Tag: Full-time MBA

Friday, May 19, we celebrated the professional growth and accomplishments of more than 225 graduate and 277 undergraduate students. This year’s graduates not only graduated during Olin’s Centennial year, but also from the top undergraduate business program, one of the top 25 MBA programs, and the #3 Master of Science in Finance program in the U.S. That is something to be proud of.

Check out some of the photos of the big day, below, and watch our social media channels for more photos later this week! Congratulations, graduates!

Undergraduate Graduation Recognition Ceremony

Click image to expand. Photos by Jerry Naunheim Jr.


Graduate Graduation Recognition Ceremony

Click image to expand. Photos by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

CATEGORY: News, Student Life

Hank Cummings, a double major in music and business, opened the all University Commencement ceremony in Brookings Quad this morning by singing “America the Beautiful.”

Commencement Speaker Anna Quindlen

More than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree candidates and their friends and families defied cloudy skies and predictions of rain to fill the Quad where best-selling author Anna Quindlen delivered this year’s Commencement address.

In addition to Quindlen, other speakers included Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, the senior class president, Reid Petty, from Mendham, N.J., BSBA’17, is a marketing major delivered the undergraduate student Commencement greeting, and Wei Zhu, a candidate for a juris doctoris from the  School of Law, was selected to give the graduate student address. She is from Hunan Province, China.

The 3,089 candidates at Washington University’s 156th Commencement will receive 3,245 degrees, of which 1,490 are undergraduate, 1,751 are graduate and professional, and four are associates in arts.

There are 600 doctoral candidates, including 132 for the doctor of philosophy degree from the Graduate School; one for the doctor of business administration degree from the Olin Business School; 242 for the juris doctoris degree from the School of Law; two for the juris scientiae doctoris degree from the School of Law; and 223 for degrees from the School of Medicine.

CATEGORY: News, Student Life

Sustainability champions Nick Annin, Elise Fabbro and Nicola Salzman graduate this month from Washington University in St. Louis poised to fight the globe’s most pressing problem with a powerful tool: the free market.

Though these students support laws and treaties that protect the environment, they also recognize that markets can move faster. And, in this battle, every second counts.

Nick Annin plans to pursue a Masters in Finance at Olin after earning his undergrad degree. Majors: Environmental policy and writing in Arts & Sciences. 

“There is a myth that the economy and the environment are inherently at odds,” said Annin, a senior in the environmental studies program in Arts & Sciences. “We know, in fact, the opposite is true. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment.”

The three advocates share much in common, including an early admiration for former vice president Al Gore. Each said Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” transformed climate change from a vague cause for concern into, for each of them, a call to action.

Annin remembers watching the film in fourth grade with his father Peter Annin, a renowned environmental journalist. Annin felt as if he might vomit.

“All my life, I had gone camping and the woods were my home,” said Annin, a native of Madison, Wis. “The idea that all of that was threatened was horrifying.”

Nicola Salzman Majors: Environmental policy in Arts & Sciences and leadership and strategic management in Olin Business School.

Salzman, also a senior in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences, was in high school in Boston when she read a book version of “An Inconvenient Truth.” She remembers looking at the adults around her thinking, “Wait? You knew about this? And you’re not doing everything you can to fix it?”

And Fabbro, a law student, remembers her Palo Alto, Calif., high school inviting Gore to deliver his “Inconvenient Truth” presentation live.

“I walked out of there changed,” Fabbro said. “Since then, the environment and our impact on it is what I think when I go to bed at night, and when I wake up in the morning.”

In 2013, they would all arrive at the same time at the Danforth Campus. Annin came to play football for Coach Larry Kindbom; Salzman liked the campus culture; and Fabbro transferred to the School of Law when an admissions officer serendipitously called the day she learned her current program was losing two environmental law experts.

Once here, they all applied to participate in the international climate negotiation seminar. They also each attended the global climate talks, known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences of the Parties (COP) as a delegate from Washington University.

Elise Fabbro Degrees: JD, School of Law and MBA, Olin Business School

It’s a unique opportunity, one that few universities extend to undergraduates, said Beth Martin, senior lecturer in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences. At the conferences, the students tracked specific articles of the agreement such as mitigation or finance, and attended negotiations and forums featuring climate leaders such as Gore and former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

“They see how diplomacy works and how words matter,” said Martin, who teaches the international climate seminar and leads the Washington University observer delegation. “The students also meet people whose daily lives and homes are profoundly impacted by climate change. It is both an incredible educational and emotional experience.”

All three students consider the conference the capstone of their academic careers. “We participated in history,” said Fabbro, who attended COP 21 in 2015 in Paris with Annin.

“I asked myself over and over again, ‘How am I here?’” said Salzman, who attended COP 22 in Marrakesh in 2016. “It was an experience unlike one I could ever have in a classroom.”

Fabbro, Annin and Salzman left their respective conferences buoyed. The innovations of engineers, the research of scientists, the resolve of diplomats — the gains were real. And yet each returned, more convinced than ever, that global talks and international treaties can only take us so far. The private sector can — and must — play a pivotal role.

For a closer look at Washington University’s leading sustainability champions and their vision for world for a healthy environment and economy, link to their Class Acts profiles.

It was the crux of my semester. Group assignments, midterms and consulting projects, all piling into one week of craziness. And the one thing that contributed more crazy than all the others was my involvement in a case competition.

Throughout your MBA experience, there are constant opportunities to get involved with one competition or another, especially among the ranks of top programs. Case competitions provide excellent strategic thinking and presentation experiences, exposure to a real problem and top leaders from the sponsor company, great school visibility, and, if you bring home the prize, a great resume line accompanied by a good chunk of change.

[RELATED POST: First-year MBA: Value outside the classroom]

This was my fourth case competition in my first year at Olin. At TCU and Mizzou we got the cases on site and had maybe six hours to scramble for a finished product. At Northwestern, and now Wake Forest, we received the case a week ahead and had all the time we could manage to prepare. With all the other things I was juggling at this point, I much preferred the former format. But my awesome team made the work fun.  The case tasked us with developing a strategy and implementation plan for attracting millennials to work at CVS corporate. In the end, my team powered through a few late-night meetings and submitted our presentation right before flying out to Wake Forest University for the competition and accompanying Marketing Analytics Summit. But then…

Do you remember that week this spring when Delta cancelled hundreds of flights over the course of a week because freak bad weather in their Atlanta hub knocked them for a loop? Yeah, that was our week. Yeah, we were flying Delta. To cut a story of 5 A.M. stress short, we ended up driving 12 hours from St. Louis to Winston-Salem. Although we missed all of the summit activities, it was actually a fun trip with plenty of time for team bonding and the chance to interview people at CVS stores across the eastern half of the country. At least we arrived in time for the competition.

Team Olin on the road to Wake Forest: Samantha Feng, MBA’17, Ryan Kirk, Karthik Chaturvedi, Cole Donelson and Raisaa Tashnova all MBA’18.

By the time we are ready to present our case, I always feel like the hard work is over. However, right before our time slot comes up and the team is doing a final run through, I’m always wishing we had a few more minutes to rehearse. Like it or not, the Wake Forest student coordinator knocks on the door to our assigned study room, and we are guided to the presentation room. It’s a gorgeous room where we are arranged to present facing a wall of windows looking out into the quad as well as at least a dozen judges from CVS and other prestigious marketing positions. Our PowerPoint is already loaded and showing on the screen. It’s show time.

After a quick 20-minute presentation and 10-minute Q&A, it was all over. I felt proud of our recommendations and confident in our delivery, but it only matters what the judges think and it’s hard to anticipate their perceptions. It was an accomplishment just to beat out dozens of other MBA teams who applied for the competition (with our masterpiece application video). Plus, with other teams from Yale, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, USC, Duke, etc., the competition was stiff. The last presentations wrapped up, and we were shuttled away to the awards dinner at a fancy country club nearby. The dinner was great, the chance to meet other students was fun, but at the end of the night everyone was waiting for one thing. The competition director held up the first big check and at the same time he flipped it around to show the name, he said, “Third place goes to Washington University in St. Louis.”

We were very hopeful, but also very surprised to hear our name called. In a rush of excitement we went up to accept the check, shake hands, and take a few photos. More than the $3,000 third place prize, it was the validation of our hard work and the value of our output that was most rewarding.

I’d be lying if I said we didn’t think we had put up a first place effort. But we were happy to congratulate the team from Hong Kong and the home team and reigning champion from Wake Forest on their respective second and first places.

After all, it’s all about the learning experience, right?

Wake Forest Marketing Analytics Summit

Eight graduate and six undergraduate teams from around the globe competed in the 27th annual Marketing Analytics Summit case competition for total prizes of $56,000. The event was held at the Wake Forest University School of Business April 7-8, 2017.

Participating schools at the graduate level included Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School, and Yale University. Undergraduate teams hailed from Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management, University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, Utah State Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and Wake Forest University School of Business.

“Open. Passionate. Imaginative. Steadfast.” These are the adjectives that the website Poets & Quants uses to describe their 2017 list of Best & Brightest MBAs. And it should be no surprise that two Olin MBAs are on the list. Congratulations to Markey Culver and Conn Davis! We’ve cut and pasted some excerpts here. Click on their names to link to complete profile on Poets & Quants.

Markey Culver


What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? 

Competitive Industry Analysis with John Horn. I had two key takeaways: 1) the value in corporate strategy and strategic planning, and 2) competitive advantage can be not only formulaic (strategic and intentional), but differentiating. It was fascinating.

Why did you choose this business school?

I imagine I was a rather atypical applicant to Olin, coming from 3 years of living and working in East Africa and starting a social enterprise in Rwanda. My background was unconventional at best and while I had business experience, it was in my own business. Still, I chose to apply to Wash U because I seek to fuse the non-profit and for-profit sectors and Olin’s programs merit such fusion by embracing, incubating and launching entrepreneurs of all kinds. Olin’s robust entrepreneurship platform, too, is supported by a city (St. Louis) with an ever-growing, collaborative startup scene. Moreover, Olin puts emphasis on cultivating the business leader through holistic leadership training (i.e.: sharpening “soft” skills to enhance “hard” skills).

What did you enjoy most about business school in general?

My class – we have an incredible class.

Conn Davis


“I  knew I wanted to go to business school when…

I saw how much happier my wife, also a recovering lawyer, was at her new job after she finished her MBA. Her experience taught me that there were opportunities I did not know were available.”

Why did you choose this business school?

I chose Olin because its smaller class size gave me the opportunity to get to know everyone in the school. I have developed great relationships with my classmates and with the students in the class before and after me. I have also gotten to know and developed relationships beyond the classroom with many of my professors. The close-knit community at Olin is unique and very valuable.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?

My favorite MBA Course was the core Introduction to Management and Strategy taught by Prof. Dan Elfenbein. I learned two key things in this class – (1) that I truly enjoyed working through business issues and (2) that having the right answer to a business question is less important than understanding what the answer means for the business.

To compile the 2017 Best & Brightest MBAs, P&Q reached out to 63 full-time MBA programs, with only SDA Bocconi (due to a missed deadline) and Harvard Business School (citing what it believes is a conflict with internal awards) declining to participate. Schools were chosen based on their Poets&Quants’ ranking, with each program limited to four students for consideration.

CATEGORY: Career, News