Tag: Specialized Masters



With more than ten thousand dollars at stake, student teams competed in the first-ever Project of the Year Symposium, hosted by The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation (BCSCI), on May 17 at Washington University. The BCSCI symposium featured the top five corporate mini-consulting projects executed via our Center in the 2016-2017 academic year. The top prize, $5,500, for Best Project of the Year was awarded to the Emerson team. A second award, $3,000, was given to the Belden team for a project that demonstrated the greatest immediate business impact.  A third award. $2,000, was given to the Monsanto team for delivering the best presentation. All winning teams will be inducted into the Boeing Center Projects Hall of Fame.

Each student team had 15 minutes in front of a panel of judges composed of BCSCI advisory board members and representatives.

While all of our project teams (a total of 15 corporate projects) did an excellent job this year, these five demonstrated a particularly high level of execution, which set them apart. We are grateful to all of our member companies for providing us with interesting and challenging projects, and to all the students who worked on Boeing Center projects this year.

A special thanks goes out to our judges and board members in attendance: Greg Krekeler (Boeing), Mike Woerner (Edward Jones), Eric Carlson (Emerson), Marcelle Pires (Monsanto), Becky McDonough (Monsanto), and of course our own Sergio Chayet (WashU) and Panos Kouvelis (WashU & BCSCI Director). We look forward to developing more innovative supply chain solutions in the fall semester!

Representing this academic year’s projects in the competition were:

ABI student team: Serena Chen, Xinyue Du, Marcus Lei, Yanyan Li, and Cauthen Mordente.

Anheuser-Busch InBev  |  Fall 2016

The Anheuser-Busch InBev team’s project revolved around optimizing the inventory mix at distribution centers for some of ABI’s craft beer products. The need to achieve shipping efficiency by shipping full truckloads is a challenge when lower volume craft beers are involved. It is also important to maintain high service levels of performance when delivering to wholesalers.

The team utilized simulation models to support either the use of higher inventory levels at the distribution center, or shipping lower volume and higher volume beers on the same truck to achieve higher service levels for craft beers.

Belden  |  Spring 2017

Panos Kouvelis with Belden student team: Bonnie Bao, Michael Stein, Yuying Wang, and Yuyao Zhu.

The award for the “Greatest Immediate Business Impact,” with impressive overall cost savings to the company, was given to the Belden team.

The Belden team used the continuous review modeling approach, together with concepts of ABC analysis and market uncertainty, to identify opportunities for lowering costs and improving service levels at PPC, a Belden subsidiary in Syracuse, NY. The proposed decision support spreadsheet will be immediately implemented by the company, and will result in substantial savings. This project delivered the most immediate business impact.

Boeing  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Vineet Chauhan, Phil Goetz, Brian Liu, Sontaya Sherrell, and Fan Zhang.  

The Boeing team’s goal was to determine the most influential order and part characteristics affecting suppliers’ on-time delivery statistics of Boeing’s transactional spare parts business.

Emerson  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Kushal Chawla, Serena Chen, Kai Ji, Jeffrey Lantz, and Zoe Zhao, pictured at top of page.

The judges determined that the Emerson team had delivered the best overall project performance (problem solution, business impact, and presentation), and was declared “Project of the Year” winner.  The Emerson project team worked with ProTeam’s Richmond Hill facility to determine the optimal product mix, optimize inventory management of stock, and develop a data analysis model to facilitate future upkeep of the system. This was a well-executed project, with rigorous analysis and strong presentation by the team.

Monsanto  |  Spring 2017

Student team: Hai Cao, Yanyan Li, Ashwin Kumar, Jonathan Neff, Tom Siepman, and Xukun Zan.

Finally, the Monsanto team’s goal was to understand, define, and map out the credit processes within Monsanto. The audience enjoyed this team’s excellent presentation. The Monsanto team impressed the judges with the quality of its work and its exceptional presentation, and received the “Presentation Excellence” award.

Boeing Center Symposium photo gallery • click here

For more supply chain digital content and cutting-edge research, check us out on the socials [@theboeingcenter] and our website [olin.wustl.edu/bcsci]

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BCSCI

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May 26 marked the last day of the Global Master of Finance (GMF) immersion courses, and the DC portion will conclude with a full introduction and understanding of the role of Congress in financial regulation.

Our first speaker was a former member of congress; he took a unique angle – from a member’s point of view – to talk about how Congress gets involved in financial services. He started by describing a typical day of a member of Congress, to let us know how they look at financial institutions. It is surprising to know that for twenty years, he worked no less than sixty hours a week, and many times eighty or even a hundred hours. A member of Congress must try to be familiar with virtually every area that impacts their constituents, and spends most of the time meeting with constituents, going to committees, and getting involved in discussions in his or her areas of expertise.

Our speaker then talked about how Congress gets involved in financial services, which is primarily reactively. This means Congress usually does not get involved in financial services until there is some kind of crisis. Our speaker took the 2008 crash as an example, to illustrate how Congress and the Fed responded to maintain economic stability and set up a stimulus policy to resolve the world-wide panic when confronted with a financial crisis. We learned that for most members of Congress, regardless of party, they share a general philosophy to let the markets be markets, let people have the freedom to invest, and then try to set up some kind of safeguards to protect investors so that no one can take advantage of it.

Next, we took a tour of the US Capitol with a former US Congressman. He was a patient and knowledgeable person. During the tour, he introduced the history and some fun stories of the Capitol to us. He was also able to share some insights from a former Congressman’s perspective and an insider’s view.

We visited the original location of the Supreme Court, the Statuary Hall, the House Chamber, and the Speaker’s Lobby. The Statuary Hall, which is the Old House Chamber, displays statues of famous Americans. The most memorable part of the tour was the House Chamber. We were told to leave our bags, notebooks, phones, and other prohibited items in the Speakers’ Lobby before entering the House Chamber. The House Chamber is filled with rows of chairs. Our tour guide told us that the House of Representatives conducts legislative activities here. He also showed us his Congressman card that can be used to vote. When he voted, he would insert his card in a machine, and then would press the button of yes of no. Another interesting point is that in the House Chamber, which is part of the legislative branch, the President of United States can only enter via invitation, and does not sit in the highest chair. Instead, the President sits below the Speaker of the House within the House Chamber.

Then we went beneath the building. There was a very intriguing subway waiting for us, which took us to one of the Capitol office buildings. Our last speaker in Washington had experience in various political and financial areas. He has worked for a private equity firm, a hedge fund, and has participated in many kinds of economic policy settings. His experience itself is a good pattern that teaches us if someone in the finance industry would want to go further, finance knowledge is far from enough.

The speaker started from a very new view in the finance area: that the primary changes in finance always come from progress in technology. He stated that we can really feel the influences from blockchain and other kinds of FinTech rising to the next level. The young generations should pay more attention to it and explore more possibilities in this field. He then spoke about regulation.

Over-regulation is now a hot topic, but he emphasized that over-regulation is at least good for common consumers. He also mentioned that the Fed, SEC, and other regulatory authorities are trying to shorten the regulatory lag, which can seriously impact the effect of policies. One more interesting thing he told us is that any authority still can be wrong. He told us that one high-level person in the Fed considered the mortgage market healthy just before the global financial crisis. What we learned from this speaker is that although we are young now, we should always keep questioning what authorities say and do, and maintain the courage to challenge their voices, and that will help us to contribute more in the finance industry in the future.

We the GMF 2017 cohort are very grateful to have had the chance to learn about the US financial markets and regulation with the insightful speeches from the distinguished practitioners and field trips. This two week immersion course will definitely give us a holistic and deeper understanding of today’s global financial markets and will set the tone for our future studies and careers after graduation.

Guest Bloggers: Shuying (Sunnie) Li, Kedi (Kelly) Ni, Yao (Deborah) Shan, Lei (Isaac) Xia (GMF 2017)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.




We began Thursday in Washington, DC by giving a warm welcome to two attorneys from the Carlton Fields Jorden Burt law firm.

The first speaker gave us an overview of regulation and litigation in the financial services sector. He has extensive experience in federal and state securities, as well as insurance compliance and regulatory matters. He introduced the current financial service sectors and their relative sizes.

In the past 20 years, the US Congress has formulated Acts to regulate the market. The first speaker thought that financial entities prefer to deregulate to get more freedom, which results in regulatory tensions–such as the tensions between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and banks, insurance companies and Banks, and the SEC and Department of Labor (DOL).

Regarding regulation enforcement, there are three parts: inspection and investigation, whistle-blower, and civil or criminal penalties. Finally, the first speaker discussed market discipline, which consists of competition and litigation. To sum up, he introduced the regulation and litigation on financial markets to us in a simple but professional way.

The second speaker presented a short but high-level summary of litigation in financial services, with an emphasis on insurance. This speaker represents insurance companies and financial institutions in a range of complex litigation matters in state and federal courts. He pointed out that as investment products are becoming increasingly complicated, such as hedge funds and private equity, they are facing more litigation risk. He also mentioned concerns about companies making mistakes such as consolidation issues or providing information that is not very clear or extensive. Finally, he brought up the recent trends in Financial Technology (Fintech) and its regulations, which are functions of data they have in the marketplace.

Next, we were very pleased to have a speaker from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). First, the speaker gave us a brief introduction of CFPB.

It is a very young institution, established in 2011 as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB has consolidated separate financial consumer markets together to better help protect consumers’ interest, promote consumer financial education, and help businesses. One important component of the CFPB is supervision. The bureau reviews the performance of companies to determine their level of legal compliance. The CFPB will do a confidential investigation first, and then turn to public enforcement.

The speaker then shared some CFPB success stories, when fraudulent companies refunded the illegal profits to consumers and paid a large penalty. Last, the speaker introduced other aspects that the CFPB is working on, such as a consumer complaint process, which takes consumers’ complaints and reaches out to related firms to seek resolution. Furthermore, the CFPB is also devoted to consumer financial education. It believes financial well-being should include skills to make smart financial decisions, the capability to face financial shock, a basic degree of financial freedom, etc. Through posting resources online and building relationships with communities, the CFPB is expanding its impact and improving the financial market.

Next on the agenda was a site visit to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Two officials from the public affairs department welcomed us. The presentation started with a clarification regarding the difference between World Bank and the IMF.  For example, the IMF does not provide project financing, such as building a bridge in a developing area. The IMF ‘s global membership does not include the countries of Cuba, North Korea, Andorra, Monaco, and Liechtenstein. Then, the officer continued to talk about the voting shares and structure of the IMF. America owns the largest share in the IMF (16.5%); the other top shareholders also include China and Japan. Finally, new areas of focus for the IMF include inequality and inclusiveness, energy pricing, female labor force participation, and corruption. The speaker also emphasized the importance of males and females working together to resolve inequality between genders.

After returning from the IMF, we returned to the Brookings Institution, where our next speaker gave us an insightful and brilliant speech on financial stability oversight, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the role that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) plays in maintaining financial stability. In the speech, we learned the history of the FDIC and the areas in which the FDIC focuses.

Created in 1933, the FDIC was established to preserve and promote public confidence in the US financial system. It aims to insure deposits for all US deposit banks, examine and supervise over 4,000 banks, and serve as a resolution authority and receiver for banks and systematically important financial institutions. We then gained an understanding of the contents and roles of the Resolution Plan and how it works. We were impressed with how complex and detailed the FDIC is with regulating banks and other financial institutions.

Guest Bloggers: Yumeng (Yolanda) Jiang, Yanyan Liu, Bo Sang, Zirui (Ernest) Wan, Lingyu Yang (GMF 2017)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.




We began the day of May 24 with Ian Dubin, Associate Director of Brookings Executive Education, introducing our first speaker, from SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association). Having experience in finance and government, he was able to bestow us with a great deal of insight and a unique perspective on financial regulation.

Ian posed a series of questions to him, leading him to explain that after the global financial crisis, there were many changes and fluctuations in policy. While the Obama administration focused on restructuring the regulatory framework for financial institutions, the Trump administration aims to stimulate economic growth through cutting both regulations and taxes. Thus, it would appear as though America is set to continue on the de-regulatory and re-regulatory path that it has been on since 1990.

After Ian had exhausted his list of queries, we asked the speaker our own questions. He answered a deluge of queries on topics ranging from the President’s proposed budget, to control of rating agencies, to regulator’s understanding of the industries they regulate. All of his responses were very informative and led us to a greater understanding of financial regulation.

After this, we embarked for the United States Department of State. Our speakers began by explaining to us how the United States levies sanctions against foreign entities. Next, our speakers explained the two primary types of sanctions that the United States levies. Primary sanctions are applied to citizens of the United States and prohibit them from interacting with certain entities. Secondary sanctions are applied to non-US citizens to dis-incentivize them from dealing with certain entities. When it is stated that sanctions were levied against a country, this does not imply that sanctions were levied directly against the country. Rather, it implies that primary and secondary sanctions are being used to either freeze the assets of or restrict business with certain powerful entities. These entities are normally either companies, high ranking government officials, or wealthy confidants or political leaders.

After departing the State Department, we returned to the Brookings Institution for our third lecture of the day. Our speaker was from the United States and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (US-ASEAN) Business Council. The US-ASEAN Business Council is an advocacy group that aims to foster economic growth and trade ties between the ASEAN’s ten member countries.

The focus of the talk was on relationship building between the United States and Southeast Asia. He emphasized the importance of Southeast Asia at the beginning of his talk. Southeast Asia is a significant geographic connection center for the global supply chain. It provides plenty of opportunities for American investment, and the relationship between the two regions is of great geopolitical importance. Additionally, Southeast Asia is set to see drastic increases in the percentage of its population that can be classified as middle class. This makes the region a desirable location for American companies to have operations as it would put them near a sizable consumer base. A presence in the region would allow companies to both be better in touch with the wants of their customers and reduce distribution costs. The speaker also noted certain benefits of conducting business in the region. Singapore, for example, has a highly developed infrastructure, a streamlined means of incorporation, very little corruption, and a comprehensive information policy system that allows free flows of global data.

The final speaker of the day was from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To begin his speech, the speaker demonstrated how different economic ideologies and circumstances could lead to different policies. While the Obama administration focused on correcting market failures and regulating the financial market, the current Trump administration has taken the approach that less government intervention and market regulation were necessary to stimulate the economic growth.

The speaker then used several graphs to illustrate the fact that income inequality in America had increased dramatically within the past ten years. This is an issue that the government will have to address in earnest in the coming years. While the low-income sector of the population recovered much slower than the richest sector did from the economic downturn in 2007 and 2008, a large number of middle-income workers also suffered due to stagnant growth in wages in the post-crisis period. Frustration with this situation led many Americans to vote for a candidate that offered a stark contrast to the Obama Administration in the most recent election. He also introduced an interesting term–“Shampoo Cycle”–to describe the “Bubble-Bust-Repeat” cycle that the American economy has experienced for the past 30 years.

Lastly, we learned of several ongoing challenges facing the US economy. The speaker pointed out that a flat growth in productivity, as well as a large funding gap for infrastructure development, could potentially cause a disruption in the growth of the economy. Additionally, the recent fiscal policies proposed by the current administration seem to be dependent upon overly-optimistic economic forecasts. However, he hopes that the United States will eventually adopt an agenda with which it can truly reach out to those who were “left behind” by globalization and the financial crisis.

Guest Bloggers: Wei Huang, Shaoxuan Liu, Alex Roberts, Qiushi (Ted) Yan, Yawen (Elva) Yang (GMF 2017)

Image: students at the State Department

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.




The formal programming of the immersion course in Washington DC began at the Brookings Institution on May 23. Ian Dubin, Associate Director of Brookings Executive Education, the partnership of the Brookings Institution and Olin Business School, welcomed and introduced us to the long history between the Brookings Institution and Washington University. Philanthropist Robert S. Brookings, the founder of Brookings Institution, was also president of the WashU Board of Trustees from 1895 to 1928. Besides devoting his time, Mr. Brookings also gave his fortune, and later his personal estate, to revitalize the university. It immediately reminded us of Brookings Hall and the Brookings Quadrangle back on campus in St. Louis.

The first guest speaker of the day was a correspondent for The New York Times and an author. He briefed us on the political situation in Washington D.C. under the current administration; he saw it as an interesting time in current American politics, especially because one party controlled the the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives at the same time. The Trump administration is seeking a wide range of changes in tax policy, health care policy, and global trade. The speaker also discussed the vital role that automation will play in the US manufacturing industry, offering us another way to think about the future of manufacturing in the US. Later, the Q&A session also covered topics such as over regulation/deregulation, the tax cut, and budget cuts.

Next, we learned from an individual with an impressive resume in academia, high levels of government, and financial institutions. She first gave us a brief introduction to the role of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), which is to provide academic views and economic insight on current micro economic and macroeconomic trends to the White House. She then shared with us more insights about serving as an economist with the CEA on a daily basis. Primarily, her role had four responsibilities: consulting on policy process to get certain legislation to pass Congress, advising the President by briefing and writing memos of pros and cons of relevant issues, updating the President on recent research, and providing external reports on certain economic events. She felt honored that their work was highly valued by the President since he incorporated their thoughts into his thinking. Overall, her speech was inspiring and insightful.

After lunch, our next speaker was a fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he focuses on financial regulation and technology, macroeconomics, and infrastructure finance and policy. Today’s speech was focused on the Dodd-Frank Act, which he has worked on significantly. The act promotes financial stability, accountability, and transparency in the financial systems. He then discussed Dodd-Frank’s significant impacts on the financial regulatory environment, and the balance between economics of scopes and scale and the added costs brought by the Act. Also, he mentioned the fact that the current administration is attempting to roll back certain components of the Dodd-Frank Act and the rationale behind it.

Our speaker then introduced the history of American financial regulations, ranging from Glass-Steagall Act (1933), Community Reinvestment Act (1977), Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404 (2002), to the Volcker Rule (2010). During the Q&A session, he answered one of the student’s questions and talked a little about the geographical distribution of the US population and its regional features.

With the evolution of the influence of the Federal Reserve on financial markets and the implications of the Federal Reserve’s actions on the US economy currently being significant, our final speaker was perhaps the best person to provide insight on the institution. She has a significant history with the Federal Reserve, and continues to monitor it closely. With the U.S. economy in its 8th year of recovery, monetary policy having clearly been effective in the recovery process, is currently not particularly controversial. However, it is expected that over the next 12 months, the Federal Reserve may look to make a couple of small increases in short-term interest rates and attempt to reduce the large size of the Fed’s balance sheet, which is primarily due to the quantitative easing during the Global Financial Crisis (2008).

In a forward-looking view on the U.S. economy, our speaker held a positive view on where things are currently heading. However, she highlighted four significant challenges the country faces moving to the future: the aging workforce, climate change, looming federal debt, and income inequality. She also shared how the Clinton administration was able to generate a fiscal surplus, primarily due to the complementary work done by monetary and fiscal policy.

To conclude her speech, she addressed the causes leading into the Global Financial Crisis and the lessons they had learned or probably should have learned from the Asian Financial Crisis (1997). With the four speakers of the day providing us with insight on a diverse set of topics, we left Brookings for the day only to look forward to what awaits us the next day.

Guest Bloggers: Xin Hu, Krishna Chaitanya Mutya, Hanyi Zhou, Bingjie (Zoe) Zou (GMF 2017)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.

Photo: President Obama signs the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010.