Tag: Poets & Quants



At the end of the year, I like to look back at our analytics to see which of our blog posts were the most popular with readers throughout the year. It’s an interesting exercise in reflection—particularly because the 2016-2017 year commemorated our Centennial, which we celebrated this March.

In 2016, we said goodbye to a beloved dean and welcomed a new one, celebrated a #1 ranking and kicked off our Centennial. What did 2017 have in store?

Take a look back at 2017 through our 10 most popular blog posts:


10. Managing the Millennial Wave

As a millennial, the enormous interest in learning about managing millennials (and my favorite, communicating with us—“Millennials, we’re just like you!”) is both fascinating and, I will say, a little amusing. But intergenerational communication and collaboration are important. And because millennials are increasingly entering the workforce, questions about retention, job satisfaction, and what makes us tick are (or should be) important to management.

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Andrew Knight presented his research on the topic in August—including some of the misconceptions about the oft-cited “narcissistic” and “entitled” generation.

Laura and Adam Stumpf

9. Stumpy’s Spirits: A grain to glass startup

Adam Stumpf, PMBA ’14, has defined a unique niche within the small-batch spirits category of the distilling industry. The ingredients for his brand, Stumpy’s Spirits, are sourced from the Illinois farm surrounding his craft distillery. And the farm has been in his family for eight generations.

Adam answered some of our questions about his PMBA experience, securing funding for his small-batch spirits venture, and the not-so-glamorous side of entrepreneurship.

8. Lacob Speaker Series opens with Cardinals v. Cubs

The Joseph S. Lacob Business of Sports Speaker Series provides students opportunities to network and interact with sports insiders working at all levels of industry. Kicking off the 2017 series (and Opening Day) was an exciting matchup of owners of baseball rivals the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, Bill DeWitt III and Tom Ricketts.

7. Are you ready to fail? 

Raisaa dutifully chronicled her first year in the United States and as an MBA student at Olin—including the not-so-wonderful parts, in the form of internship and job rejections.

In “Are you ready to fail?” Raisaa perfectly captures the necessary grit and can-do attitude needed to survive a rigorous MBA program—or life, for that matter. As it landed on our list of most popular blog posts of 2017, our readers obviously felt the same.

6. Poets & Quants ranks Olin Undergrad Program #2

This time last year, we were celebrating Olin’s #1 undergraduate ranking in Poets & Quants. In 2017, Poets & Quants ranked Olin’s undergraduate program #2 nationally—second only to Wharton—after the ranking experienced an influx of participating institutions, from 50 in its inaugural year to 82 in 2017.

“We are very proud to be at the top of Poets & Quants’ undergraduate rankings for the second year in a row. It’s a testament to Olin’s academic excellence and student satisfaction, particularly in a much larger field of top business schools,” said Dean Mark Taylor.

5. Our lunch with Warren Buffett

What’s a trip to Omaha without a business lunch with Warren Buffett? A group of 20 students met the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway for lunch and an intimate Q&A session, where Buffett commented on the pressing issues of the day, from nuclear weapons to income inequality.

He also did not shy away from reflecting on his personal life, emphasizing the importance of family and true friendship: “You don’t feel bad about your life if you feel good about your family,” he told students.

4. Gear up for Meet the Firms on 9/13 and 9/19

Meet the Firms, Olin’s largest networking and recruiting event of the year, is always a topic of intense interest for students. The event offers students a chance to rub elbows with representatives from hundreds of national and global companies seeking interns and full-time employees.

Firms that attended this year’s event include Emerson, Equifax, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, RubinBrown LLP, Walmart, and World Wide Technology, among others.

3.  Olin welcomes new faculty

2017 was a record-breaking year for Olin faculty. We welcomed five tenure-track female professors, as well as a female visiting professor in economics from Carnegie Mellon.

In addition, the MBA Class of 2019 reported an uptick in gender equity, with 39 percent women.

Among the newcomers:

  • Ashley Hardin, assistant professor of organizational behavioral
  • Xing Huang, assistant professor of finance
  • Karam Kang, visiting professor of economics
  • Zhenyu Liao, postdoc for organizational behavior
  • Hannah Perfecto, assistant professor of marketing
  • Rachel Ruttan, assistant professor of organizational behavior
  • Sydney Scott, assistant professor of marketing

2. Richa’s story: From Bollywood to Olin MBA 

Bollywood star Richa Gangopadhyay is a recent alumna of the Olin Full-Time MBA Program. Richa walked away from fame and a five-year film career in India to pursue a career in business.

Richa shared her exceptional journey from suburban Indo-American girl to A-list actress to Olin with Poets & Quants in March, which we excerpted on the Olin Blog:

“There is something to be said about the Olin community. It’s incredibly close-knit and there’s just this sense of camaraderie among the students and the faculty that really appealed to me. It has a real eclectic blend of students from different backgrounds. It wasn’t just different professional backgrounds, but different thought leaders as well. For me, an appeal was being able to share my unique experiences in a business realm as a film actress. I have a really divergent perspective to share through the practical learning opportunities that I had.”

1. Fashion startup aims to ‘romp up’ men’s fashion

Wherever you land on the issue of rompers for men (and according to your social media feedback, many of you are decidedly against the trend), there was a lot of shared community pride surrounding the fact that Olin alumnus Daniel Webster-Clark, BSBA ’11 and MSF ’11, and three friends were the brains behind the fashion startup that “broke the internet.”

Daniel’s RompHim garnered attention from GQ, Vogue, and Buzzfeed—not to mention a lot of spirited feedback on #RompHim. He spoke to the Olin Blog about how RompHim came to be, making the move from finance to fashion, and life as an entrepreneur.


What big changes are in store for Olin next year? Instead of waiting for a roundup, I’d encourage you to follow and engage with the Olin community in real time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (and of course, submit to the Olin Blog). See you next year!




The online business education magazine Poets & Quants highlighted members of Olin’s MBA Class of 2019 in an extended profile of the students and the program published on Saturday.

The piece quoted students such as Ashia Powers, who said her visit to campus during admitted students weekend really sold her on Olin’s program: “The community here is everything, and everyone takes pride in it. They made me feel special, important, and valued.”

The detailed article also took note of application and admission trends that resulted in a group of 2019 MBA prospects with strong academic credentials:

Like many American MBA programs, Olin’s 2016-2017 recruiting cycle could be boiled down to fewer applications but higher caliber students. This year, applications fell off from 1,579 to 1,174 – a near 26% drop. Despite this, the class is actually 17 students larger than its predecessor, with an acceptance rate that jumped 10 points to 40%. Still, the average GMAT score climbed seven points to 694 with the Class of 2019 – a score higher than those produced by new classes at small school gems like Notre Dame Mendoza, Vanderbilt Owen, and Emory Goizueta.

The article featured extended profiles of 14 students. “Everyone who comes to Olin has a name and a story,” Dean Mark Taylor said in the piece. “You are well known by the faculty and supported by an excellent staff.”

Read the full story at Poets & Quants.




In Poets & Quants‘ second-ever ranking of undergraduate business programs, the online business education site ranked Olin Business School #2.

Released on December 5, this year’s ranking saw an influx of institutions participating, growing from 50 schools in the inaugural ranking to 82 schools, which represent the top 16% of accredited undergraduate business schools in the United States. The ranking includes schools with highly demanding academics—both public and private universities with two- and four-year business programs. Olin was ranked #1 in the 2016 ranking.

“We are very proud to be at the top of Poets & Quants’ undergraduate rankings for the second year in a row. It’s a testament to Olin’s academic excellence and student satisfaction, particularly in a much larger field of top business schools,” said Dean Mark Taylor.

Three key area were considered equally: admission standards, the quality of the academic experience, and employment outcomes. Olin scored in the top ten in all three categories. In fact, in employment outcomes, Olin jumped 6 spots to the #5 position.

  • Admissions standards measured average SAT scores, acceptance rates, and the percentage of incoming students who were in the top 10% of their high school classes.
  • Student experience measured alumni responses to four questions:
    • 1) Was their degree worth its cost in time and tuition?
    • 2) Did the school’s extracurricular offerings nurture their growth as people and business experts?
    • 3) Were faculty available for mentoring and meetings outside of class?
    • 4) Were alumni approachable and helpful?
  • Employment outcomes weighed the percentage of students with internships prior to senior year, the percentage with jobs three months after graduation, and the average salary and bonus of a graduate.

Click here to see Poets & Quantscomplete survey, methodology, and school profiles.


Poets & Quants Editor John Byrne recently visited Washington University to learn more about Olin’s program offerings, meet with students, and talk one-on-one with Dean Mark Taylor about the school’s upcoming “strategic refresh.”

According to Byrne’s just-published interview with Dean Taylor, the pair’s discussion covered a lot of ground: the potential for a one-year MBA, the future of online learning at Olin, taking leadership inspiration from Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Dean Taylor’s love of all things St. Louis (he tells Byrne that St. Louis “feels to me like one of the world’s great cities”).

Check out some of the highlights from the interview below, and stay up-to-date on Olin’s latest happenings by following Olin and Dean Taylor on Twitter.

Considering a one-year, accelerated full-time MBA program

“I think there is an opportunity for thinking about flexibility in the MBA program. The MBA has to shift in terms of what it offers. If you look at the trend of returns to MBAs, they have been declining while the costs have been increasing. People are thinking hard about the value proposition of a traditional MBA.

“One way of thinking about MBA candidates and students is as career accelerators and career changers. Some students know exactly what career they want to be in, and they are already in it. They really want to accelerate their career, get the human capital that an MBA imparts, perhaps increase their network of contacts, and do the MBA as fast as possible. Career changers would rather take a couple of years to perhaps do one or more internships and really ponder which way they want to take their career. We have to cater to both of those audiences here.”

Olin’s close-knit community 

“Olin Business School offers world-class instruction, faculty that is second to none in the world and who are very approachable. There is an intimacy in the classroom between faculty and students that would be hard to find elsewhere in top schools. Everyone who comes to Olin has a name and a story. You are well known by the faculty and supported by an excellent staff. That is one aspect of Olin that marks us out from our competitor schools.”

Olin’s first century in business

“We were one of the first business schools to be launched in the U.S. 100 years ago. We have grown from a small class of 20 or so to one of the great business schools in the world, with extensions in Mumbai and Shanghai as well as in Washington, D.C., through the Brookings Institution. We are a full-service school with a top-ranked undergraduate program, a leading MBA program, and a range of master’s programs, executive education, and a thriving doctoral program as well.”

Interdisciplinary influences on business education

“Literature really tells us a lot about human nature and the human condition. Thinking about those issues is a very important part of humanity and being an effective business leader. The performing arts are very important, particularly in a business school education. Being able to project, persuade, and get one’s views across is in one sense a part of drama.”

What Olin looks for in students 

“We are looking for individuals who are excellent and who want to pursue excellence. We are looking for people who have a strong values system and want to have a global outlook. Our vision is global and our thinking is entrepreneurial. The environment here is a very supportive one. I wouldn’t want to be up against any of our graduates in the marketplace, but I certainly would want to be one of their colleagues.”

Read the full interview on Poets & Quants.




Staci Thomas exudes enthusiasm and positive energy and it’s clear that students respond to her teaching tactics in her classroom where they practice the art of communication. Thomas, a lecturer in Management Communication at Olin was named one of 40 Top Undergraduate Professors by the Poets & Quants website this month.

Thomas received the Reid Teaching Award from the Class of 2017 and has been teaching at Olin since 2014 and at WashU since 2010.

Participants in the 2017 Washington University in St. Louis Olin Fleischer Scholars Program, a week-long residential summer program for for high school students geared toward underrepresented and first-generation college student populations, gathered at Bauer Hall on the Danforth Campus in St. Louis Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Staci Thomas, lecturer in Management Communications at Olin Business School, leads a workshop on resumes. Photo by Sid Hastings / WUSTL Photos

Thomas uses the flipped classroom approach in her classes. Students watch lectures on line and when they get to class, they are on their feet, practicing speaking, presentation, and other communication skills.

“She has done an incredible job ensuring that the electronic content is robust and that when in class students are applying the knowledge they have gained,” Steve Malter told Poets & Quants. Malter is Olin’s senior associate dean of undergraduate programs.

“There’s a pretty clear difference between lecturing and teaching,” Thomas explained to Poets & Quants. “We need to stop “dumping information” and placing the onus of responsibility on the students to absorb it. Today’s student grew up in sound-bites, vivid imagery and ever-changing pop-culture references. Long lectures and static images are no longer effective. We need to create new ways of teaching that work for the student, not just for the professor.”

Thomas answers a series of questions on the P&Q site. And the last question says a lot about her dedication and enthusiasm for teaching, “If, in 10 years, I could look back on 10 years’ worth of successful, satisfied former students, I’d call that a success.” Link to P&Q interview.