Part of a series of Q&As with Olin BSBA alumni. Today we hear from Andrew Glantz, BSBA ’17. Andrew founded GiftAMeal, a company that developed a mobile app that helps restaurants reach new audiences while empowering users to feed someone in need.
What are you doing for work now, and how did your Olin education impact your career?
I am working on growing a startup I founded while I was a student at WashU called GiftAMeal. GiftAMeal is a mobile app that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo at a partner restaurant.
Restaurants pay a monthly subscription to be on the app for marketing, and then we cover all the costs of donations to local food banks to feed the hungry. My Olin education has massively assisted GiftAMeal’s growth. From entrepreneurship courses like The Hatchery to marketing to negotiations to organizational behavior, I constantly pull from knowledge learned in Olin.
Additionally, the professors have been amazing advisors of mine, and we have actually been able to run some marketing experiments on GiftAMeal led by WashU professors to get their expert analysis!
In addition to the valuable course content and professors, my fellow classmates were majorly impactful. Olin has so many smart, driven students that are also incredibly unique. From conversations in the dorms, over lunch, or in the BSBA lounge, I was constantly learning from my peers and seeking their feedback.
What Olin course, ‘defining moment’ or faculty influenced your life most, and why?
The course that influenced me the most was organizational behavior. I bounced around from finance to economics and strategy. After taking OB 360, I realized my passion laid at the intersection of business and psychology.
Learning how people and organizations operate fascinated me and directed how I formed my team, negotiated contracts, built sales pitches, secured investment and built sustainable practices for my business.
How do you stay engaged with Olin or your Olin classmates and friends?
I stay engaged with Olin in a variety of ways. I serve as an associate member of the Alumni Board of Governors, a member of the Olin LEAD Committee, and as a member of the Skandalaris Center Eliot Society Committee.
I also occasionally guest lecture at WashU, hire WashU interns, conduct research with WashU professors, work with students who do class projects on GiftAMeal and mentor WashU student entrepreneurs. I stay in touch with my friends who graduated alongside me through Facebook, LinkedIn, phone calls, texts and occasional visits to one another.
Why is business education important?
Business education is crucial to build a solid foundation for how to think through problem solving and the fundamental components of what is needed for an organization to succeed.
Regardless of the organization, knowledge of finance, accounting, marketing, organizational behavior and strategy is just so necessary in order to make yourself a value add and to be able to see the bigger picture.
Looking back, what advice would you give current Olin students?
Looking back, I would advise Olin students to write down a few key takeaways at the end of each semester that they had about each of their courses. Then, when you have graduated, you can occasionally look back to remind yourself of those learnings and have them act as sparks to help you remember important things you learned in your courses.
I would also say to enjoy college, balance having fun and academics and get involved doing something you are passionate about. Olin presents so many opportunities for students, and this is the time to experiment and learn what you like and don’t like and find out who you want to be as a person in your future career.