Tag: mentors

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, MBA 2002, Chief Business Officer and Co-founder of online marketplace Shopclues, a highly successful startup based in India, talks about the importance of mentors in her career in an interview with the Economic Times.

“I have had several mentors who have greatly influenced different aspects of my growth and learning in the past 20 years or so. My dean at Washington University, Dr Mahendra Gupta, former dean, Olin Business School, had a great influence on me during my early professional career.

“I have known my current mentor for almost 10 years now. …The most important professional advice I got from my mentor was to always hire someone better than yourself.’ She said, ‘If you find that you are generally the smartest person on the table then there is something wrong.'”

Link to Economic Times article.

Related blog post.

The Friends of Olin reception is one of the highlights of the year. It allows Olin to thank the many volunteers who help shape our students’ development. The event took place on May 12, a week before Commencement.

Dean Mark Taylor kicked off the event by thanking our guests for being judges, mentors, speakers, volunteers, advisory board members, and employers.

Over the course of the school year, nearly 2,000 individual volunteers provided insights and guidance to help students develop to their maximum potential.

More than 300 guest speakers shared their expertise in and out of the classroom, and over 125 companies networked with our students at our Meet the Firms events throughout the academic year.

Poets & Quants celebrated two of our BSBA students, Colton Calandrella and  Jessica Landzberg, and two of our MBA students, Markey Culver and Conn Davis, this year.

Todd Milbourn introduced our three featured speakers: Lillie Ross, BSBA’17, Professor Dan Elfenbein, and IBM’s Jerry Lis. Each speaker shared their perspective on the role and impact of Olin’s many friends.

Speakers: Dan Elfenbein and Lillie Ross.

Lillie spoke of mentorship and the meaningful relationship with a Friend of Olin that she developed her sophomore year and will last beyond her graduation.
Professor Elfenbein waxed poetic on the value of having classroom speakers who help illustrate the key learnings from his class.

Jerry Lis shares from the heart how IBM is a Friend of Olin.

Finally, Jerry Lis spoke of how important it has become for IBM to have a strong relationship with Olin and how both his company and the University have benefited from the partnership. It was a beautiful afternoon and a great way to celebrate our corporate partners and their help in creating the Olin experience.

Friends of Olin take home gift

Special thank you cookies for Friends of Olin.

©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Kathy Button BellKathy Button Bell, Chief Marketing Officer at Emerson is one of the executives who shares advice from mentors in a new e-book from Bizwomen, Mentors Across America. The book is free and available here.

It contains inspiring quotes from successful women nation wide. Kathy Button Bell shared her career experience with Olin’s Women & Leadership course. David Farr, Emerson’s Chairman and CEO, also spoke to the class and is pictured pictured above with Button Bell.

Here’s an excerpt from Mentors Across America with advice from Button Bell who says, “I have had several incredible mentors give me great advice across many businesses.”

1. Rip your ‘to-do’ list in half.

Prioritize tightly to the most important three ‘high-value projects’ you/your business can accomplish.

2. Go big or go home.

None of us has enough budget to do everything. Pick one to two big attention opportunities and throw all we have against those tight choices. Good money after good.

3. Make your boss a hero.

Always keep your station in mind, take their priorities as your own. Knock it out of the park on their behalf. Enjoy the view.”

Link to related blog post, a profile of Kathy Button Bell


RBC mentor panel

At the St. Louis Regional Business Council’s (RBC) Spring Reception for the Mentor Network Program, a panel of RBC Mentors shared sage advice with students.

RBC mentor network logoKathy Osborn, Executive Director of the RBC, advised the audience to “find a company with a mission you can get behind.”

Debbie Rub, Vice President & General Manager at Boeing, shared Boeing’s vision for the future as the company celebrates its 100th year. “Human flight is the future,” Rub declared.

The panel moderator was John Stupp, President of Stupp Bros. He kicked off the discussion by asking, “What lessons have you learned along the way?” Below are a few of the candid insights panelists provided:

Tom Manenti, Chairman and CEO, MiTek Industries:

  • Show up on time (which Manenti said is actually 15 minutes early).
  • Have organization skills.
  • Have an open mind.

Wendy Henry, Managing Partner, BKD:

  • Love what you do. Be passionate.
  • Nurture and develop relationships.
  • Learn your business, not just your job. Understand how it operates.

Tony Thompson, Chairman and CEO, Kwame Building Group:

  • Don’t accumulate too many enemies at one time.
  • Empathy in a leader is important.
  • Inspect what you expect if you want respect.

Dan Gillian, Vice President, F/A-18 & EA-18 Programs, Boeing Military Aircraft

  • Know your business and do your job first.
  • Believe in the power of yes. Take risks.
  • Manage your luck. Put yourself in the right positions.
  • Be intentional and not prescriptive.

Additional insight and advice from panelists to come!

About the RBC Mentor Network. Every academic year, each of the 14 schools of business and engineering in the Collaboration recommends students, based on academic performance and interest in the St. Louis business community, to participate in the RBC Mentor Network. These students are then individually paired with a CEO or top executive of an RBC company to receive practical, “real world” knowledge and post-graduate opportunities.

In this video, Michelle Duguid, professor of organizational behavior, and Maxine Clark, founder and former CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshops, talk about the importance of mentorship for women in the workplace. These conversations are part of a four-part series on the course the two are co-teaching, Women & Leadership.

Clark: I think mentorship is really important. I think people think of it sometimes as a very static thing, like okay, I’m going to go ask somebody to be my mentor and then they’re going to be my mentor and they’re going to help me get to be successful. But it isn’t really like that. A mentorship relationship is really a give and take. And you can say, well I’m a young student, what can I give that person who’s older and more experienced? But there really is a lot that you can give.

It’s a very active relationship. It’s not something that is static, and it’s not something where you can just expect to be a sponge and not give anything in return. It won’t work that way. People that report directly to you are looking to you for an example. They are looking to you for guidance, and it may not always be some formal mentoring going on, there’s informal mentoring and you have to be aware of that. There’s just still not enough of us [women] that we’re still looked up to and still seen as an exception, which I wish wasn’t the case, but it actually gives us, you know, more chance to teach.

It’s a very active relationship. It’s not something that is static, and it’s not something where you can just expect to be a sponge and not give anything in return.

Duguid: The research is pretty clear on this. Women who have sponsors, people who have skin in the game for them that’ll put their reputation on the line saying, “Yeah, you know, this person is great. You should definitely have them on your team.” It is, for men and women, extremely important for the success of their careers, and like Maxine said, it is a give and take. It’s a relationship that has to be cultivated, and it needs to be cared for and always not in one direction. That’s one of the biggest things that I think that people need to know about mentorship and sponsorship relationships. One of the things with sponsorship is if someone puts their reputation on the line, and says, “This is the person you need,”  you just need to do a really good job as well.  That’s a big part of it.

Clark: It’s always flattering when somebody wants you to be their mentor, but you have to really help them realize, well, I’m glad to help you in any way I can.  So, I think there’s lots of ways to mentor.  Some are short term and some are longer term and lots of ways to get way more than you give in the process.