Tag: GO! week

Photo, above: While Abby Kaeli maps a course for the EMBA 51 GO! Week scavenger hunt, her team members, Manoj Doddi Srinivas, Evan Schnur, Cody Hostuttler, and Alba Creales discuss strategy.

Executive MBA class 51 arrived at the Knight Center at WashU on Sunday, September 10, to kick off GO! Week, the first residency in the 20-month WashU EMBA journey. After checking in to their hotel rooms at the Knight Center, they gathered with Olin faculty and staff to begin the week.

The residency includes a heavy focus on team development, and the group of 44 students were assigned to their first team. Innovation, entrepreneurship, strategic management, and critical thinking are also major components of GO! Week. The residency includes lively debate, late nights, hard work, reflection, and some fun along the way, including a scavenger hunt and family night.

Team B (Laura Robbins, Kanda Arunachalam, Leah Ruder, Eric Goettelmann and Matt Broom) celebrates their arrival to the Whittemore House finish line for the scavenger hunt.

Close to 70% of the class is from the St. Louis area, with the rest commuting from Denver, Kansas City, Chicago and Southern Illinois, Indiana, and Arkansas. The program’s once-a-month format makes the commute possible from anywhere. Of interest, the 51st cohort includes a certified yoga instructor, a former NFL player, four doctors, and leaders from the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy.

From bankers to business owners, physicians to entrepreneurs, veterans to miners, the new EMBA class represents 37 different organizations, bringing multiple perspectives into the classroom for dynamic dialogue and discussion. 40% of the students are women. The average age of the entire cohort is 40, with an average of 15 years of work experience.

This 51st cohort of Olin’s Executive MBA program will navigate the areas of growth, global markets, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The program’s capstone course concludes with an innovation project that synthesizes knowledge from the entire curriculum.

Beyond GO! Week, the EMBA cohort will look forward to the Leadership Residency in St. Louis, The Business of Policy residency in Washington DC, and the International Residency in China before graduating April 30, 2019.

Welcome, EMBA 51—we are so glad to have you here at Olin!

Last weekend was PMBA GO! As a newly-minted member of PMBA 44, I discovered I had a lot to learn.

I work in Olin’s Marketing & Communications Department, behind-the-scenes of Olin’s social media presence and the blog and website. Luckily, I work for a university that is very supportive of staff continuing their education. Even luckier, I work at one of the top-ranked business schools in the country.

Enrolling in the Professional MBA program was intimidating, but thrilling. Having conquered GO! Weekend, I have a better idea of what I hope to get out of the program, and where I am now.

My framing and conceptualization of problems is narrow

This was a surprising discovery for me, but I suppose that was the point of reading hours’ worth of case studies. The benefit of participating in class discussion about cases is that you become aware of holes in your logic. Some of the potential solutions (or issues) my peers were raising simply did not occur to me, and vice versa.

As a cohort we spent a lot of time learning about problem formulation and its importance in critical thinking. The more we improve at problem formulation—arguably the most important step in critical thinking, since a great solution to the wrong problem is still the wrong solution—the better we become at taking a step back and looking at the situation from a new perspective.


It’s okay that I don’t have a background rooted in finance and statistics

My educational background is in journalism, and the bulk of my business experience is in marketing. To say that I was a little hesitant about diving into an MBA program with some of the region’s up-and-coming business leaders is an understatement. But I also knew that Olin has positioned itself as a safe environment for industry- and career-changers.

I have a lot to learn when it comes to quantitative decision making, statistics, and accounting…or operational management, strategic management, and economics. Really, I just have a lot to learn. There is a steep learning curve for me, but it seems much more manageable than I feared it would be. Plus, I bring other skills to the table that can be as valuable in pitching someone on an idea or getting buy-in. Prof. Tarek Ghani said the cohort, like any other MBA group, could be split into categories of “poets” and “quants.” I am very much in the “poets” category.

Yes, GO! Weekend is pretty intense

Don’t let the pics of team building fool you! GO! Weekend is a lot of work. The main component of the PMBA program that can make the workload seem so daunting is the fact that nearly all of the students are employed full-time. We weren’t gently eased into case studies and writing recommendations—we were told to drink from the fire hose immediately. I never imagined myself spending the amount of time I spent calculating, analyzing, and writing a 300 word recommendation. It’s difficult, but the challenge is also exciting.

Teams are organized for diversity—and it is very beneficial

I’m on a core team of four, and we come from different backgrounds: chemical engineering, operations, finance, and marketing. The diversity of experiences and thought has already been helpful to broaden my thinking toward certain cases and the way I approach them. The PMBA program does this intentionally, because everyone can learn from how things are done in other industries, and differing skillsets complement each other. But the entire class has a richness of perspectives and ideas to share, which really augments lectures and class discussion.

I’m looking forward—with excitement but also a little anxiety—to the coming months. I feel like I’ve already experienced an evolution in my thinking (although I certainly have a ways to go), and it has been three days! Where will I be at the end of these three years?

The first year MBAs have arrived! GO Week orientation is officially underway. Students gathered in the Atrium after their first day of introductory classes to meet and greet each other. Class t-shirts and Olin-branded back packs were distributed to the enthusiastic, fresh faces ready to begin their business school journey. Welcome to all – we can’t wait to get to know you – and wish you all the best as the newest members of the Olin community.

Two MD/MBA students, Taleef Khan and Ramin Lalezari, have joined Olin

The entering MBA class of 2018 features two students who are concurrently enrolled in the MD program at WashU. While a formal joint degree agreement does not yet exist between the Medical School and Olin, dedicated students like Taleef Khan and Ramin Lalezari can successfully balance the demands of both programs.

Taleef and Ramin will spend 2016-17 academic year focused on the MBA curriculum, before returning to the Med School campus to complete their studies in medicine (while mixing in any remaining b-school coursework along the way to the completion of both degrees).

Taleef and Ramin have been enthusiastic during their first weeks as MBA students, recently writing to me:

“Ramin and I wanted to thank you and everyone in the office for an unbelievable orientation week. From all the free food to the incredibly educational lectures, this has been a great kick-off to our year at the business school. We are really looking forward to the year ahead.

Additionally, we would love to help out on the recruitment end of the “unofficial” dual degree. We will continue to send more med students your way. In the meantime, we wanted to share a picture with you; it’s already one of my favorites. Please let us know if there are any other ways we can help, we’d be more than happy to do so. “

We want to welcome Talif and Ramin to the Olin community. It is great to have you here with us.

Executive MBA class 45 met for the first time Sunday, September 14 to kick off Go! Week and their 20-month Executive MBA journey. It is sure to be filled with healthy debate, hard work, and some good old college football rivalries. In the cohort, students represent alma maters from the Big 10, SEC, Pac-12, Big Sky, ACC and Big 12 among other athletic conferences, including a few good solid independents.

Olin’s latest EMBA cohort includes classes from both St. Louis and Denver.  Combined, they boast a collective 800 years of work experience, and they come from near (walking distance from Washington University) and far, including Texas, Maine, Tennessee, Arkansas and Washington D.C. Olin’s once-a-month format makes it possible for executives to commute to class from anywhere.

From bankers to business owners, physicians to entrepreneurs, veterans to attorneys, EMBA 45 represents over 40 different organizations, bringing multiple perspectives into the classroom for dynamic dialogue and discussion.

This 45th cohort of Olin’s Executive MBA program will navigate general business management, the Leadership Residency, experiential learning themes and the International Residency where they will connect with our Shanghai 14 cohort at our partner school Fudan University, before graduating on April 30, 2016.

Welcome to the Olin family, EMBA 45. College football rivalries included, it will be a great ride!