Tag: business school guidance

Sophie Richards at her computer.

The Online MBA program at Olin is a transformative journey meticulously designed to accommodate the needs of students balancing their professional obligations with their academic ambitions. Olin’s dynamic program offers the versatility to learn from any location worldwide, empowering students to immediately apply newly acquired knowledge and skills to their current roles.

The Online MBA curriculum continues evolving to address the digital transformation technologies students will encounter. While doing so, it maintains the same convenience and flexibility without compromising the quality of the learning experience. Throughout the program, students collaborate to develop crucial skills necessary for success in today’s dynamic business landscape. Keeping pace with emerging industry trends, the Online MBA curriculum equips students with the latest tools and frameworks to excel and stay competitive.

It’s time to experience the power of a program designed to elevate careers to the next level and focus on learning outcomes that last a lifetime.

How does the Online MBA work at Olin?

Choosing an MBA program is a pivotal decision—one that should be both fulfilling and empowering. This is why Olin designed the Online MBA to be more than just an academic journey; it’s an experience that balances academic rigor, flexibility and community engagement, creating a comprehensive learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

The OMBA’s evolving curriculum is thoughtfully designed, taking into account the demands of the modern business landscape. This ensures the program is not merely theoretical but practically applicable to students’ existing careers or the ones they’re striving toward. The program encompass a broad spectrum of subjects, including fundamental business principles, emerging trends and innovative business practices.

The cohort model is the key to the program’s evolution, fostering a diverse and collaborative online MBA community. As part of cohorts, students join a collective of like-minded professionals where they will learn, grow and succeed together. This model encourages students to learn from each other’s diverse experiences, perspectives and skills. The relationships students build within their cohorts often extend beyond the program, forming a robust network of business professionals that can significantly influence career trajectories.

Olin’s dedicated team of tutors and advisors supports students’ academic journeys. They provide personalized guidance throughout the program, assisting students in understanding complex concepts, developing effective study strategies and navigating any challenges. With this blend of academic rigor, supportive community and wealth of resources, students will always feel encouraged and equipped to succeed.

Innovating education: Integrating digital and on-campus experiences

As the future of MBA education becomes increasingly digital, Olin is at the forefront of this shift. The OMBA is designed to be 100% online, giving students the flexibility to complete coursework anytime, anywhere. Olin’s proprietary learning management system, learn.WashU, was created with the sole purpose of enabling students to complete their MBA programs with unparalleled flexibility. Through interactive classrooms, robust research tools and personalization features, students have access to an online MBA education that doesn’t sacrifice an engaging, seamless learning experience.

Acknowledging the importance of in-person interactions and on-campus experiences, the program has advanced to incorporate an optional blend of on-campus and online experiences, catering to diverse student needs. Students can enjoy the flexibility of online coursework and the option to take elective courses on-campus with Olin’s Professional MBA students if they wish.

These options enable students to broaden their networks across both programs, connecting with a diverse array of professionals, peers and faculty members. This hybrid model brings the best of both educational worlds, fostering a balanced, enriching and connected learning experience. Olin’s “Chill Chat Series: Network Nights,” in particular, serve as vibrant platforms for idea sharing, relationship building and community fostering that extend beyond the classroom.

Developing leaders for the digital future

The program is constantly evolving, committed to molding leaders to leverage technology strategically. As a result, the Online MBA is not merely a program focused on technical skills; it’s a transformative experience. It prepares students to navigate and manage significant changes in our ways of living, working and connecting.

With the contemporary workplace transitioning towards remote and blended environments, the Online MBA is an optimal choice for refining leadership abilities. Students in the Online MBA program collaborate in teams, fostering an engaging and interactive environment that closely mirrors traditional classroom settings. Through this teamwork, students hone their leadership skills and are well-prepared for success in today’s ever-evolving workforce.

The business world gradually shifts toward digital landscapes. As such, the Online MBA program is committed to equipping students with the necessary tools and insights to navigate this evolving landscape effectively and ethically. Olin is excited about the possibilities the future holds for the Online MBA program—one that adapts to the needs of the students and market trends. Olin’s commitment to providing an enriching, flexible and empowering educational experience remains unwavering.

Pictured above: Sophia Richards at her computer during the inaugural class of Olin’s Online MBA program.

The need for adaptability is critical in a rapidly evolving business landscape. At WashU Olin, our MBA program has been meticulously designed to encourage this imperative skill. The focus is on promoting lifelong learning in business. This forms the foundation for success in the ever-dynamic corporate world.

Modern leadership roles demand a comprehensive skill set in addition to that foundation. Today’s successful leader is a decisive strategist, avid technology enthusiast and influential communicator, seamlessly integrating all three roles. Therefore, the emphasis on business leadership development in our curriculum is indispensable. We empower you with a diverse and versatile skill set and prepare you to adapt to various roles, including C-suite management, financial analysis and human resources.

The skills learned in an MBA program are not merely theoretical concepts. They are practical, applicable tools and strategies for solving real-world business problems. This focus on application fosters a culture of continuous learning, which is an essential mindset for navigating today’s challenges and leveraging tomorrow’s opportunities.

Learning experiences an MBA provides

At WashU Olin, we firmly believe that the skills learned in an MBA program should go beyond the boundaries of lectures and textbooks. We aspire to shape your worldview, refine your leadership skills and immerse you in experiences that echo the dynamics of the global business landscape.

Our learning philosophy centers on a highly collaborative environment that mirrors the complex fabric of corporate settings. From the start, you will be a part of a cohort resembling a versatile business team. Effective leadership is as much about fostering teamwork as it is about personal skills, and this teaching approach encourages you to apply your knowledge in team-based settings. In addition, the intimate scale of Olin’s program ensures that students and professors form close bonds, creating a community that extends beyond our walls into your future career.

However, in the globalized business world, operating beyond local confines is crucial to success. Our global immersion program emphasizes this, offering a truly international MBA program experience. This initiative includes globally focused courses and opportunities to interact with international businesses, which educates students on the nuances of how culture influences business success.

Beyond cultural adaptability, the business landscape demands a mindset ready to embrace change and uncertainty. Our program aims to cultivate such agility, preparing you to tackle challenges head-on and seize emerging opportunities. An MBA from Olin is a lesson in evolution—teaching you how to adapt and grow in response to the ever-changing business environment. It’s not just about achieving a qualification; it’s about embarking on a transformative journey that prepares you for the dynamic and challenging world of business leadership.

The path to lifelong learning and leadership

The journey to leadership is not a one-time sprint but a continuous marathon that requires constant learning and development. Our MBA program aims to guide you down this path, instilling the principles of lifelong learning and preparing you to meet the evolving expectations and challenges of leadership roles in a dynamic environment.

One of our core beliefs is to develop responsible leaders who are mindful of their influence on their organizations and society. Our faculty’s dedicated research in sustainability provides an enriched understanding of social responsibility in business. This leads to practical insights, preparing you to drive economic growth and a positive societal impact and making you a confident and aware leader of tomorrow.

Our MBA program is designed to empower students with the ability to lead through any challenge, no matter how unpredictable the business environment gets. We equip our students with practical decision-making tools as well as a comprehensive understanding of the disruptions that new technologies can cause and the role of technology leadership in a business environment. Our coursework will refine your expertise in using analytical tools to make intelligent decisions, craft innovative solutions and effectively navigate uncertainty to successfully thrive amidst change.

The Olin MBA program also recognizes that modern leadership requires confidently navigating diverse, international environments. In a world where business transcends borders and cultural nuance and diverse teams are the norm, we instill a holistic approach to leadership that focuses on the organization internally and outwardly. The curriculum teaches you to manage multifaceted challenges, empowering you with the skills to inspire and lead in tomorrow’s world.

Our MBA program is not only valuable—it is transformational. At WashU Olin, leadership is a lifelong journey marked by learning and development, and we are here to guide you every step of the way. By embracing this philosophy, we prepare you to be an adaptable, globally competent and socially responsible leader poised to thrive in the dynamic world of business tomorrow and beyond.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey of business leadership development, join us at an upcoming information session to learn more. You can also contact the admissions team with any questions at OlinGradAdmissions@wustl.edu or 314-935-7301.

Anjan Thakor uses a lightboard to reinforce his lecture points as he conducts an online course.

Imagine you’re immersed in a vibrant global discussion, surrounded by voices from all around the world. Each voice contributes to an enriching, enlightening conversation that traverses borders and cultures. This international dialogue forms the cornerstone of Olin Business School’s Online MBA program. We recognize the vital role of diversity in MBA programs as it fosters a dynamic, impactful learning environment. By combining the diverse experiences of our students with cutting-edge technology, our program offers a unique, engaging educational journey.

The importance of diversity and inclusion in higher education

Diversity and inclusion in higher education are more than just commendable values—they are essential elements. The ability to understand, engage with and adapt to various cultures and perspectives is not simply an academic endeavor but also an indispensable professional skill. Our Online MBA program nurtures this skill by uniting students from diverse professional backgrounds, cultures and countries. Each student brings a unique viewpoint to the mix, enriching our faculty members’ teachings and igniting conversations that cross cultural and geographical boundaries—fostering global competency.

Whether it’s discussing cultural nuances in a safe classroom environment or engaging with international companies on real-world projects, our students gain well-rounded exposure to the global business landscape. This diversity invigorates our faculty and enriches our curriculum, attracting world-class educators to our institution.

Adapting to emerging technologies

Today, we find ourselves in a transitional world where the employment environment is increasingly moving online. Having the ability to work effectively in a virtual context is a critical skill. We recognize this at Olin and have designed our programs accordingly. We provide our students with a digital sandbox where they have the opportunity to experiment, develop their virtual personas and cultivate digital leadership skills. They participate in various online collaborative activities—such as virtual team projects, online presentations and discussions—which allow them to hone their online collaboration skills without the fear of professional consequences.

We’re committed to fostering a vibrant and interactive learning environment for our students, and it shows in how we’ve shaped our curriculum. We know the world changes fast, and we believe our courses should keep pace with these changes. Whether required or elective, our courses are built on the core principles of an MBA but tailored for today’s digital business world.

Incredible advances like artificial intelligence, big data, cloud infrastructure and the Internet of Things are transforming how we deliver products and services. Our MBA program is designed to keep up with these changes and prepare our students to face them head-on.

Our courses help students understand and make the most of these new technologies. For example, we teach students how to use AI to gather information from personal data without losing the personal touch that makes communication worthwhile. We also cover IoT, showing students how to balance the benefits of efficiency with the need to maintain compatibility and privacy.

Our curriculum also explores blockchain technology, helping students to weigh the benefits of its speed and accessibility against the costs of energy usage and its volatility. When it comes to augmented reality, we show students how to manage costs while still creating unforgettable customer experiences. And we guide students through the ins and outs of cloud computing, showing them how to gain flexibility while minimizing data risks.

In short, at Olin Business School, our Online MBA program isn’t just about keeping up with technological advancements—it’s about integrating these advancements into our teaching. We’re cultivating future leaders who can use these tools to improve their businesses and communities.

Comprehensive support and flexibility

At the heart of our digital experience is our innovative Center for Digital Education, which provides world-class e-learning support. Whether it’s digital course design, online course delivery, lifelong learning modules, media production or faculty training, the CDE plays a crucial role in enhancing our students’ digital journey.

Alongside the CDE, we’ve partnered with the career center to ensure our students stand out in the job market. The Weston Career Center offers personalized mentoring and guidance and helps students improve their career search skills. This collaboration allows our students to crystalize their career aspirations, connect with industries that pique their interest and ultimately become the most prepared candidates in their field.

One of the many benefits of learning with technology is its flexibility. No matter where our students are, they can find support whenever they need it. We’ve established robust support mechanisms to equip our students for academic success, including Online MBA cohorts for assistance and guidance as well as a strong network of tutors for coursework help.

But our support doesn’t end there. Our career coaching and support services are designed to meet our students’ unique needs. Whether it’s providing personalized mentoring or honing career search skills, we’re available to discuss career plans at times that suit our students best, offering the flexibility that aligns with the demands of a digitally driven business landscape.

Our Online MBA program is more than just a degree—it’s a transformative experience. We aim to cultivate leaders who can strategically leverage technology to create impact. Our innovative curriculum, dedication to advanced technology and diverse student body work together to create an online MBA program that equips students with the vital digital leadership skills needed in today’s world. This prepares them to navigate the changing ways in which we live, work and interact, molding them into forward-thinking leaders of the future.

People gravitate toward an MBA program for many different reasons. For students with an entrepreneurial mindset and a desire to grow their own businesses, an MBA can offer a fountain of experience, knowledge, mentorship and friendship, which they can use to create their ventures and influence success.

An MBA for entrepreneurs is also an opportunity for students to start growing their businesses as they learn. Does an MBA help entrepreneurs become better business owners? Without a doubt, the lessons learned in an MBA program’s training-ground environment will model many business scenarios. Students can use this environment to practice, gain confidence and make valuable mistakes. What’s more, they can do so in the company of leaders and founders already practicing these skills.

On top of that, entrepreneurial-minded individuals bring a particular energy to their campuses and online environments. They are more likely to bring creative, innovative and practical approaches to problems and be willing to get stuck in difficult situations for the sake of learning. In this way, entrepreneurs and universities grow together in a mutually inspiring relationship.

How does an MBA help entrepreneurs grow the seed of their businesses?

For MBA seekers with their minds set on business ownership, the Olin MBA program can be a roadmap to entrepreneurship (with some important detours and off-the-beaten-track experiences baked in).

Find an origin story

At the Hatchery, Olin’s own entrepreneurship platform, students can try out the most challenging aspects of starting a business. They can pitch their ideas to venture capitalists, test their business plans and publicize their startups to investors on a global stage. This renowned resource helps early-stage entrepreneurs investigate their plans in a safe, low-risk environment while building real community connections.

Experience life as a leader

Olin’s focuses on experiential learning, which is learning gained through real trial and error. This type of learning sticks with students as they make their way into the wider business world. Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning offers courses that connect students with local and global entrepreneurs so that they can witness the ground level of early-stage ventures. For instance, students can put their data-driven leadership to the test in the CEL Metrics Clinic, which connects students with St. Louis startups in a student-led, faculty-supervised consulting project with real-world impact.

Test one’s mettle

Olin prides itself on a particular accelerator class called “The League of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs.” It is designed for students who are almost ready to enter the business world with their ideas and navigate the fundraising stage. Fundraising is often the most intimidating lesson new entrepreneurs must learn. Being able to tackle it in a supportive yet challenging environment alongside other entrepreneurs can be critically important.

Create a team

It is an important part of the MBA experience to meet like-minded and dissimilar individuals who can help students progress their ventures. Olin’s courses are designed to help students form business relationships with cohorts, faculty members, a diverse alumni network and external leaders they will encounter along the way. The whole of St. Louis and the wider region is mobilized around Olin’s MBA as a rich entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Don’t take our word for it, though. Look instead at the entrepreneurs out in the world—those who are already taking the lessons of the MBA program and bringing them to life, serving real customers and solving real problems.

Kai Skallerud is one such alumnus. He came to Olin as a medical student but with a passion for founding a healthcare business. His business earned funding through the St. Louis Inno Madness contest, and Kai spoke about the importance of the preparation he received through the MBA program. “[It] gave me the confidence I needed to take entrepreneurial risks in the real world,” he said. The practical but protected environment of the program allowed him to test his limits and ideas and piece together the steps to entrepreneurial success.

If this sounds like exactly what you need as you begin (or continue) your business journey, contact Olin’s MBA team for more information about the MBA for entrepreneurs.

Can entrepreneurship be taught? This is a question that schools, students and businesses alike have been asking for decades. The answer seems to be yes and no.

People who gravitate toward MBA programs for entrepreneurship will likely bring a natural inclination toward creativity and innovative thinking. They may have already gained some relevant experience, taken educated risks and learned lessons helpful for starting and growing a business. In short, they have an aspiration and drive toward entrepreneurship.

And just as you wouldn’t go to medical school with no interest in becoming a doctor and expect to come out a top-notch physician, an MBA student shouldn’t come unprepared. Rather, they need the drive to learn and a passion for the topics they’re studying to benefit from the experiences and lessons an MBA program has to offer.

What are the benefits of an MBA for entrepreneurs?

According to Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of Blackstone and Poets & Quants’ 2023 keynote speaker, an MBA’s role is to “identify and support young people who demonstrate interest, aptitude and entrepreneurship.” The MBA is there to take people who already think creatively about business and give them the tools to make their ideas a reality.

For Schwarzman, inspiration and ideas are just the beginning. Entrepreneurs must learn to fall in love with the problem so that they can live and breathe its potential solutions with a passion that keeps them going. Turning an idea into reality is difficult. It requires organization, management, resources and so much more, but a leader with an entrepreneurial spirit will have the passion and the know-how to tackle every step of the process. This is where an MBA program can lay the foundation for such leadership.

Finding the entrepreneurial spirit and then fostering and refining that talent is the purpose of an MBA. The benefits of an MBA for entrepreneurs are those of a training ground. A university environment supports and cares for students while a rigorous and challenging curriculum teaches students to problem solve with passion. A network of involved faculty and ambitious cohort members is the cherry on top—the people in a university environment create a collaborative ethos where business ideas can be grown from idea to reality and taken into the world.

How does the Olin experience prepare entrepreneurs to start a business?

At Olin, MBA students take their own inclinations and talents and put them to the test. We prepare students for starting a business after their MBA by giving them time and space to experiment. They can learn, fail, learn again and try out ideas in real-world scenarios, all in an environment that supports them.

One important way we provide this atmosphere is by connecting students to businesses outside the school gates. We associate with startups in St. Louis, company founders in San Francisco and investors in New York City. These professionals have already turned their ideas into living, breathing entities. When they share their perspectives, they help students to see how to take an idea into new markets, how to get funding, how to work with complex teams and innumerable other life lessons from the front lines of business.

Another way we prepare students for starting a business is by infusing entrepreneurship throughout our curriculum. We don’t save it for specialized courses or seminars. It’s everywhere. The university itself has an active entrepreneurial life, with MBA entrepreneurship fellowships and an accelerator class we call “The League” aimed at students who are at the fundraising stage for their ideas.

Most importantly, we give students the tools to network and create business relationships of their own. Faculty, staff, advisors and mentors are all on hand, ready to chat about anything they’re thinking about as they create their businesses. The alumni network is a buzzing hive of information and assistance. And in MBA programs for entrepreneurship, classmates can quickly become collaborators.

The MBA in action

Let’s look at an example of a student who has seized the opportunities of an MBA to learn how to become a better entrepreneur.

Kai Skallerud was a medical student when he came to Olin. He was given a year off to pursue his MBA and turned that year into the foundation for a healthcare business. He just won funding for the business via the St. Louis Inno Madness contest.

“Olin’s MBA program gave me the confidence I needed to take entrepreneurial risks in the real world,” Kai says. “The program’s emphasis on experiential learning allowed me to apply classroom concepts to real companies, and the program’s rigorous coursework helped me develop a deep understanding of business strategy and prioritization, which enables me to identify and act on high-impact opportunities in healthcare.”

Kai was able to use the practical training ground of the MBA to empower his entrepreneurial journey. It enabled him to take risks safely in a supportive community of faculty, staff and fellow students.

Can entrepreneurship be taught and learned? We believe that entrepreneurs emerge from their own experiences and instincts, but that when they find their way to an MBA environment like Olin at WashU, we are ready with a training ground. We take their creativity, their zest for business and their love of problem-solving and give them practical ways to turn those talents into businesses that thrive.

So, while there are many skills and concepts that a potential entrepreneur can only gain from the kinds of experiences an MBA offers, it’s the passion that a student brings to the program that helps make them an entrepreneur and successful business leader.