Tag: Poets & Quants

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.




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

 

 

 

 


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