Tag: Consortium

Dolapu Ojutiku, MBA ’21, writes today about his summer consulting experience at Liberty Mutual. He was invited to return to Liberty Mutual full-time after graduation. His contribution is part of a series by students sharing their summer internship experiences with the Olin blog.

My internship has been one of the highlights of my MBA experience so far. I spent my summer working at Liberty Mutual as a consultant in the corporate development program. I worked on a project that had real impact on the company. I did an assessment of one of our largest vendors to streamline processes and evaluate opportunities for improvements. One of my contributions that is being implemented is a scorecard that provides better insights into the performance of our vendors. It was an eventful summer and I’m pleased to be joining the company full time after graduation. 

My internship was originally intended to be in person but ended up being virtual due to work-from-home policies as a result of the coronavirus. I initially wasn’t sure what to expect, but the company did a great job of creating ways to engage with us and build community virtually. Some examples of this include a virtual town hall with the CEO to address racial injustice in the US, an executive speaker lunch series for the interns, and a virtual baking event with Joanne Chang (Boston’s Flour Bakery), a former management consultant turned chef.

Olin did a great job preparing me. I started working with my career coach at the time, Jeff Stockton, before I had even arrived on campus to start my program. I was able to participate in the Consortium Orientation Program in Houston last summer and had to get ready for recruiting much earlier than usual. The WCC team—as well as my academic advisor, Ashley Macrander—were also a good support system throughout my first year.

I found that a lot of the frameworks we learned during Seth Carnahan’s strategy class turned out to be valuable for my internship. Two other classes that really helped me succeed were “Negotiation,” by Hillary Anger Elfenbein, and “Power & Politics” by Peter Boumgarden. Lessons from those classes came in handy when negotiating with cross-functional teams and influencing people to buy-in to my project.

My advice for students about the interview process is to try to network as much as possible, since you never know who might end up being your advocate in discussions that you’re not part of. I also found value in starting case prep very early on; I attended the Management Consulted workshop as well as some of the OSCA case sessions and found them to be very helpful in supplementing my case prep. In my personal experience, preparing well for the consulting case interview made other interviews easier.

In hindsight, I realize that a lot of the pillars we value at Olin helped prepare me for my internship. I had to be entrepreneurial and take ownership for the direction and outcome of my project. I also needed to make sure that decisions I made were supported by data, but not without considering the effect it had on our customers and the values they’ve come to expect from the company.

Photo, above. From left to right: Ony Mgbeahurike, Janell Cleare, Jose Reynoso, Jennifer Franklin, Ricardo Marrujo Mexia, Ashia Powers, Oscar Vasco, Gbenoba Idah, Gheremey Edwards and Bryant Powell.

The violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters last weekend on the University of Virginia campus prompted members of Olin’s incoming MBA Class of 2019 to create a video of solidarity and support for their fellow students at U.VA’s Darden School of Business in Charlottesville.

The students who appear in the video are members of Olin’s Consortium cohort and scholarship recipients through the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management (CGSM). CGSM was founded in 1966 by Olin Business School’s Prof. Sterling Schoen. Today, the CGSM is the premier national organization involved in promoting and helping gain access to graduate business education for historically underrepresented minorities. Through business school and corporate partnerships, the Consortium provides scholarships, mentoring, networking, internships, and career placement advice to each class of MBA fellows. 18 world class universities admit 400 CGSM students annually to MBA programs. Since its founding, CGSM schools have graduated more than 8,000 leaders to the benefit of businesses and communities around the world.

Patricia Schoen passed away on Sunday, Feb. 26. She earned her MBA in 1951 from Washington University and was for many years a marketing instructor in the business school. She married a colleague at the business school, Sterling Schoen, a professor of organizational behavior, who founded the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management in 1966. Mrs. Schoen “was a stalwart supporter of The Consortium since its inception and served as something of our matriarch through the years,” according to an announcement from the Consortium.

Olin Dean Emeritus Bob Virgil and former Dean Mahendra Gupta will deliver eulogies at funeral services for Mrs. Schoen on Friday, March 10. See details below.

Pat Schoen

Pat Schoen

“Mrs. Schoen would typically understate her contribution to The Consortium, but we felt her influence and her support every day,” said Peter J. Aranda III, (Olin MBA’87), CEO and executive director of The Consortium.

For many years, Mrs. Schoen attended the Consortium’s annual Orientation Program & Career Forum  (OP), where she would greet incoming students. In June 2016, she took part in the Consortium’s 50th Orientation Program held in St. Louis.

“She was usually the most popular person at OP,” Aranda said, noting that students at last year’s OP lined up for the chance to greet and thank her during the founders’ reception and 50th anniversary gala.

Mrs. Schoen was a committed financial supporter of The Consortium and was the first individual donor to provide support to the undergraduate program that is in the planning stages.

Mrs. Schoen died peacefully surrounded by her family in St. Louis. Daughter Jennifer Jeffrey, and her family, and son Chris Schoen were able to say their goodbyes. Sterling Schoen died in 1999. Mrs. Schoen would have been 90 in October.

Arrangements are as follows:

Thursday, March 9
3-5  p.m.: Visitation opens again from 6-8 p.m.
Bopp Chapel
10610 Manchester Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122-1308

Funeral Services
Friday, March 10
11 a.m.
Ladue Chapel
9450 Clayton Rd
St. Louis, Missouri 63124

Burial and Memorial Service
Saturday, March 11
Family Burial Plot in Lufkin, Texas

Pictured above: Pat Schoen with Peter Aranda and her daughter Jennie Jeffrey at the 2016 Orientation Program in St. Louis. Photo by Brian Treffeisen.

Alejandro Bolívar-Cervoni has dreamed of going to business school since he was a young boy growing up in Puerto Rico. His family settled there after fleeing Cuba in 1960. His uncle Roberto had gone to business school in the U.S. and told his nephew about the transformational MBA experience that introduced him to business theory, best practices, and most of all, a diverse group of peers, professors, and corporate leaders. Alejandro’s uncle also told him about the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, which provided the scholarship that allowed him to go to business school. Today, Alejandro is a first-year MBA student at Olin and a second generation Consortium Fellow and scholarship recipient.

The Consortium organization was founded at Olin in 1966 and dedicated to increasing the ranks of underrepresented minorities in business education and corporate leadership.  Alejandro is one of five students that the Consortium is following and featuring on its blog this year as they begin their MBA journey.

Olin Consortium Fellows, MBA Class of 2018

Olin Consortium Fellows, MBA Class of 2018

Alejandro tells why he was motivated to pursue an MBA degree:

“I sought out deeper understanding of other cultures by working with international classmates. Taking advantage of travel opportunities—including spending a semester abroad—will also introduce me to best practices when working with diverse, multicultural teams.”  

Hear Alejandro talk about his first few months at Olin in our video. The Consortium has also featured him in another story on their site that shares his many ties to the Consortium through relatives who have been past fellows in the program.

Related: 1966: The Consortium takes first steps to diversify MBA ranks

In the mid 1960s, when civil rights protests were growing and calls for radical social change permeated all walks of life, Sterling H. Schoen, a professor at Washington University’s business school, realized through his research that Fortune 500 companies employed no African Americans in management. Schoen, an expert in labor relations, wanted to open the doors to business education and corporate career tracks for underrepresented minorities.

Inaugural class member James Jackson with Professor Sterling Schoen. Courtesy photo

Inaugural class member James Jackson with Professor Sterling Schoen. Courtesy photo

Schoen’s research and dedication to diversity in business education and management led to the creation of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Better known as “The Consortium,” it is a unique alliance of top-tier business schools and corporate partners dedicated to increasing the ranks of underrepresented minorities in business education and corporate leadership.

The Consortium is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

“We’re here today because of Prof. Schoen’s vision,” said Peter J. Aranda III (MBA and MIM ’87), a Consortium alumnus and current executive director and CEO of The Consortium. “We need to remember we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. The opportunities that exist today are bigger and greater than they were in the early days of the organization, and that is truly because of those who came before us.”

“Few people are able to recognize what happened in America in the 1960s. While I was at the University of Chicago on a post-doctoral fellowship in 1962–63, I witnessed the burning of Chicago …. It was there that I first conceived of the notion that our business schools might take a more active and constructive role in promoting equal-opportunity employment in our country. I soon realized that Washington University by itself could make little impact on the problem, and so the idea of a consortium of leading universities was conceived.”
–Prof. Sterling Schoen in a 1996 letter reflecting on the founding of The Consortium.

The first cohort of Consortium MBA students included 21 African-American men who enrolled in three founding member schools in 1967: Washington University, Indiana University-Bloomington, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The students were connected to mentors, leaders, and recruiters representing 27 corporate partners. Two years later, the University of Rochester and the University of Southern California joined The Consortium.

In 1970, Consortium membership opened to include women, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans. This sparked growth in the number of member students and corporate and university partners. In 2004, The Consortium evolved to include all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have demonstrated a commitment to The Consortium’s mission.

In 2016, The Consortium offered membership to more than 480 incoming students attending 18 member universities. Over the past 50 years, The Consortium has helped more than 9,000 of the country’s most talented MBA students achieve their goals.

Read more about the Consortium and Olin’s continued support in its mission on the Olin100 Centennial website.

Sources: CGSM and WUSTL Archives

Top Photo: Prof. Schoen in 1970 at a meeting of Consortium alumni and students. Courtesy of WUSTL Archives.