Tag: Professional MBA

While WashU Olin showed stronger job placement results in its Full-Time MBA program and tightened the selectivity among PMBA students year over year, both programs declined in the latest ranking of graduate business programs by US News & World Report.

Those declines came, in part, in the wake of significant changes in US News‘ methodology for both rankings. Olin’s Full-Time MBA fell from 29th to 37th, tying in that ranking with programs from Penn State and the University of California-Irvine. The PMBA dropped slightly, from 19th to 20th year over year.

In the case of the FTMBA, some of that decline came thanks to changes in the US News methodology, which reduced the weight of a survey-based quality assessment by peer schools and recruiters and increased the weight of employment rates, mean starting salaries and bonuses.

“Across many dimensions of this latest US News MBA ranking, Olin held steady or improved in the raw numbers. That’s good news,” said Gisele Marcus, professor of practice in diversity, equity and inclusion and Olin’s interim co-lead in the graduate programs office. “The overall results of this ranking can serve as another reference point as we gauge where the MBA marketplace is headed. We know what we have to do.”

For example, Olin increased employment rates, starting salaries and bonuses year over year. Still, the heavier weighting for those measures resulted in a decline in that dimension relative to other programs. Meanwhile, Olin’s quality assessment by recruiters and peers stayed steady year over year, but that dimension counted substantially lower in the overall ranking.

Meanwhile, Olin’s PMBA program was able to be more selective, choosing students with higher test scores, better grade-point averages and more work experience than the year before—dimensions, again, that counted for less under the new US News ranking methodology. Olin was also penalized because fewer students submitted graduate admission test scores than the methodology allowed.

Indeed, in its coverage, Poets & Quants referred to US News‘ 2023 ranking as “topsy-turvy,” noting that under the new methodology, b-school powerhouses Stanford and Wharton slipped down the rankings year over year, while Harvard stayed at fifth. The US News changes “caused plenty of wild swings up and down the ranking, particularly for smaller MBA programs with larger numbers of international students,” the site wrote.

Aqua background with a small stack of US currency clipped together a Post-It Note on top reading "emergency fund."

The Olin Student Access, Equity and Emergency Fund is a new fund housed in the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion that offers limited financial assistance to currently enrolled Olin students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an expected situation or due to enrollment in an out-of-state elective course.

While the fund provides a maximum of $500 per student per program, it’s designated to offset a short-term financial need. It is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. Funds are awarded as a grant and do not need to be repaid, unlike a loan.

“Olin prides itself on amplifying ways each of us can help create an inclusive and supportive learning environment and one that enables students to thrive,” Oliver Tacto, assistant dean and director of student engagement. “I encourage students, especially those who are in financial hardship, to apply for the fund.”

The fund is available to all degree-seeking students enrolled in Olin Business School, where all other resources, including resources through the Office of Financial Aid, have been considered and are insufficient, unavailable, or not available.

Starting March 1, students can visit this site to submit an application and supporting documentation to Olin’s Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. A committee will review the application and determine the funding amount. If approved, students will be notified of the amount, and the money will be distributed.

An eligibility review will determine if granting the emergency fund request will have a negative impact on current and future aid if received. Priority will be given to students whose persistence at Olin (and WashU) may be at risk because of unexpected expenses. Emergency funds can be used for groceries/food, housing/rent, medical, transportation, technology or other expenses that may be experienced during a financial crisis.

For more information, email emergencyfund@olin.wustl.edu.

Brian Whorley, MBA 2011. Tight headshot wearing dark shirt against a white background.

The following is from a news release by healthcare industry startup Paytient, founded by Brian Whorley, PMBA 2012. The release was dated January 10, 2023. 

Paytient, the creator and leading provider of health payment accounts, announced a $40.5 million Series B funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $63 million. The funds, consisting of $33 million in equity from new and existing investors and $7.5 million in debt from Silicon Valley Bank, will be used to scale growth and product development in 2023 and beyond.

“Few people plan on getting sick, and even fewer are immune to the financial impact of unexpected out-of-pocket healthcare costs,” Brian Whorley, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Over 15 years in hospital administration, I saw how challenging this was for patients, providers, and employers.”

Leading the funding round: Utah-based Mercato Partners Traverse Fund, with participation from Bertelsmann Investments. They were joined by existing investors Lightbank, Felicis Ventures, Box Group, Lachy Groom, Left Lane Capital, Commerce Bank, Crossbeam Ventures, Cultivation Capital and Inspired Capital, which led Paytient’s Seed and Series A rounds. Mercato Partners Traverse Fund managing director, Joe Kaiser, joins the company’s board of directors and Thorsten Wirkes of Bertelsmann Investments joins the board as an observer.

Founded in 2018, Paytient partners with employers and insurers to empower Americans to more easily pay out-of-pocket healthcare costs that too often feel out of reach. Paytient’s HPAs provide a new source of funds—interest-free credit on a Visa card—and an app that allows cardholders to set up flexible repayment plans that fit their budget.  

“Fundamentally, we believe the healthcare journey deserves its own financial products that enable equitable access to care,” Whorley said. “Our platform gives patients the power to control when and how they pay medical expenses in a way that’s good for their own wellbeing.”

In partnership with Commerce Bank, the Paytient platform enables employers to provide a low-cost, flexible benefit that creates a better experience around paying for care that supports their strategic workforce objectives.

“Paytient is really a healthcare company built on empathy,” Whorley said. “We hear from people leaders who pride themselves on giving their employees a more dignified and less stressful way to take care of their families.”

Everyone knows that customized means quality; we would all look much better in a suit made just for us than we would in one we bought off the rack.

WashU Olin Business School offers different types of MBA programs tailored to fit the diverse needs of students at different stages in their careers. The Full-Time MBA works best for students who can leave their jobs and dedicate their time solely to the program.

The Online MBA appeals most to those who can’t leave a full-time job yet want to be digitally enabled leaders—or who just need more flexibility. Olin’s Professional MBA offers evening classes in-person twice a week for the first 27 hours, then the opportunity to choose from various specializations to finish the degree. The Executive MBA allows busy, experienced professionals to attend class just three days per month and focuses on leadership skills throughout the curriculum.

People in various stages of their careers all have strong options with the types of MBA degrees at Olin, and candidates in all four categories will be steeped in digital opportunities and resources. “What type of MBA is right for me?” Well, let’s see:

All in: WashU’s Full-Time MBA option

WashU’s Full-Time MBA program is designed for students who can leave their jobs and commit their days fully to the program. It offers students opportunities for rich global business experience in several major cities around the world. The Full-Time MBA students will also get the full on-campus experience that Olin Business School has to offer.

The Full-Time Program also lets students choose a customized curriculum based on their specific interests. For example, WashU’s program concentrations offer tracks for consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and supply chain. Students can tailor their MBA experience to their career goals.

Where flexibility meets technology: WashU’s Online MBA

Olin understands that professional students need flexibility, and technology and flexibility go hand-in-hand. WashU’s Online MBA is firmly rooted in the knowledge that technology is rapidly changing the world; thus, the degree requirements frame all classes through the lens of a digitally driven business landscape. Like all WashU MBA programs, the progressive curriculum is built on Olin’s values-based, data-driven leadership framework.

In Olin’s Online MBA, students meet both synchronously and asynchronously. Two nights a week, students are together in a virtual classroom, and on the other nights, they work independently or collaborate virtually. Although the program emphasizes technology, it focuses on technology as a strategic advantage that students can use as leaders and not just on developing technological skills.

The professional approach: WashU’s PMBA

WashU’s Professional MBA (PMBA) requires students to attend class in person twice per week, typically on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Students garner 27 hours of core credits, then they have an additional 27 hours in which they can specialize and focus.

Olin has designed the PMBA for the worker who doesn’t want to leave their job but wants to elevate both their skillset and career. The average student in this program has been working for five or six years and is around 30 years old. To cultivate their professional careers, students have access to a robust alumni network and exposure to corporate partners.

Experience counts: Olin’s Executive MBA program

Lasting just 20 months, Olin’s Executive MBA program moves at the most intensive rate of all the programs. Most participants in the Executive MBA Program already rank highly on the corporate ladder. By pursuing an Executive MBA, they collect the knowledge and skills crucial to making it to the executive or C-suite level.

WashU’s Executive MBA students, who generally range around 40 years old, attend class just three days per month—on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They also participate in three additional residencies or immersive experiences. A marked difference in this program comes from the wealth of experience of the collective students. With the average Executive MBA student having 15 to 20 years of working experience, the classroom conversation builds with the collective wisdom of the cohort.

Olin’s MBA meets students where they are

Regardless of which program a WashU Olin MBA student chooses, they will find certain inalienable traits: an emphasis on entrepreneurial and creative thinking that goes across all programs; experiential world-class learning; and highly ranked, dedicated faculty. During their time in the program, students will build a robust network of accomplished classmates, and WashU alumni and business leaders willingly meet students wherever they are in their career journeys.

WashU’s Olin MBA Program is committed to creating leaders who make change for good. That is the unifying principle the program’s directors keep central by offering cutting-edge, rigorous, world-class programs more accessible to today’s top professionals.

Tony Cheng, PMBA 2002

The following is an adapted from a news release issued January 4, 2023, by Chesterfield, Missouri-based Reinsurance Group of America.

Tony Cheng, PMBA 2002, has been appointed president at RGA effective January 4, 2023, succeeding Anna Manning, who remains CEO.

Consistent with her long-held plans, Manning will retire as CEO on December 31, 2023. The board plans to appoint Cheng as CEO effective January 1, 2024. The RGA board appointed him to the board of directors effective immediately.

Reinsurance Group of America specializes in life and health reinsurance and financial solutions that help clients effectively manage risk and optimize capital. RGA celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Board chair Stephen O’Hearn expressed his gratitude for Manning’s leadership over the past six years—particularly through the challenges of the pandemic. He said the board was confident Cheng was “the right person to lead RGA into the future.”

“It was important to the board that we identify someone who combines vision with experience, capable of leading RGA in delivering on our financial targets and fulfilling our purpose,” O’Hearn said in the company’s statement. “Tony has clearly demonstrated these qualities, as well as a passion for RGA that gives us confidence that he will continue RGA’s rich legacy.”

Cheng was previously executive vice president, head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Asia, and Australia. Prior to this role, he spent seven years as executive vice president, head of Asia following his success as the senior vice president, Asia region, and CEO of RGA’s Hong Kong branch. Under Cheng’s leadership, the Asia region has experienced exceptional growth in both premiums and profits. He will continue to provide executive leadership to Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Asia, and Australia while assuming his new responsibilities as president, and plans to relocate to St. Louis.

“Tony’s tireless contributions over the years, combined with his strong leadership, his relentless client focus, and his innovative capabilities, make him uniquely situated to lead the company into the next phase of its strategy,” Manning said in the statement. “I am highly confident in the future of RGA under Tony’s leadership.”

Prior to Manning, another WashU Olin alum, Greig Woodring, served as RGA’s CEO. Woodring earned his MBA in 1989 and was honored as a distinguished alum in 2002.

For his part, Cheng said in the statement that he was humbled to follow in Manning’s and Woodring’s footsteps at the company where he has dedicated his career.

“I am fully committed to continuing the legacy built by Anna and Greig, and with the help of the tremendously talented people at RGA, I know we can build on the special culture and growth engine that has been created,” he said.