Tag: olin



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.




Diana Zeng, BSBA ’14, thought she would explore St. Louis during her four year degree and then head back to Boston. The first didn’t happen. And luckily, neither did the second.

After moving to the United States and growing up near Chicago, New York, and Boston, Diana was looking forward to getting to know St. Louis while studying business and art at Washinton University. Quickly though, she became immersed in campus life and rarely explored the city.

Founding member and CEO of Full Circle - Diana Zeng

Founding member and CEO of Full Circle – Diana Zeng

“The campus bubble is simultaneously lovely and enclosed. There are endless organizations to get involved in, so without a channel to explore St. Louis, it can be easy to forget that an entire bustling city exists outside of WashU’s campus. When I did manage a rare glimpse, I was charmed by the character of the city.  After a summer internship in St. Louis through the Skandalaris Center, I was introduced to the entrepreneurial energy and incredible people making an impact here. I didn’t just want to get to know the city anymore, I now wanted to be a part of it!”

Post-graduation, Diana transitioned from working at a tech startup to leading a nonprofit start-up called Full Circle. The organization’s mission is to connect young talent to St. Louis and build a more economically vibrant and inclusive city in the process. She is the founding Executive Director but gives credit to her team and numerous community leaders for believing in this larger economic development effort to make St. Louis a hub for young talent.

“Our founding team consists of WashU, Saint Louis University and Illinois College alums from four countries – the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, and China. In a lot of ways, we represent the potential that can be captured here. There are many missed opportunities when we don’t connect young talent coming from all over the world to this city and its people. Through Full Circle, we can offer young people a channel to explore St. Louis and a community of peers to be energized by. Additionally for students, getting to know people in their mid-twenties shows them what making a life in St. Louis could be like.”

Modeled after successful efforts in Philadelphia and Baltimore (which has increased student retention from 29% to 51% in the past decade), Full Circle aims to uniquely highlight St. Louis. Their programs and events introduce young talent to professional, social, and civic opportunities in the city while putting a fun and funky twist on networking to help form genuine relationships.

beef+and+a+toast+-+with+love+from+stlFor example, CITYTREK focuses on exploring local events and hidden gems in the city while Beef And A Toast, held in partnership with Venture Cafe, focuses on discussing “beef” (issues) within St. Louis and toasting to being part of the solution.

Student interest from Washington University, Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and University of Missouri – St. Louis has also encouraged Full Circle to roll out a campus ambassador program for all of the regional colleges and universities.

“Recently, a WashU sophomore emailed me stating, ‘Full Circle is an organization that I have been trying to find to get involved in.’  That meant the world to us!  The economic benefits are substantial but hearing from an individual about how much we matter to them, that moves us to keep going. I love St. Louis and am proud to call it home, so being able to connect people through Full Circle is extremely fulfilling. Investing in people becomes a direct investment in St. Louis as well.”

If you want to get in touch with Diana to learn more, or support Full Circle, you can reach her at diana@fullcirclehq.org.

Written by guest blogger, KC Friedrich, Senior Associate Director for Development, Olin Business School.




A team of operations and supply chain management graduate students from Washington University’s Olin Business School came in second place at the regional finals of the Supply Chain Finance Community’s Global Student Challenge on Thursday, March 9. The competition, held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, was designed to promote awareness on the topic of supply chain finance and risk management.

“The Challenge engages participants to consider corporate strategy and business objectives and to manage cross-functional trade-offs in the value chain. Cross-functional understanding and collaboration are key components, as teams work together to turn their company around.” ~ globalstudentchallenge.org

The competition was based on a business simulation called The Cool Connection. According to the competition’s website, this simulation “provides insight in the complexities and inter-dependencies in supply chains operating under uncertain and volatile market conditions.”

The Olin team, composed of Xingxing Chen, Fasheng Xu, Yu Li, and Yunzhe Qiu, performed consistently well over multiple rounds, and stayed within reach of winning throughout the competition. Unfortunately, they were ultimately edged out in the final round of play. However, they placed ahead of strong competitors from Duke, USC, Maryland, and other top universities. They will find out in the coming weeks if they will advance to the global final to be held in the Netherlands in April.

On behalf of the Olin community, The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation would like to congratulate the team on its excellent performance! All of them have sharpened their supply chain management skills through their participation in mini-consulting projects that BCSCI conducts with its member companies. Our students’ success at the Global Student Challenge serves as another validation of their capabilities.

By Evan Dalton

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and our website [olin.wustl.edu/bcsci]

• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management

Website  • LinkedIn  • Subscribe  • Facebook  • Instagram  • Twitter  • YouTube




Photo, above: Tom and Catherine Holland and their children.

Tom Holland, EMBA ’12, has always been drawn to a life of adventure. As a young man from central Illinois, he participated in Wilderness Adventures, an adventure travel camp headquartered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with program offerings all over the world. Founded in 1973, Wilderness Adventures is for students ages 11-20 and seeks to inspire their leadership capabilities while adventuring through the most pristine natural spaces on the planet.

“That month-long summer experience opened my eyes to the person I could be. I was also exposed to the thrill of outdoor adventure,” Tom says. “I found that the experience was a unique way to educate the minds of young adults. I didn’t know it was possible to receive leadership education in wilderness areas.”

Tom’s experience led to him pursue a degree in secondary education from WashU (LA’02), and after graduating, he became a high school teacher. While teaching high school social studies, he continued to spend his summers leading backpacking adventures for kids in Wyoming.

“The mountains became an extension of my classroom—one where I could grow young adults into the best version of themselves. Using the metaphor of wilderness challenge, we deepened our understanding of ourselves,” he says.

Eventually, Tom went on to become the Executive Director of a residential summer camp program in Wyoming. In his new role, Tom decided to return to Washington University, but this time as a member of Olin’s Executive MBA Class 38.

“The EMBA program, much like that summer adventure so many years ago, challenged me in new ways. I found myself learning from both my professors and my peers. Further, they challenged me to dream big when it came to my professional life in the camp and adventure travel business.”

Following his EMBA experience, Tom took on a new job as CEO of the American Camp Association. There, he served as an industry spokesperson and worked with thousands of summer camp programs in the United States to improve the quality and availability of programs to children.

It was during his tenure at the American Camp Association that he was contacted by the owners of Wilderness Adventures, the program he attended as a teenager. They expressed their desire to pass the torch of leadership after 43 years, and wondered if Tom and his wife, Catherine, would be interested in taking the step into business ownership.

“We were thrilled to be approached with this opportunity and to direct such a fantastic company. With over 25,000 alumni, Wilderness Adventures has been a leader in the camp and student adventure travel industry since 1973, and we look forward to continuing that legacy.”

With hundreds of students coming from all over the United States and many international countries too, the program has global reach. And after just over a year at the helm, it is easy to see that Tom is putting to use the skills he acquired at Olin. While remaining true to the core programming of electronics-free youth adventure travel expeditions in national parks and wild areas around the globe, Wilderness Adventures is launching a day camp program for a younger audience in Jackson Hole.

A surfing excursion with Wilderness Adventures

A surfing excursion with Wilderness Adventures

“It is our goal to inspire the next generation to dream big. I was issued that challenge through my experience with Wilderness Adventures all those years ago, and Catherine and I look forward to being stewards of that mission for years to come.”

During the month of March, Wilderness Adventures is offering a $200 program coupon for the children of Olin alumni who wish to enroll in the summer of 2017.  To claim your coupon, email info@wildernessadventures.com, with the subject line: OLIN20.

Written by guest blogger KC Friedrich, Senior Associate Director of Development, Olin Business School


Washington University’s Olin Business School was proud to host the second annual Monsanto Olin Supply Chain Case Competition on Friday, February 3. Teams from top business schools across the country competed for bragging rights and the $10,000 grand prize. Participating universities included Michigan State University, the University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Washington University in St. Louis, and last year’s champs, Texas Christian University. After much deliberation, the judges decided that UNC had delivered the top overall presentation, with second place going to WashU, and third place to Mizzou.

The competition was designed to give graduate students an opportunity to provide innovative business solutions to a case study written about Monsanto’s seed corn supply chain. Monsanto’s motivation for holding the competition was to foster and attract more supply chain management talent to work on food supply chain solutions for an ever-growing world. Monsanto’s Global Customer Care team, led by Mario Morhy and Marcelle Pires, was very pleased with all presentations and impressed by the level of talent and insight displayed by the teams.

1st Place $10,000:  University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
2nd Place $5000:  Washington University, Team Olin :Tom Siepman, Serena Chen, Ravi Balu and Samantha Feng
3rd Place $2500:  University of Missouri- Columbia

The case study used for the competition, titled “Monsanto Company: Production & Inventory Planning Challenges in Seed Corn Supply Chains,” was written by WashU’s Panos Kouvelis, Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management and director of The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation. The competition was administered by Olin Business School’s graduate programs office, with Associate Dean Joe Fox acting as the master of ceremonies and his team, including Sarah Miller and Laura Fogarty, providing strong logistical support.

On behalf of the Olin community, The Boeing Center congratulates the UNC team on their victory and thanks all those who helped make this year’s case competition a great success!

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and our website [olin.wustl.edu/bcsci]

• • •

A Boeing Center digital production

The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation

Supply Chain // Operational Excellence  //  Risk Management

Website  • LinkedIn  • Subscribe  • Facebook  • Instagram  • Twitter  • YouTube


Olin Business School Blog Olin Business School Blog