Tag: Poets & Quants

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.

Don’t stop here, link to the full story.

Top photo: Nelson with the CEL Practicum team consulting with The Women’s Bakery in Remera, Rwanda.

Poets & Quants asked top business school deans, What was your favorite mistake in your career?  The question solicited thoughtful answers from the deans of Wharton, Kellogg, Emory, and others including Olin’s Mark Taylor.

“I can think of instances, especially early in my career, where I was too emotionally attached to a pet project to admit that it was not performing according to expectations and that I needed to cut bait. The time, effort and imagination that goes in into launching something can easily cloud one’s judgment into thinking, “It can’t possibly fail and turnaround and success are just around the corner.” After this happened a couple of times – and I saw that prevarication only made matters worse – I realised that having projects fail is a normal element of business. In fact, if some projects don’t occasionally fail, it means that, as a leader, you are not taking enough controlled risks. The skill is in having more projects succeed than fail.”
– Mark P. Taylor

Link to Poets & Quants article.


Picking a favorite professor is a tough assignment at Olin, but Poets & Quants dared to ask members of their Best & Brightest MBA list. Markey Culver, MBA’17, named John Horn, Senior Lecturer in Economics. Horn has a track record as an outstanding teacher and favorite prof – he’s received the school’s Reid Teaching Award five times from graduating classes since 2014. Students select recipients of the Reid Award that honors a teacher  “whose enthusiasm and exceptional teaching most inspire, energize, and transform.”

Here’s why Markey named Horn in the Poets & Quants survey:

Like business leaders, MBA professors are often the extensions of the cultures they work so hard to mold and maintain. Make no mistake: They aren’t teaching to enjoy those clichéd 9-to-5 clock outs with summers off. Washington University’s John Horn, for example, served as an unofficial board member for Markey Culver’s startup, helping her after hours with drafting strategic plans, refining the business model, and preparing to scale the operation.

John Horn

Horn was a Senior Expert in the Strategy Practice of McKinsey & Company, based out of the Washington, DC, office, before joining Olin. During nearly a decade, he worked with clients on competitive strategy, war gaming workshops and corporate and business unit strategy across a variety of industries and geographies.

He was also an adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining McKinsey, John assisted major U.S. financial institutions with fair lending compliance as a consultant with Ernst & Young LLP. He also worked as an economic consultant with The Brattle Group, specializing in economic expert testimony in litigation support, including anti-trust and patent infringement cases.

Horn holds the following degrees:

PhD 1998, Harvard University
MA 1994, Harvard University
BA 1991, University of Michigan





Poets & Quants’ recently released “2017 Best & Brightest EMBAs” include two Olin standouts: Brian Estes and Katherine Buehner.

At 28, Brian Estes became the youngest Vice President in the history of A.G. Edwards and Sons, so it’s no surprise he was named one of St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Up and Comers” shortly after. He’s now a Venture Capital partner at The St. Louis Arch Angels and SixThirty FinTech Accelerator.

“My biggest regret was not starting 10 years ago,” Brian tells Poets & Quants. “The program is so interesting and valuable that it’s a shame I did not take advantage of this educational opportunity when I was younger.”

“Brian brings a wealth of experience, an impressive track record, a no-nonsense approach, and a collegial attitude to his EMBA cohort,” says Stuart Bunderson, Associate Dean and Director of Executive Programs and the Co-Director of the Bauer Leadership Center.

“He is a natural leader who holds himself and other to the highest standards of excellence without coming across as negative, impatient, or superior. His passion for excellence pushes us as faculty and as a program to greater heights. We are very fortunate to have Brian in our program.”

Katie was flying Blackhawk helicopters before enrolling in the Executive MBA program, where she started a new professional chapter: entrepreneurship.

She partnered with a classmate to open a staff business. “We launched the company six weeks earlier than we had expected and grew four times quicker than we had anticipated,” she tells Poets & Quants. “The company was turning a profit in four months.”

Her impressive background—trailblazing in a male-dominated industry to a fearless transition into business—also caught the eye of both The Denver Business Journal and The National Business Journal, who profiled her this year.

“Katie  is hard-working, team-oriented, and incredibly bright. She gets things done without drama and in a professional way,” Bunderson told Poets & Quants. “But what is perhaps most notable about Katie – and incredible given her impressive military track record – is that she is just simply a delightful person…a humble, nice, and delightful person. Every one of her classmates would love to have her on their team.”

Congratulations, Katie and Brian!

News of Olin’s Shakespeare festival spread far and wide. With more than 700 people in attendance, it is no surprise that fans of the Bard are still buzzing with tales of mirth and merry that graced the stage on Mudd Field, April 23. The Poets & Quants website has posted a most positive account of the event:

Though connections between the Bard and the business world may not be immediately obvious, [Dean Mark] Taylor says Shakespeare’s plays have strong messages for business leaders and managers.

Henry V’s Agincourt speech is truly inspirational,” Taylor says, “and two compelling maxims of which I often remind myself — from Shakespeare’s King John and Hamlet, respectively — are, ‘Strong reasons make strong actions’ and ‘We know what we are but not what we may be.’”

Dean Taylor opens Shakespeare at Olin festival. ©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Chris Detloff, BSBA 2019, who is a member of the Dean’s Players told Poets & Quants, “Only at Olin could I experience such an unexpected and enriching adventure.”

The Dean’s Players.

Link to Poets & Quants article.



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