Part of a series of Q&As with Olin alumni. Today we hear from Markey Culver, MBA ’17. Markey leads The Women’s Bakery, an international organization that empowers and feeds women in East Africa.
What are you doing for work now, and how did your Olin education impact your career?
I currently lead The Women’s Bakery, an international social enterprise that empowers women and provides access to quality, affordable breads in East Africa. I chose to get an MBA to better run and grow my company. Olin opened doors to many opportunities, both inside and outside of the classroom. I had mentors in the form of professors, peers and alumni. Olin celebrated my work in the social enterprise space, which was both encouraging and inspiring.
What Olin course, ‘defining moment’ or faculty influenced your life most, and why?
Dr. John Horn, Economics, and Dr. Tom Fields, Accounting, were my most influential professors. Not only were both excellent professors, but they took a personal interest in seeing me succeed. John was genuinely interested in The Women’s Bakery and helped me analyze the company’s business model as well as craft our strategic plan for growth. Tom honed my skills in constructing financial systems company-wide.
Why is an MBA important?
I chose my MBA because I sought to fuse the non-profit and for-profit sectors. I knew I had emotional intelligence and communication skills, but lacked finance and accounting acumen as well as the theoretical building blocks of business. I wanted the tool box to build something new and better and Olin’s programs merit such fusion by embracing, incubating and launching entrepreneurs of all kinds.
Looking back, what advice would you give current Olin students?
Take advantage of office time with your professors and take risks in the classes you choose!
Pictured above: Markey Culver with a group of women involved in The Women’s Bakery. Markey is third from the left.