Poets & Quants features Olin alumna Cambrie Nelson, as one of its “2017 MBAs To Watch.” When asked what made Nelson an invaluable addition to the class of 2017, Joe Fox, former associate dean for graduate programs, compared her arrival on campus to that of a hurricane, “Cambrie Nelson is a force of nature. Her passion, energy, enthusiasm, leadership and willingness to do whatever it takes to get something done is simply extraordinary and exemplary.”
The teacher-consultant-entrepreneur-turned-MBA student was a fully engaged member of her class as Student Government Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion and an appointed representative to University-Wide Diversity Commission. She was president of the Net Impact Club; a TA for a Management Strategy course; a grad assistant for the Social Entrepreneurship department at WashU’s Brown School; and a member of several CEL practicum teams and projects, just to name a few of her extra-curricular activities.
Nelson sums up herself best with this description:
“I am a boldly-curious, collective-minded, empathically-activated, story-architect, catalyzed towards authoring the world that embraces the intersection of business and social justice.”
Here are a few excerpts from P&Q’s Q&A with Cambrie Nelson.
What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite MBA Courses were Critical Thinking Processes & Modeling for Effective Decision Making and Competitive Industry Analysis. From these courses, I learned that business is about using both data to guide conclusions, but communication and relationship skills to guide influence.
Why did you choose this business school? I chose Washington University in St. Louis because of its small cohort size, location, curriculum geared toward individualization (with specializations like Social Entrepreneurship), strong academic and research expertise, and its cultural emphasis of building compassionate, collaborative leaders.
What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Beyond getting up each morning to be challenged in a new way, I also appreciate and enjoy that business school is vastly team-oriented. Similar to the world beyond the confines of a school, the need to connect and collaborate to accomplish a task beyond what an individual is capable of is exhilarating and inspiring. Given the diversity of industry background inherent to any business school cohort, often my most influential instructors were my peers who brought their experience and perspective to each assignment we approached.
What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? How intensely it begins and how quickly it ends.
Top photo: Nelson with the CEL Practicum team consulting with The Women’s Bakery in Remera, Rwanda.