle, senior vice president, Biologics Technology Cluster, MilliporeSigma; and Joyce Trimuel, chief diversity officer, CNA Insurance.

We’ll have a more detailed post about some of the takeaways tomorrow, but here’s a peek at some of the reaction, scenes from the event, and Twitter buzz right now.

Written for the Olin Blog on behalf of Bear Studios by Lexi Jackson, BSBA’20.

Young professionals today are far less likely to be drawn to monetary incentives than past generations. As PwC finds, millennials are driven by feedback, fulfillment, and the potential to create impact. They desire to make a difference in their work and reach high levels of social impact.

As I consider my own career ambitions, I find that they align most closely with this idea. I want to use my career as another platform to affect change and create my livelihood from difference-making.

The hardest question to answer is, where do I begin?

In order to begin a journey toward high impact, an individual has to have a healthy degree of impatience. That is to say, the most impactful individuals do not wait until they are at the most ideal state in their lives to make an impact. They act immediately with the resources they have at the time. Most individuals will never feel fully ready or equipped to believe they have the capacity to make real impact, and, therefore, often do not act.

Don’t Wait to Act

What we forget is that our actions are only as strong as our passions, and our passions cannot be cultivated by resources or opportunity—they exist in us inherently. Those who have the passion to create change are those who know that change can’t wait. And neither can their action.

Perhaps this is why I decided to create Olin Business School’s first Diversity and Inclusion Summit on February 9. I recognized a need within the community for dialogue and action on this topic, and while I didn’t have the personal resources to materialize my passion, I knew that by seeking the proper partners, the event could come to fruition. All it took was my decision to begin action.

Lexi Jackson

My team and I planned the Summit for more than five months. We booked speakers from over seven companies and organizations including Uber, Facebook, US Bank, Build-A-Bear, and more. We sought financial assistance of more than five different student organizations before finding success from our central sponsor, the BSBA office. We overcame challenges, celebrated unexpected opportunities, and crafted an event that attracted more than 80 students, faculty, and community members.

At its inception, the summit appeared to be an impossible undertaking. We did not have the resources, brand, or experience to execute a half-day event. However, if we had waited until we felt completely assured of our ability to succeed, we would likely have never succeeded altogether.

Action Leads to Fulfillment

Young professionals must act with the same diligence if they desire to find fulfillment in every stage of their career. I hear all too often that my peers are accepting jobs that do not fully excite them, simply to serve as an intermediary between now and their dream career. However, that does not have to be the case. High impact jobs can be found at every point on the career track and include jobs that are both meaningful AND lucrative. A high-impact job does not have to mean working at a nonprofit or earning lower wages in the pursuit of a greater good.

This understanding is the exact mission of the organization 80,000 Hours. 80,000 Hours was created by two Oxford researchers and philosophers who found that this generation is driven by high impact through a career, but will too often forfeit these positions of change in fear of financial stability.

Therefore, 80,000 Hours serves as a job search platform where users can find positions that produce high levels of social impact without breaking the bank. The jobs are sorted into a plethora of categories and are designed to teach users about the breadth of social impact. For example, with artificial intelligence positioned at the threshold to the future, there is perhaps no higher impact job that one can hold than to research and understand both its dangers and benefits. In this way, users are able to find surprisingly impactful positions that fulfill their interests and leverage their expertise.

As a member of Bear Studios, a student-run strategy firm and LLC, I actively use the resources and knowledge that I can contribute at the time to add value to our clients’ projects. I may not have all the answers, but that does not mean I should not leverage what I do know to make the biggest impact that I can.

When we begin to measure social impact in a different way, we find ourselves more equipped to act. We find ourselves more fulfilled, more involved, more empowered. We find ourselves making a difference. Most importantly, we find ourselves refusing to wait. And that, is where the change happens.

Pictured above: Charlyn Moss (BSBA’20), Lexi Jackson (BSBA’20), Sema Dibooglu (BSBA’20), Claudia Rivera (BSBA’20)

Guest Blogger: Lexi Jackson, BSBA’20, is majoring in leadership and strategic management, political science; she is a strategy fellow at Bear Studios LLC.

Eric Maddox, EMBA graduate, 2016.

Eric Maddox has been a four-times-decorated US Army interrogator, known for bringing in the intelligence that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. He’s an author, who detailed the five-month hunt for the former Iraqi leader in his 2008 book Mission: Black List #1. He’s a motivational speaker, consultant, and negotiator. He’s an Olin alumnus who earned his Executive MBA in 2016.

And he’s recently added a new item to his long list of credentials: He’s now a podcaster.

Maddox launched the first episode of his online show “Creating Influence” on January 4 with a nearly five-minute introduction that explains how he has moved from a military interrogator to a professional negotiator.

“I was taught to use interrogation techniques that were zero sum game—they were intimidating, they were harsh—but I quickly realized they didn’t work at all,” Maddox says in his introduction. “What I learned to do was to connect, collaborate, negotiate, understand, and work with my prisoners.”

Now, he says, after 15 years of negotiating and interrogating, talking and attempting to influence people, he’s learned a few lessons that he says will apply to anyone—not just military prisoners.

“The bottom line is that when you talk to somebody, your goal is to connect with them, get to understand them, build trust with them, in order that they make a decision to follow you, to believe in you, to partner with you,” he said. “But all of that, that decision they make, that comes from the influence that you give to them.”

Maddox explains that the weekly podcast takes a deep dive into the psychology of influence and how to hone skills that will serve individuals in their businesses and daily lives.

Episodes focus on themes such as “the single most effective behavioral characteristic a person can have to maximize influence” and, in his most recent episode today, “what helps fuel hope, which aids in perseverance.”

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