Tag: Full-time MBA

Samuel Amorin, MBA 2023, speaking at the May 2023 graduate programs graduation recognition ceremony. Photo by Jerry Naunheim

Samuel Amorin, MBA 2023, was the student speaker at the graduate programs graduation recognition ceremony on May 15, 2023, selected by his peers. He soon begins a new position with Amazon in New York City as a senior product manager. Here is what he had to say to his fellow graduates.

Chancellor Martin, Dean Thakor, esteemed guests, family and friends—welcome! Welcome to St. Louis, WashU, Olin Business School and this momentous event. To my fellow class of 2023, simply put, we did it. We did it thanks to our hard work and dedication and support from family, friends and the tireless efforts of faculty and staff. Thank you for this great honor to be this year’s student speaker.

Today marks the end of one journey, but at the same time, kicks off the beginning of the next. Every journey goes through different seasons. Not seasons like spring, summer or fall, but seasons like successes, failures, stagnancy, overflow and more. Each one of them teaches us a lesson, a lesson we may not like or think we need—such as the cranberry case—but a lesson nonetheless.

Now think about it, and reflect: What seasons have you recently experienced during your previous or current journey? What did you learn, not learn, like, not like? It’s interesting because if I was to ask all of the graduates sitting in front of me, although we went on the same journey, we each had different seasons and had valuable lessons come out of them—lessons such as how to deal with challenges, extreme success, imposter syndrome, how to be values-based and data-driven, patience, failure, and fill-in-the-blank with what you may.

Each one of those was part of the journey, and they each made this journey not only memorable but effective, meaningful and worth it. Sometimes we are so focused on the end destination, the end goal, the next chapter, or the next journey that we miss being present and embracing the seasons that come with the journey and the lessons we gain from them.

Olin has given us a unique opportunity no other institution can ever offer and that is the opportunity we had to meet each other. Of course, there is a world-class education offered here, a fantastic facility and very qualified and knowledgeable professors. We are also one of the founding schools of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management—which I am a part of, shout out to my Consortium family—and have multiple other world-class graduate programs across the university.

Still, they are not each one of us that is sitting down in front of me right now. Each of you has played a role in numerous other students’ experiences throughout your time here. It could be as simple as helping a classmate by holding the door. At the same time, it could be as simple as arguing with a fellow student about who reserved the study room, or it could be lending a listening ear to someone who just needed to vent about that strategic cost analysis final, that Python project or customer analytics midterm.

Think about it, before we see ourselves here today on the cusp of another tremendous educational achievement. When each of us first walked through those hallowed halls of Bauer Hall and Knight Hall, we were all strangers, but along this journey with the rigors of the curriculum, fun times, late nights, numerous case studies and free food, we have made connections and built a network that will last a lifetime. We are better now than when we came in.

Olin Business School has six banners flying high, hanging on the third-floor atrium, reading integrity, collaboration, diversity, leadership, excellence, and the newest one has been added, respect. These are the values of the school we chose to come to, and although not perfect, as an institution, business school, and even as students—sorry, graduates—we have learned to strive to live up to those values every day since we got on campus.

My ask and charge for you today, graduates, is not to leave these values at the foothold once you leave this beautiful campus one last time, but to cherish and add these values to your ever-growing arsenal that now includes all we have learned during our time at Olin, both inside and outside the classroom.

As you embark on the next journey of life, embrace the seasons that come along the journey. Wherever it may be and whatever it may be, be present in the experience along the way. You have the backing and support of not only me but everyone behind me, everyone sitting in the stands, and everyone sitting to your right, left, front and back. Impossible is just an opinion. So go forth and be great. I’m rooting for you all! Congratulations, Class of 2023!

Pictured above: Samuel Amorin, MBA 2023, speaking at the May 2023 graduate programs graduation recognition ceremony. Photo by Jerry Naunheim

Headshot of Daniel Schindler, CEO of Buoy.

Buoy, a consumer products brand that makes and markets hydration drops and was born in WashU Olin’s Hatchery business plan course, has closed a $2.5 million seed round that includes 50 angel investors—including Chris Paul, star point guard for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

“This wasn’t easy. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Daniel Schindler, CEO of Buoy, who began the business while he was an Olin student when it was called BetterTomorrow. Schindler announced the closing of the funding round in an email on May 2.

“We wouldn’t have gotten here without the help and support of so many people,” he said. Schindler, MBA 2019, thanked his older brother, Jordan Schindler, for guiding the company as a mentor in fundraising and networking. He also credited Craig Frischling and Kit McQuiston, the startup’s lead contacts at the New York Angel’s group, who Schindler said spent three months doing due diligence and connected his team with other investors on their behalf.

Buoy has developed a line of flavorless liquid supplements that can be added to any drink to foster hydration and overall health by helping people retain water.

In a 2022 company recap Schindler distributed in January, he said Buoy Energy Drops were available at all 936 CVS HealthHUB locations in new and improved retail packaging, and that the brand was available in about 3,500 CVS stores. Meanwhile, in 3,400 Walgreens stores, the company’s hydration drops and immunity drops became available in new retail packaging nationwide and on Walgreens.com.

For the calendar year, Buoy said it had $640,840 in revenue, with $251,000 from retail locations, $239,000 through Amazon, $81,000 in direct-to-consumer sales through its website and another $69,000 in business-to-business sales.

“Thank you to all our investors for your belief and support,” Schindler said in an email announcing the funding round. “What a journey it’s been, and we’ve only just begun.”

St. Louis skyline

As a graduate student, you’re about to begin an exciting phase in your life by joining a new campus community. You’re opening yourself up to new student experiences, living in a different neighborhood, beginning your career, and seizing opportunities to learn and meet people who will be influential in your life.

There’s a lot to think about at this time, so to help you make sense of everything you’re learning, here’s your guide to some of the on-campus resources we have here at WashU.

Finding your way around

As you settle into campus life, you will want to find your own favorite places — your late-night haunts, your secret hideouts, your study spots. You’ll also need to find the set of locations on your schedule and create your on-campus routine.

WashU’s residential life webpage has a ton of helpful advice for you such as checklists to help you move, budgeting guidance, and information on utilities. As you get to know your way around, use Washington University campus resources to find your department and navigate St. Louis student activities.

Your student packet will come with a guide to St. Louis but you can also find useful information on the different neighborhoods around our campus at Explore St. Louis.

And to make the most of the city, you’ll want to check out local transportation and parking options, especially to make your first few days run smoothly. Whether you’re a driver or you’ll be mostly walking and using public transportation, you can check out Washington University in St. Louis Parking and Transportation Services, which will set you up with parking permits and metro passes. The campus also has a shuttle service, and you can find all the schedules, routes, and even real-time tracking of the shuttles.

What if you need help?

As you get to know the different on-campus resources available to you and adjust to this new experience, it may be helpful to know where to go if you need a helping hand or just a listening ear.

The Habif Health and Wellness Center is here for you, both in-person and through a student portal. The center’s staff can set you up with many kinds of help, from fulfilling vaccination requirements to figuring out student health insurance. All the services you might need can be located or accessed via the team here, including health services, mental health offerings, and reproductive health resources.

Thinking about your career

As you embark on a full-time MBA experience, thoughts about future goals and projects might be running through your head.

The first port of call for career interests or concerns is the Weston Career Center. Just make an appointment with one of the career advisors here and you can start making connections and learning skills that will help you achieve your career goals. Want to become a supremely prepared job candidate? Interested to learn how to gain experience in a particular industry? That’s what the career center is for.

If you want to get creative with your learning schedule and start trying out new skills and experiential learning, you’ll want to visit the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL). With a basis in business and nonprofit consulting, the CEL is a great matchmaker, pairing faculty mentors with students eager to apply what they’re learning in class in a practical format.

What should you do next?

As you await your first classes, there’s plenty you can do to get ready for campus life.

First, make sure you have all the health check-ins you need. Schedule any vaccinations you’re missing. You can find full vaccine information through the Wellness Center. And if you have any worries or concerns about mental health, make sure to browse Olin’s campus mental health resources.

Next, set yourself up with great housing so you can get excited about your campus experience. Whether you choose one of the on-campus options or an off-campus lease or sub-lease, we can help you find the right environment for you.

Lastly, keep checking your campus email as the semester gets closer. We’ll be sending you lots more on-campus resources as well as specific advice and opportunities related to the full-time MBA experience. Ask as many questions as you can — there is a whole team of people in our campus centers and organizations ready and looking forward to helping you have the best experience imaginable.

Pictured at top: The Olin Cup winning teams—Find It, left, and Papertrail, right—wrestle over the prize after tying in the competition on April 18.

Forty-two judges joined WashU Olin’s entrepreneurship team in celebrating student innovation on April 18 as eight finalists made startup pitches resulting in a first-place tie for the Olin Cup—a first in recent memory.

Meanwhile, more than 90 other teams competed for a piece of a $15,000 prize pool in Olin’s BIG IdeaBounce competition with pitches based on business ideas generated in the Hatchery program. The Olin entrepreneurship program attracted 55 judges to participate in that competition.

In the Olin Cup competition, eight finalists pitched and two emerged on top: PaperTrail (a car enthusiast record platform) and Find It (a platform to restore lost items to their owners using decorative QR code stickers).

Camille Devaney, BSBA 2025; Ethan Weilheimer, BS/EN 2025; Justin Moreno, BSBA 2023; and Maggie Croghan, BSBA 2023, were the team behind Find It. Meanwhile, the other Olin Cup-winning team included Kuo Wang, BS/EN/Master of engineering; Christian Robinson, BSBA 2026; Drew Kassman, business minor 2025; Andrew Padousis, BSBA 2025; and Jimmy Lancaster, BSBA/EN 2025, the team behind PaperTrail.

The two teams shared custody of the large Olin Cup trophy.

Winners were also named for undergraduate and graduate school teams in Olin’s BIG IdeaBounce competition. These teams competed for a share of the $15,000 prize pool.

The undergraduate team winner was ACHORD, a platform matching students to music
teachers based on connection factors. The grad team winner was Say, Hi!, an online platform
that connects people experiencing mental distress to licensed social workers, psychologists and
counselors around the world. Both teams won $3,000.

Second-prize entries won $1,250, third-prize entries received $750 and 10 runners-up got $500.

Pictured at top: The Olin Cup winning teams—Find It, left, and PaperTrail, right—wrestle over the prize after tying in the competition on April 18.

While WashU Olin showed stronger job placement results in its Full-Time MBA program and tightened the selectivity among PMBA students year over year, both programs declined in the latest ranking of graduate business programs by US News & World Report.

Those declines came, in part, in the wake of significant changes in US News‘ methodology for both rankings. Olin’s Full-Time MBA fell from 29th to 37th, tying in that ranking with programs from Penn State and the University of California-Irvine. The PMBA dropped slightly, from 19th to 20th year over year.

In the case of the FTMBA, some of that decline came thanks to changes in the US News methodology, which reduced the weight of a survey-based quality assessment by peer schools and recruiters and increased the weight of employment rates, mean starting salaries and bonuses.

“Across many dimensions of this latest US News MBA ranking, Olin held steady or improved in the raw numbers. That’s good news,” said Gisele Marcus, professor of practice in diversity, equity and inclusion and Olin’s interim co-lead in the graduate programs office. “The overall results of this ranking can serve as another reference point as we gauge where the MBA marketplace is headed. We know what we have to do.”

For example, Olin increased employment rates, starting salaries and bonuses year over year. Still, the heavier weighting for those measures resulted in a decline in that dimension relative to other programs. Meanwhile, Olin’s quality assessment by recruiters and peers stayed steady year over year, but that dimension counted substantially lower in the overall ranking.

Meanwhile, Olin’s PMBA program was able to be more selective, choosing students with higher test scores, better grade-point averages and more work experience than the year before—dimensions, again, that counted for less under the new US News ranking methodology. Olin was also penalized because fewer students submitted graduate admission test scores than the methodology allowed.

Indeed, in its coverage, Poets & Quants referred to US News‘ 2023 ranking as “topsy-turvy,” noting that under the new methodology, b-school powerhouses Stanford and Wharton slipped down the rankings year over year, while Harvard stayed at fifth. The US News changes “caused plenty of wild swings up and down the ranking, particularly for smaller MBA programs with larger numbers of international students,” the site wrote.