Tag: Research Centers



Last semester, Richard Payton served as a United Way Board Fellow for Sherwood Forest, a year-round youth development organization. The project was part of the Center for Experiential Learning’s United Way Board Fellows Program, which partners students with local agencies supported by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. The students serve as a consultant and a voting member of the organization’s board, providing a unique experience for students interested in social impact.

Richard truly immersed himself in his client’s mission to transform the lives of children in need, and he came away from the experience with a strong sense of applied learning and a better appreciation for youth development in the community. Learn more about his experience as a board fellow, and his advice for students interested in the program:

Who is your client and what interested you about working with them?

Richard: I’ve had the good fortune to sit on the board of Sherwood Forest, a youth development agency that uses a resident summer camp in the Ozarks and year-round programming to help kids from underserved communities reach their fullest potential. I worked in K-12 education for 8 years before enrolling in Olin’s PMBA program, and I love the outdoors, so Sherwood Forest is a natural fit for me.

Two girls who are a part of the Sherwood Forest community.

How do you hope to provide impact to your client?

Richard: Lots of youth development agencies target kids from underserved communities, but I can’t think of another that is anchored in a resident summer camp experience. It’s easy to call Sherwood Forest a “summer camp,” but there’s a lot more to it. With my Board Fellows project, my aim is to help Sherwood Forest better communicate “the why behind the what” to stakeholders—in other words, to better explain the theory and evidence behind the agency’s work so that parents, families, donors, and funders understand the sophisticated and evidence-based thinking behind the agency’s service model.

How does the CEL Board Fellows experience differ from other classes?

Richard: One of the reasons I applied to WashU’s part-time MBA program was the experiential opportunities at the CEL. The hands-on experience has been incredibly valuable, especially in considering how I can apply concepts that I learned in courses that were focused on critical thinking, communication, and strategy. This experience has been different from other courses because of that experiential element, as well as the opportunity to draw from what I learned in so many different courses.

What has been the highlight of your experience?

Richard: In addition to its amazing staff and board members, I’ve also met many students who “grew up” with Sherwood Forest. Hearing about how much Sherwood Forest impacted their lives and how excited they were for college and their careers was really inspiring. Since nonprofit work can often be intangible, these stories were so compelling.

What advice would you give to students interested in becoming a United Way Board Fellow?

Richard: Know that your assigned project is just one component of the Board Fellows experience—another big piece is learning about the agency and its work, and how nonprofits function. That being said, spend as much time with the agency as possible—board meetings, committee meetings, fundraising events, etc. Make sure you see the agency “in action.” I spent a day at Sherwood’s summer camp in the Ozarks and it really brought the agency’s work to life.




In November, our Women in Leadership course had the privilege of meeting Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, the President and CEO of FOCUS St. Louis, a premier leadership organization that prepares diverse leaders to work cooperatively in the St. Louis region. Dr. Akande-Bartsch spoke candidly about her background and what she has learned about leadership, starting her presentation with the adage: “The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.”

Her point being: Regardless of where you start, leadership is taking note of what’s happening in the world and showing up. Committing to at least one goal—to learn as much as you can—can change your perspective, and ultimately, your career path.

These beliefs are both a reflection of her upbringing and her passion for trying new things. Dr. Akande-Bartsch had an international education, attending school in Ghana and then completing her undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate in the United States. She then encouraged other undergraduate students to see the world for themselves by recruiting them to study abroad.

Not only did Dr. Akande-Bartsch share her love for travel with these students, she also shared in the adventure of learning. By being open to new possibilities and assuming positive intention, one can really develop their leadership skills through self-reflection and self-confidence.

I noticed this in Dr. Akande-Bartsch’s mastery of the art of storytelling. As she walked us through her various titles and job responsibilities, it was clear that she had a deep understanding of herself and her core values. She recognized she was a driver and an agent of change, which ultimately led her to assume her current leadership position at FOCUS St. Louis.

Problem-solving is a key component of being a leader, both in our workplaces and greater communities. It was refreshing that Dr. Akande-Bartsch pointed out the importance of recognizing your own limitations. Being willing to delegate and coach others is pivotal when aligning personal and organizational values.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch’s spirit, positivity, and commitment to being a life-long learner are all qualities I’d like to emulate. How exactly does she do it? Well, her rituals include listening to NPR, taking phone calls during her morning commute, and hiking. She described her life as not in balance, but in a constant state of movement. I believe that Dr. Akande-Bartsch is the epitome of what it means to commit to an impact-driven career.

For those of you unfamiliar with the work of FOCUS St. Louis, I highly encourage you to follow the great initiatives the organization is undertaking—with Dr. Akande-Bartsch at the helm.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch, thank you again for attending the Women and Leadership class.

Guest Blogger: Olivia Williams, MBA ’18




In October, the Women in Leadership class, taught by Professor Hillary Anger Elfenbein, welcomed Katie Fogertey, Vice President of Global Investment Research at Goldman Sachs. Katie discussed her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry and what it takes to be a strong, successful leader and mentor.

The night began with a glimpse into Katie’s journey to Goldman Sachs. In 2004, Katie graduated from WashU, where she worked full-time during her senior year to help finance her education. Following graduation, she joined Goldman Sachs in the Global Investment Research Department, producing models to forecast industry trends and working on IPOs and secondary offerings. She spent three years in equities strategies, identifying investment opportunities and derivative strategies. In 2010, Katie was promoted to Vice President in Global Investment Research and is the lead author of “Weekly Options Watch.”

Katie was not just handed these opportunities; rather, she worked extremely hard in each and every role. Whether it was a project with a professor, an internship or a full-time job, Katie focused on learning everything she could to be the best, and utilizing data to support ideas she presented. Katie’s confidence, expertise, and focus on data-driven decisions has allowed her to succeed in the workplace. She told the class that regardless of who was in the room, data will always win.

Katie is a true inspiration and incorporates value-based leadership into her life on a daily basis. Katie’s driving force rests on her knowledge and expertise in global investment research, her integrity, focus on collaboration, and her love for mentoring other women in the financial industry.

Katie left our class with three general takeaways: be confident in your knowledge, be bold and challenge yourself every day, and follow your personal and professional goals.

Guest Blogger: Perri Goldberg, MBA ’18




Students involved in the Center for Experiential Learning Practicum have a unique opportunity to consult for large Fortune 500 companies. One such notable partner is Red Bull, which the CEL collaborated with last spring.

The Red Bull consulting team was tasked with leveraging analytics to align consumer and retailer views of business performance. By building a comprehensive understanding of how different demographic and geographic segments intersect and engage across the full spectrum of the business, Red Bull can acquire new customers and identify better metrics for measuring success. Students worked directly with Josh Muncke, Director of Data Science at Red Bull. His previous experience in data analytics at Deloitte and IBM made him a great resource and mentor to the team.

During after the team’s work, the CEL talked directly with Josh about his experience, in order to continue improving as an organization and as student consultants. To begin, we wanted to better understand the unique value and perspective CEL students could provide.

Josh said students showed a fresh way of thinking about our consumer/user groups and found opportunities within them.” Beyond simply recognizing opportunities, the consultants identified metrics for measuring the success of pursuing those opportunities. This team of consultants delivered solutions rather than simply identifying problems.

CEL Red Bull Team working on site in California.

Josh’s feedback also helped us identify areas for growth as consultants: knowledge of more robust analytical tools and increased communication.

An understanding of data analytics tools is becoming increasingly more important in the workplace. While Excel is a great foundation, student consultants should be prepared to utilize more robust, professional-grade analysis tools when working with clients.

Josh also sympathized with the challenges that come from distance. The student team traveled to Santa Monica, California to meet in person with Josh, but increasing the number of video conference check-ins and on-site visits can better ensure alignment between the team and the client. Distance can be difficult, but using technology to our advantage can help decrease this gap.

However, the most important metric for success is: Would the client hire our student consultants again? Josh “definitely” would.

Like any team, our consultants faced challenges, but Josh believes the team’s output will help Red Bull drive more coordinated sales and marketing tactics at a regional level. We are excited to see how we can further our partnership with Red Bull and their incredible brand marketing tactics.

Guest Blogger: Allison Halpern, BSBA ’18, CEL Marketing Student Associate




It’s hard to keep the sighing, heavy-eyed students of a night class engaged. But on this Tuesday evening, I sat in a buzzing room—with classmates swapping stories of stuffing and stitches from their first Build-A-Bear experience. Taking the podium to kick off our Women in Leadership class that night was Maxine Clark, philanthropist, serial entrepreneur, and the founder and former “Chief Executive Bear” of the Build-A-Bear Workshop retail company.

Over the next two hours, Maxine took our class through her career journey, explaining some of the personal and professional decisions that she made along the way. From leaving Payless to launch her own company, to leading projects supporting education and nonprofits in St. Louis, Maxine embraces change while staying true to her core values. I left class that night with a few favorite nuggets of wisdom to carry with me:

Be open to the teachers around you.

Maxine has a very apparent appreciation for the teachers in her life, and she recognizes that they come in all forms—whether a schoolteacher, supervisor, or child (Build-a-Bear’s core customer). In being open to learning from others, Maxine has found the strength to improve from mistakes, the drive to rise to challenges and surpass expectations, and even the inspiration to build new businesses.

Passions change. Keep up.

At the heart of Maxine’s story is an unshakeable faith and courage in following her passions. With several career pivots—becoming an entrepreneur and then entering the nonprofit space—she has maintained the self-awareness to recognize that her passions are malleable, yet always worth chasing. By embracing her passions at different stages of her career, Maxine continues to feel fulfilled in her work.

Live and lead with authenticity.

You can’t help but love Maxine’s unapologetic attitude. Her words are charged with a certain fearlessness and wrapped in sincerity. Maxine’s ventures speak to her values, and she makes no excuses for conducting business in a way that is authentic to who she is and the things which are personally important to her. As her talk came to a close, she signed off: “That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.”

Guest Blogger: Neelam Vyas, MBA ’18 & GSBA President




bcsci

The Boeing Center hosted its 9th annual Industry Conference in October, featuring presentations from experts operating at the forefront of supply chain innovation. The conference was an interactive exploration of the ever-changing trends in supply chain, such as automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, fintech and blockchain, big data analytics, robotics, drones, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things. The presenters provided a variety of perspectives and unique insights on cutting-edge topics, and the attendees were able to exchange ideas with fellow industry professionals during breaks and lunch.

Panos Kouvelis, Director of The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation and Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations & Manufacturing Management, kicked off the conference. He primed the audience by discussing some of the technologies impacting corporate supply chains, and set the stage for the presentations to come. Then, Dan Coughlin of The Coughlin Company engaged the audience with a networking exercise that got attendees discussing implementation challenges to new technology adoption, as well as their recent successes.

The first speaker of the artificial intelligence and big data portion of the conference was Mary Ann Wagner, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Data Analytics at Boeing. Her presentation, “Boeing AnalytX: Transforming data to reveal insights—and empowering a world of limitless possibilities,” focused on machine learning and data analytics in the aerospace industry. She was followed by Kevin Deppermann, Chief Engineer Distinguished Fellow at Monsanto.

His talk, “Innovation in the Ag Supply Chain,” provided insight into Monsanto’s efforts to generate innovative engineering solutions for their customers through four main avenues: throughput (increasing speed and reliability), enabling (non-invasive, non-destructive testing), cost (resource reduction), and accuracy (screening, counting, measurement, scoring, and rating).

IBM Client Technology Leader Ed Corno then led the blockchain portion of the conference with his presentation, “THINK. Blockchain.” Corno began with a high-level overview of what blockchain is and how it’s relevant to business, discussing various blockchain applications and positing future possibilities for the technology.

Ryan Altemose, Head of Supply Chain Integration & Analytics at MilliporeSigma, talked about the opportunities and benefits of blockchain in the life sciences industry, as well as how the Internet of Things will shape the future of supply chain in the coming years.

The robotics and automation portion of the conference began with Kevin Lardner, Head of Operational Excellence & Global Strategic Projects at Merck Life Sciences. “Industry 4.0: Implementation Challenges in a Diverse Life Sciences Company” provided a background on the fourth industrial revolution and provided insight into the multitude of technological advances being used across the life sciences industry and beyond.

Next, Chris Krampitz, Principal Consultant at Stratasys, discussed the process of identifying value in a supply chain-wide deployment of additive technologies. Krampitz talked about the challenges addressed by additive manufacturing (AM), the potential benefits of enterprise-wide AM deployment, and the approaches to identifying the value of such an undertaking.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Dan Hazlett, Director of Logistics Solutions, and Eddie Davis, Senior Manager of Business Process Excellence, followed Krampitz’s presentation with an explanation of robotic process automation in the ABI supply chain.

They spoke about ABI’s project implementation methodology as it relates to technological innovations, and shared how ABI is using robotic automation to enhance product quality and improve on-time deliveries.

The final segment of the day focused on supply chain innovations in logistics and services. Rochelle Henderson, Senior Director of Research and Analytics at Express Scripts, talked about how Express Scripts is using data and technology (e.g., mobile apps) to enhance patients’ experience and help them live healthier lives.

Next up were Edward Jones’ Terrence Freeman, Director of Digital Product Management, and Jacob Heberlie, Director of User Experience. Their presentation, “Advancing Digital at Edward Jones,” showed how technology can be used in the financial services industry to improve user experience and client satisfaction.

Finally, Mark Southey, Executive VP of Business Development, and Dan Snow, Executive VP of Operations, from Traffix closed out the show with “Technology’s Impact on the SMB.” They explained how Traffix is using technology to optimize its role as a 3PL logistics company and bridge the gap between small-to-medium businesses and their much larger competitors.

The Boeing Center Industry Conference was a great opportunity for industry professionals, students, and supply chain enthusiasts to gain insights from some of the most technologically advanced companies and supply chains in the world. We will be releasing highlights from the presentations, so stay tuned to our social media channels (@theboeingcenter) and be sure to download our app for more exclusive content and information about future events!


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