Tag: Specialized Masters

Last month, the Impact Investing Symposium returned to Olin. In it’s second year, the Symposium brought together professionals in finance, foundations, social justice, and government to discuss the potential for impact investing in St. Louis. What a turnout: 180 attendees across industries and experience of impact investing.

The afternoon began with a keynote interview with Nicole Hudson, exploring the work of the Ferguson Commission and what types of projects are ripe for investment in St. Louis. The Ferguson Commission was crucial in advancing a community understanding, response, action plan and forward steps after the shooting of Michael Brown in North St. Louis. Like all community action, the initiative needed tangible measures for impact as well as buy-in from an entire community, across backgrounds and city/county lines.

The necessity for common language and common ground is paramount for impact investing: we need voices of the under-served, perspectives of the financiers, and mediators who can find the common goals. That’s what makes the Impact Investing Symposium unique. It’s a rarity to get folks of these industries in the same room, having a conversation, exchanging dialogue, looking forward.

This year’s panel expanded on a discussion of last year: why impact investing is imminent. Mike Eggleston shared community survey results from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis while David Desai-Ramirez articulated ways for individuals and institutions to take direct action in impact investing: speak with a conduit social enterprise like IFF or Justine PETERSEN. Symposium veteran Tim Coffin shared the traditional finance mechanisms in place for investing with impact and Heather Cameron contributed macro level understandings of community impact. Jake Barnett, mediator, delivered a final parting challenge: “integrity is the proximity of one’s values to their actions.”

The conversation on changing mindsets and redefining “return” will continue – but the Symposium is ready for it’s next iteration: what are actionable steps? How can Olin be at the forefront of impact investing? Where should St. Louis focus it’s resources, intellect, and innovation?

We left the Symposium with the following directive: what projects can we support as individuals, investors, and community members? Have ideas? Be in touch – we’re ready to move forward: impactinvest@wustl.edu.

The Impact Investing Symposium was founded, organized and implemented by socially-minded Olin MBA students. We intend to keep this mission alive at Olin: bridging finance and social impact. To support this initiative or make further inquiry regarding potential future sponsorship, please contact impactinvest@wustl.edu. This event was sponsored by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and hosted by Net Impact, the Weston Career Center, and Olin Business School.

Dennis Zhang, Assistant Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management at Olin co-authors an article on HBR, “A Better Way to Fight Discrimination in the Sharing Economy” about their research on potential bias on sites like Airbnb.

“We know discrimination exists in the sharing economy,” said Zhang.  “We wanted to find out how do we prevent it, and how do we mitigate it?”

In a working paper, Zhang and his co-authors, Ruomen Cui, assistant professor at the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University, and Jun Li, assistant professor at University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, conducted two randomized field experiments among more than 1,200 Airbnb hosts in Boston, Chicago and Seattle. The researchers used fictitious guest accounts and sent accommodation requests to the hosts using those accounts.

They found requests from guests with African American names — based on name frequency data published by the U.S. Census Bureau— were 19 percent less likely to be accepted than those with Caucasian names.

However, when the researchers posted a single host review for each fictitious user, the tables turned: Acceptance rates for both sets of guests evened out. Zhang says this fact shows strong evidence of concept called statistical discrimination with Airbnb.

The researchers conclude that more information about guests, as opposed to less, is important to eliminate potential bias in sharing economy platforms such as Airbnb.

Link to more on this research here.

Link to related story on NPR’s Morning Edition.


Alumni in the news

Tianye (Tina) Zhang, MACC ’14, has received the Dr. Glenn Sumners Student Medal Award for achieving the third highest overall score on the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) examination in 2016. In addition to the honor, the Institute of Internal Auditors has invited Tina to attend (all expenses paid), their international conference in Sydney, Australia in July where she will receive her award in person.

Tianye (Tina) Zhang, MACC '14,

Tianye (Tina) Zhang, MACC ’14

The Dr. Glenn Sumners Student Medal is one of the highest of the prestigious awards for outstanding CIA examination performance.

The Student award is named in honor of Dr. Glenn Sumners who has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years with students at Louisiana State University in the US to promote the CIA program and foster future leaders of the profession.

Consideration for the Sumners award is based on a candidate’s performance on the core parts of the CIA exam (Parts I, II, and III).

Congratulations, Tina!!




On January 28, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) held a “welcome-back” event at Steinberg Rink at Forest Park. BAP members and candidates enjoyed a fun and relaxing afternoon. The skating event was a great opportunity for BAP members to meet the newer candidates. BAP is looking forward to hosting upcoming professional, social, and community service events.

Pictured are Rachel Liu, Albee Hu, Amanda Leary, Bryan Lee, Kameryn Moore, Drew Li, Ben Abramowitz, Josie Peng, Elaine Chen, Jack Hoots.

BAP is Olin’s honorary organization for accounting and finance students and professionals. Olin’s chapter was officially installed in April 2015. For more information about BAP, please visit their website on CampusGroups: https://olinwustl.campusgroups.com/bap/home/ or contact Amanda Leary.(amandaleary@wustl.edu).

Guest Blogger: Meng (Rachel) Liu, BAP VP of Communication

CATEGORY: Student Life

Our business school had a leader named Trump who became dean in 1954. Ross M. Trump came to WashU in 1949 from Tulane University, where he taught marketing. Trump was a native of Ohio and earned undergraduate, masters, and doctorate degrees from Ohio State University.

Dean Ross TrumpAccording to Washington University historian Ralph E. Morrow, Trump “was endowed with bulldog determination, canny judgment, and knew where he wanted to take his school”—which, as it turned out, was abroad.

We may take traveling abroad for granted in the 21st century, but in 1958, “international collaboration” was a new concept for the business school and the University. With financial help from the International Cooperation Agency (ICA), the predecessor to the Agency for International Development, the business school launched a cooperative program with Yonsei and Korea Universities in South Korea to re-establish and update management training in the aftermath of the Korean War.


Business school classroom in South Korea

A contingent of WashU business professors moved their families to Korea during the project while Korean students and professors came to St. Louis to study. In 1960, another project funded by the ICA brought approximately 50 students from Tunisia to St. Louis for two years of study in business.

In addition to international collaboration, Dean Trump worked diligently to cultivate relations with the St. Louis business community, inviting leaders to teach and serve as guest speakers on campus.

Curriculum was also a top priority—both undergraduate and graduate. During Dean Trump’s tenure, the school’s two-year undergraduate curriculum was revamped while eliminating degrees in retailing and public administration. A national trend toward graduate degrees inspired Dean Trump to implement a graduate program in 1958 that offered an MBA and a curriculum leading to a doctoral degree. However, during the first six years of Dean Trump’s tenure, the business school saw the number of graduate students grow almost 80 percent, while undergraduate enrollment dropped by almost 12 percent.

In an effort to reverse the decline of undergraduate student enrollment, Dean Trump proposed the introduction of a four-year undergraduate curriculum in 1958 and again in 1960. Both times he failed to win support. In fact, the policy of admitting freshmen to a four-year undergraduate program at WashU did not become a reality until 1973.

Trump resigned in 1967 to return to teaching and research. In an obituary published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in August of 1994, Trump was praised by a former star student, Bob Virgil, who later became a dean of the business school. The article stated,

“Robert L. Virgil, another colleague and friend, said Mr. Trump was ‘ahead of his time’ in terms of international education, both in Korea and Tunisia. ‘He was one of the leaders of business education in this country, and made a significant contribution to its development nationally and internationally.’”

centennial logo redFlagRead more about Olin’s first century on the Olin100 website.

Photos courtesy of WUSTL Archives. Top photo: WashU business school professors arrive in Seoul, S.Korea.