Tag: Full-time MBA



Ranjeet Ahluwalia

The 2018 Olin Business magazine shared a series of vignettes featuring alumni faced with a business decision requiring them to weigh data with their values. We featured these stories to support Olin’s strategic pillar focused on equipping leaders to confront challenge and create change, for good. This is one of those vignettes.

The silence on the conference call was deafening. Seven years ago, when Ranjeet Ahluwalia, MBA ’05, was a healthcare advertising agency strategist, the team dialed in with notable physician thought leaders seeking to sell an Alzheimer’s treatment. Ahluwalia’s agency hoped to score a contract worth as much as $20 million.

Before the call, the agency pored through data about the drug, seeking information they could use to make a compelling case for the new medication. Somehow, for Ahluwalia, now founder and lead sparker at Silbospark, the clinical data just wasn’t adding up.

On the conference call, he asked a physician expert to help him “find the story” in the data that would help sell the drug. That prompted an independent pharmaceutical expert on the call to ask, “Based on what you see here, would you give this drug to your mother?”

Silence.

Ahluwalia’s firm didn’t get the contract. In fact, the drug never went to market.

“Ultimately, we had to decide whether to tell them what they wanted to hear or what they needed to hear,” Ahluwalia said. “We told them what they needed to hear—and we didn’t win the business.”




Commencement season is upon us, and we couldn’t be more proud of the class of 2019. Whether you’re finishing your BSBA, your master’s or your doctorate, we have plenty of reasons – and opportunities – to celebrate you. Here’s the rundown on your Olin graduation ceremonies.

Undergraduate

The 158th annual WashU May Commencement Ceremony takes place Friday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Brookings Quadrangle. Learn more.

BSBA Recognition Ceremony: Friday, May 17, 11:30 a.m. at the Field House, Athletic Complex. If you’re attending, get the details on arrival, seating, the ceremony and more.

Can’t make it? Watch via livestream on the Olin graduation website or our Facebook page.

Graduate

The 158th annual WashU May Commencement Ceremony takes place Friday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Brookings Quadrangle. Learn more.

Graduate Programs Recognition Ceremony: Friday, May 17, 3:00 p.m. at the Field House, Athletic Complex. If you’re attending, get the details on arrival, seating, the ceremony and more.

Can’t make it? Watch via livestream on the Olin graduation website or our Facebook page.

Other recognition ceremonies

All week, WashU will hold ceremonies to recognize and honor various populations – from members of our military to cultural recognition to students with children and families. See the full list.

For faculty

Graduation isn’t just for the students – it’s a celebration and an honor for our faculty members, too. Faculty information can be found on our graduation website (password protected).

Did we answer your question?

If not – check out our graduation website for more information, or for WashU questions, contact commencement@wustl.edu.




Ony Mgbeahurike, president of the Olin Africa Business Club, opens the forum on April 19.

Felicia Kola-Amodu, MBA ’20, and the vice president for communications at the Olin Africa Business Club, wrote this post for the Olin Blog about the club’s second annual Africa Business Forum on April 19.

The Olin Africa Business Club took care in selecting a theme for its second annual Olin Africa Business Forum: “Africa Ascending: Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies,” was crafted to showcase the positive rising trend in entrepreneurship, governance and private investment in Africa.

The theme was also designed to call to Africans and the world at large to think far beyond the challenges and shortcomings the citizens of Africa and the continent itself has faced for decades: but to look at the many opportunities that abound, especially in several emerging markets in Africa.

The forum opened on April 19 with an opening remark from Ony Mgbeahurike, Olin Africa Business Club co-founder and outgoing president. This was followed by remarks by Olin Business School’s Dean Mark P. Taylor, who remarked that “At Olin, we talk about being values-based and data-driven. The Olin Africa Business Club is a great example of that focus.” Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton also delivered welcome remarks, highlighting the university’s effort in starting WashU’s Africa Initiative, led by Benjamin Akande.

The first keynote speaker, Leslye Obiora—law professor at the University of Arizona and former minister for mines and steel in Nigeria—highlighted the solid mineral resources in Nigeria, and the talent and resources required to harness and develop the output for a greater good. She also spoke to the fact that although Nigeria is mostly known for crude oil, as the 13th largest crude oil exporter in the world, there are 34 other minerals that can be tapped into in the country, offering great economic opportunities for private and public investors.

During the lunch break—featuring a wide variety of African foods—Staffan Canback, founder of Canback Consulting, hosted a fireside chat with forum attendees. Canback shed more light on his experiences in different parts of Africa and shared many highlights about the different rich cultures across Africa.

Canback and his associates also hosted an information session on April 18, providing first- and second-year MBA students interested in internships and full-time opportunities time to learn more about Canback and how to join their firm—stressing the need for global business leaders who are capable in working in dynamic markets including Africa.

Challenges for women

The last keynote speaker for the day was Aishetu Fatima Dozie, founder and CEO of Bossy Cosmetics and former investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Aishetu spoke about the challenges and possibilities for women in investment banking and for women in Africa especially. “Face your forward and be bold”—a quote from Aishetu—reverberated in the room regarding the different stereotypes and challenges that women might face in the work place.

To seal the very eventful day, Aishetu Dozie received the 2019 Olin Africa Business Club’s “Trailblazer Award” from Rebecca Matey, first-year JD/MBA candidate and incoming co-president of the club.

The program also included several panels: agro-tech, public health and finance. These three sectors have been going through constant disruption in smaller and larger scale across Africa. Several startups across the 54 countries in Africa are addressing and creating effective solutions to these sectors: from easier access to healthcare, health insurance, preservation and sales of agricultural products such as tomatoes, to e-commerce, mobile money for the “unbanked” and many more.

These disruptions have been happening for more than 10 years, but they are beginning to gain more traction as more people are starting up more solution-based organizations.

Agro-Tech Panel

Moderated by Mgbeahurike, this panel included Stella Salvo, lead, development and deployment, Bayer Crop Science; Natalie DiNicola, chief communications officer, Benson Hill; and Matt Plummer, principal, The Yield Lab. The panel discussed the importance of food preservation, increasing crop yield and contrast the development between farming business in Africa and the U.S, and ways African farmers increase food supply.

Public Health and Social Impact Panel

The public health and social impact panel and was mainly hosted by the Brown School at Washington University. Introducing the panel was Omoluyi Adesanya, a first-year MPH/MBA candidate and the vice president of technology for the Olin Africa Business Club.

The panelists were Proscovia Nabunya, a professor at the Brown School of Social Work and assistant director of WashU’s Africa Initiative. The other speakers were Thabani Nyomi, a PhD candidate at the Brown School; Christine Ekenga, assistant professor; and Dr. Joshua Muia, WashU Medical School, hematology instructor.

The panel spoke at length about the many opportunities available for the gaps in the healthcare system in Africa to be filled. They reiterated that data gathering will—just like in other sectors—help to move healthcare and social impact forward in emerging markets.

One thing that resonated with a lot of the forum attendees was when the panel talked about using certain communities for data gathering and research and then walking away from those communities: it is therefore important that the data gathered be used for the good of the communities used for research.

Finance Panel

This panel was introduced by Abraham Kola-Amodu, MBA’20, incoming co-president of the Olin Africa Business Club. This panel consisted of Akin Sawyerr, director of Feleman Limited, an investment and consulting firm. Participants also included Yinka Adegoke, the founding editor for Quartz Africa; Vik Sasi, principal, VC Dreamers (WashU Alum 2007); Faridah Usman, CFA, vice president, Kuramo Capital; and Habiba Ibrahim, a postdoctoral research fellow at WashU Arts and Sciences of Education who moderated the panel.

The panel focused on the financial landscape constantly changing with the emergence of investments in e-commerce, and mobile payments. The panel enjoyed some friendly banter on the African e-commerce giant Jumia listing in the New York Stock Exchange.

The entire day wrapped up with a cocktail hour where attendees and forum speakers continued the discussion over drinks.

Olin Africa Business Club was very excited to host the second annual Olin Africa Business Forum. We thank our sponsors: Olin dean’s office, Kuramo Capital, Canback Consulting, WashU’s Brown School Global Programs, Olin Weston Career Center, Benjamin Akande, WashU Office of Vice Chancellor for International Affairs and other community partners, including the St. Louis African Chamber and Brand of St. Louis. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Pictured above: Ony Mgbeahurike, president of the Olin Africa Business Club, opens the forum on April 19.




Paulino do Rego Barros Jr.

The 2018 Olin Business magazine shared a series of vignettes featuring alumni faced with a business decision requiring them to weigh data with their values. We featured these stories to support Olin’s strategic pillar focused on equipping leaders to confront challenge and create change, for good. This is one of those vignettes.

When Retail Credit Corporation was founded in Atlanta nearly 120 years ago, the company kept paper files on consumers to gauge their creditworthiness. “This industry has grown from looking at a file and just saying, ‘Does he pay his bills? Yes or no?’” said Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., MBA ’91.

Indeed, as a veteran executive at the company now known as Equifax, he’s on the vanguard of the power and pitfalls the massive data revolution has wrought on the industry and its customers. Equifax and its competitors wield data that tracks purchases, evaluates how reliably customers pay bills, and measures customer assets.

In spite of the power, Barros said, “there is a strong sense of stewardship and ethics.” That sense of stewardship came through a little more than a year ago when hackers breached Equifax.

Two days after he was named interim CEO, Barros apologized to consumers and customers in The Wall Street Journal. Barros is now US Information Solutions, president and former interim CEO, Equifax.

“We didn’t live up to expectations,” he wrote. Under his leadership, the company gave consumers free credit monitoring services, upgraded its website, boosted access to call-center support, and instituted other measures to regain the faith of consumers and customers.

“The regulatory framework establishes very clearly what we can or cannot do with consumer data,” he said. “But the decisions I made—and our ethical and moral values—are very important to us.”




Munir Mashooqullah

The 2018 Olin Business magazine shared a series of vignettes featuring alumni faced with a business decision requiring them to weigh data with their values. We featured these stories to support Olin’s strategic pillar focused on equipping leaders to confront challenge and create change, for good. This is one of those vignettes.

In 2012, Munir Mashooqullah’s company was an acquisition target. For shareholders, the deal might have made sense: Mashooqullah, EMBA ’98, and an Olin Distinguished Alumnus, said the acquiring company had higher profit margins and better systems and IT infrastructure.

Even some of his employees thought the deal would be good for Synergies Worldwide, which manages apparel sourcing and supply chain management for the “fast fashion” industry. “Everyone was saying, ‘Why can’t you be more like them?’” said Mashooqullah, founder and custodian, Synergies Worldwide. “I lost people. I lost tactile monetary opportunities.”

Clients, however, didn’t like the deal. They liked their current service. They appreciated the value they received.

“There are stories in leadership where you do not go with what is told to you just because the numbers look right,” he said.

Today, the company Mashooqullah founded 31 years ago is thriving. In fact, a senior executive for the competitor jumped ship to become the CEO when Mashooqullah retired in 2016.

“If there is something you believe in— and you’re not just driven by the dollar sign—in retrospect, many times people win,” Mashooqullah said. “But at the time, it may not look right.”