Tag: Full-time MBA



Sarah Kaplan, BFA 2018, wrote this post on behalf of the Bauer Leadership Center.

Through a panel discussion cohosted by the Bauer Leadership Center and the Century Club Business Series, the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees shared how value systems have shaped their career paths.

  • Zack Boyers, MBA 01’, chairman and CEO, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp., St. Louis.
  • Shirley Cunningham, MBA ’08, executive vice president, AG Business and Enterprise Strategy, CHS Inc., Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.
  • Munir Mashooqullah, MBA ’98, founder and custodian, Synergies Worldwide, Thailand.
  • Richard Ritholz, BSBA ’84, partner, senior portfolio manager and head of global commodities trading, Elliott Management Corporation, New York City.

A defining theme throughout the discussion was the significance of having a global perspective while relying on a focused value system.

Global Thinking

Richard Ritholz described not understanding globalization as going into a fight with one arm tied behind your back. In an increasingly “fast-changing and globalized world,” an appreciation for how other people think is incredibly important.

Having spent time abroad in England, Italy, Norway, and Holland working for Mobil Oil, Ritholz had to assimilate across many cultures.

“It really opened up my mind,” he said. “Without the experience of internationalization, I just don’t think I would have thought about things with as open a mind as I was able to, and I am not so sure I would have been as successful.”

Shirley Cunningham likewise shared how in her experience working around the world, a global perspective makes you think more broadly. “It makes you think in a more rounded way if you think about the globe as the opportunity versus just a narrow strip.”

With global opportunity also comes global responsibility. Munir Mashooqullah pointedly stated that all of us now have a global footprint.

“You cannot be a leader or a manager or have skills without understanding how things work around the world,” he said. Mashooqulla shared a tip he picked up from the president/CEO of Bain: CEOs have to be the leader of an ecosystem, not just a singular asset. This applies to not only global corporations, but also national organizations.

As Zach Boyers shared that working in a primarily US-based company, technology and global change still affect national organizations. In handling these global shifts and changes, it is important to have a dedicated core set of values to act upon.

Focused Values

In addressing a global business world, all four alums agreed on the importance of not just having core values, but focusing on implementing them within one’s own organization. Boyers got to the heart of the matter: “The question really becomes, what do values mean in practice and in an operating model in your business?”

To implement a core value of teamwork into his own operating model, Ritholz starts by understanding the impact of teamwork, then “I work backward and try to figure out what we need in order to engender that type of teamwork, spirit, and camaraderie.”

Mashooqullah shared another strategy implementing a values-based culture: Values must start at the top.

“We put on our website that reputation is what other people think of you, and that character is what you are,” he said. “Culture is important because without that, you cannot pre-populate an organization with what you think.”

Without a cultivated culture, it is difficult to act on specified values. Cunningham also emphasized a values-based culture. She shared an experience working in a blame-oriented culture.

From relying on her core values of integrity and problem solving, she was able to re-align with a business environment, which also supported that belief system. When it comes to values in a global world, a resounding reminder from these alums is that you cannot just talk to the talk, but you must walk the walk.

Be sure to click this link to see the Distinguished Alumni Symposium on April 12, 2018, or view the video below.




Don Dorsey, pictured in 2004,

Don Dorsey, pictured in 2004

C. Donald Dorsey, a member of Olin’s National Council, a longtime scholarship supporter, and distinguished alumnus, died on Thursday (May 3, 2018). He was 76.

Mr. Dorsey served as a senior executive for PetSmart during its rapid expansion from seven stores to more than 500. He even served a stint as interim CEO for the company’s operations in the UK, where he was credited with stabilizing its operations in the late 1990s and positioning the overseas unit for continuous improvement at that time.

Longtime members of the Olin community recalled Mr. Dorsey as a tireless booster for Olin and Washington University, where he received his BSBA degree in 1964.

“He was pretty close to me,” said Robert Virgil, dean emeritus at Olin. “He was one of my very first students when I started teaching. I go back a long way with him. I remember him well as a good student, a leader of his class and after graduating, a dedicated alum of Washington University—very generous.”

Virgil recalled Mr. Dorsey being very active in Washington University’s Scholarship Initiative Campaign. Indeed, he and his wife have been benefactors of the Donald and Lydia Dorsey Scholarship since 2006. Two years earlier, Mr. Dorsey had received Olin’s Distinguished Alumni Award for his career accomplishments.

“Don was a very special friend for Olin Business School and Washington University,” said Mahendra Gupta, former Olin dean and Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management. “He loved his school and his university and was always there to support them and to be a great ambassador.”

Gupta recalled recruiting a reluctant Mr. Dorsey to the National Council by inviting him to a meeting, where he was impressed by the membership of the group and the intense dedication each member shared for the future of the school. He joined the council in 2009.

“Don was an engaged member of the Olin community through his service on our National Council,” Dean Mark Taylor said. “His commitment to supporting students is inspiring and I am grateful for how welcoming he was during my first year as dean.”

Career Highlights

Mr. Dorsey was a St. Louis native through-and-through, graduating from Normandy High School, attending Washington University, and signing on for his first job with Price Waterhouse locally. He worked there 12 years before moving into general management with retailers in the grocery, automotive, and eye-ware industries.

In 1989, Mr. Dorsey joined PetSmart—three years after it launched—as senior vice president and chief financial officer, helping the company through enormous growth. The chain had blossomed to more than 500 stores and Mr. Dorsey helped guide the company through its 1993 IPO before he retired in 1999.

“Being a CPA was a strong background for moving into general management,” Mr. Dorsey said upon receiving recognition as a distinguished alumnus. “In building PetSmart, we began by working with consumer focus groups to discover what our customers really needed. From that basis, we built on the concept of one-stop service for their pets.”

At about that time, after his leadership, the company’s UK unit was acquired by UK-based Pets at Home in December 1999. PetSmart later went private after its 2015 takeover by BC Partners for $8.7 billion.

Following his retirement, Mr. Dorsey worked as an adviser and investor for several development-stage consumer-related companies such as Ulta Beauty and Five Below.

His wife Lydia and his children were with him at the time of his death. Mr. Dorsey is survived by his wife, Lydia; daughter, Lisa. and son-in-law, Ken Stewart; daughter, Christine Dorsey; stepsons, Eric Bazarnic and Cliff Bazarnic; daughters-in-law, Lynn Ducey and Zoja Bazarnic.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Pictured above: National Council member and BSBA ’64 Don Dorsey with Frank Duan, BSBA ’16, recipient of the Donald and Lydia Dorsey Scholarship.


The Center for Experiential Learning celebrated the accomplishments of 44 participants in the Olin/United Way Board Fellows program on Monday, April 23. The students served 46 agencies across our region.

In addition, the CEL recognized six agencies that celebrated their five-year anniversary with the board fellows program: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America St. Louis Chapter; JDRF; Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House; The Salvation Army Midland Division; Senior Services Plus, and the Wyman Center.

In the video above, we meet several Olin students as they embarked on their board service at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. Later, we check in on the reaction to their time as nonprofit board members and we also get a chance to hear from staff members from several of the agencies that participated in the program.

The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program pairs Olin graduate students with United Way of St. Louis-supported nonprofits for a one-year term on the agency’s board. In addition to their board service—as full, voting members—they are responsible for executing a project designed to provide lasting social impact. These projects bring to bear innovative thinking, detailed analysis, and valuable recommendations from talented Olin students through their pro bono service.




Liberman Award honorees from Olin. Back row, from left to right: Anshul Singhal MBA

Angela Lu, MBA ’19, president of the Graduate Business Student Association, provided the information for this post.

Graduate students from WashU gathered for the 2018 Liberman Leadership Awards at Umrath Lounge on April 11. Ashley Macrander, PhD, assistant dean for graduate student affairs and the director of the Liberman Graduate Center, served as host while Jessica Rosenfeld, PhD, associate professor in the department of English and director of graduate studies for the English department, delivered introductory remarks.

The Liberman Leadership Awards are designed to recognize and highlight the remarkable leadership of Washington University graduate and professional students and student organizations.

Olin Business School honorees included Net Impact, for Excellence in Sustainability; the Greater China Club, the Olin Japan Association, and the Korean Olin Students Association—collectively known as the East Asian MBA Student Clubs for the purpose of the award—won Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion; Olin Strategy and Consulting Association won Distinguished Organization; and Ony Mgbeahurike, MBA ’19, won the Rising Star award.

Back row, from left to right: Anshul Singhal MBA’18, Lin Gu MBA’19, Tatiana Qin MBA’19, Ricardo Mexia MBA’19, Seungho Oh MBA’19, Raisaa Tashnova MBA’18, Kavon Javaherian MD/MBA’19, Jin (Yoonjin) Hwang MBA’19, Brad Wu MBA’19, Vanessa Redensek MBA’19, Aubrey Western MBA’19

Front row, from left to right: Neelam Vyas MBA’18, Kartik Chaturvedi MBA’18, Amanda Wald MBA’18, Ony Mgbeahurike MBA ’19, Angela Lu MBA’19, Chioma Ukeje MBA’19.  Photo by Sid Hastings.


In an earlier blog post, we shared information about the launch of the “Men as Allies” initiative by Olin Women in Business. This video features Julie Kellman and Gheremey Edwards, both MBA ’19, as they describe the reasons for starting the initiative, strategies for serving as an ally to women in the workplace, and their excitement for how well received the initiative was when it was launched in January.




Club President Ony Mgbeahurike, MBA ’19, wrote this post on behalf of the Olin Africa Business Club.

Ony presenting on Africa business insights.

Ony presenting on Africa business insights.

The future of the world resides on the ability of African nations to realize their potential in global trade and economy. This was further analyzed and discussed during the inaugural Olin Africa Business Forum on March 30, 2018.

Olin Dean Mark Taylor kicked off the event by remarking, “not only is it right to embrace developing countries, it’s absolutely necessary.” Dean Taylor’s remarks underscored the importance of enterprises focusing on Africa as the last frontier for global development. Olin Business School has various activities in Africa under the International Impact Initiative, which includes ongoing projects in Africa (Uganda, Nigeria, and Madagascar).

An Olin 1988 alum, Walé F. Adeosun of Kuramo Capital, shed more light on his work in Africa through his private equity firm, a $300 million multi-asset management firm. Walé detailed his experience at Olin and left the attendees with the three P’s—passion, preparation, and perseverance—as tools to succeed in their careers and Africa.

Agro-tech panel moderated by Sharon Mazimba, MBA '19.

Agro-tech panel moderated by Sharon Mazimba, MBA ’19.

Olin Africa Business Club President Ony Mgbeahurike, MBA ’19, introduced the club’s co-founders, mission, and a brief analysis of the African market. Ony made the case for an African market with a growing population of youth, urbanization, and sharp overall population increase.

He highlighted the opportunities the continent presents to corporations seeking growth and above average investment returns. These are especially ripe in agriculture/processing, manufacturing, and infrastructure.

Other segments of the event focused on leadership and the agricultural technology space in Africa. Specifically, the leadership qualities needed to capture Africa’s potential and how technology and agriculture will play a crucial role in attracting foreign investments in Africa. These segments were moderated by Olin first-year MBAs Matilda Thomas and Sharon Mazimba.

Audience during panel discussions.

Audience during panel discussions.

These segments featured distinguished entrepreneurs, professionals and Olin Professor Stuart Bunderson, co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center, along with Walé Adeosun, Rob Dunlop (Monsanto), Ade Osibamiro (Mastercard), Anne Toba (Ripples Foundation USA), and Toyin Umesiri (Nazaru).

The forum closed with keynote speaker Toyin Umesiri—CEO of Nazaru and founder of the Trade with Africa Business Summit. Her talk focused on how African leaders should place paramount importance on “squeezing the best value from African resources.” Toyin asked the attendees to repeat a saying: “Africa is not poor.” It’s a quote she hopes will reshape the thinking and mindset of event attendees on the economic values Africa brings to the world.

Event attendees enjoyed breakfast, an African lunch and cocktail reception at event close. Event sponsors included Dean Mark Taylor, Monsanto, Olin Graduate Student Business Association, and the Weston Career Center.

Photos courtesy of Brand of St Louis. Pictured at top: Group pictures with event speakers and panelists.


Olin Business School Blog Olin Business School Blog