Tag: St. Louis



During the nomination process for the Best & Brightest MBAs, Poets&Quants asked students to share the biggest myths about their MBA programs. From Stanford to Simon and Oxford to Olin, P&Q asked members of the Class of 2017 to separate fact from fiction when it comes to stereotypes about their chosen b-schools.

Conn Davis, MBA’17, busts the myth about where Olin grads go to work after graduation.
Myth: An MBA at Olin means you’ll end up with a job in St. Louis or the Midwest.

Reality: “While you certainly can get a job in St. Louis or the Midwest at Olin, the opportunities at the school are all over. We have students that are going to the East Coast, the West Coast and all over the world. Olin may be in St. Louis, but it opens doors to wherever you want to go.”
– Conn Davis, Washington University (Olin)

Here are a few more myths from the Poets & Quants story:

  • Myth: Boothies are quants who don’t know how to have fun.
  • Myth: All the Notre Dame MBA students talk about is ethics.
  • Myth: Ross is in the middle of nowhere.
  • Myth: Kellogg is a marketing school and a feeder program to consumer products groups.
CATEGORY: News, Student Life



The Olin Veterans Association (OVA) hosted their 4th Annual Dining Out Ceremony at the prestigious St. Louis Racquet Club. The crowd included thirty current MBA Veterans from all five branches of service, representation from thirty-six St. Louis companies including sixty prominent executives. The guests of honor were Jack Senneff, the President of the Mess, an Army Ranger Regiment Officer and current Managing Director at Thompson Street Capital Partners; the Keynote Speaker Jason Frei, a Marine Officer and current Director at Boeing Defense; and Mark Taylor, Dean of Olin Business School.

The Olin Veterans Association Military Dining Out Ceremony is an annual event to celebrate the partnership between the OVA and St. Louis business leaders who support Veterans with their time, expertise, and mentorship. Danny Henry, the OVA President and McKinsey Consultant, along with Joe Piganelli, the incoming OVA president, spent countless hours leading student and faculty teams to orchestrate the event and successfully doubled the headcount from the 2016 event.

Dean Mark Taylor was impressed with his first dining out experience, “I was deeply honored to host this event with the Olin Veterans Association…this momentous occasion celebrated the service of our military veterans and the tremendous support of our business community.”

The evening incorporated time honored military traditions such as Washington University’s ROTC Color Guard posting the American flag, a Washington University a capella group singing the National Anthem, and attendees raising their water glasses for a silent toast to remember our fallen comrades.

A crowd-favorite tradition was chastising guests who violated the Rules of the Mess. For example, one rule states, “Thou shalt not murder the Queen’s English.” If found guilty of murdering the Queen’s English, a penalty could include a monetary fine that supported Veteran scholarships and a trip to the “Grog Bowl”. The grog bowl was a combination of symbolic liquids and solids mixed together to represent the sacrifices of the Veterans both in combat and the MBA program. The crowd enjoyed the good-natured revelry as guests cited each other for violations.

Several current student OVA members to were able to enjoy the evening with their employers. Joe Rieser dined with his future supervisor Chip Hiemenz, the Director of Business Development at Hunter Engineering, and Dan Vitale sat with his former boss Rob Godlewski, Vice President of Commercial and Residential Solutions at Emerson. Dan enjoyed connecting with Rob again, “From the first day Rob ensured me that Emerson and the St. Louis Business community were committed to helping Olin Veteran Association members transition.”

The highlight of the night, was the guest speaker, Jason Frei. Jason, Director of Ethics and Business Conduct at Boeing Defense, a Purple Heart recipient, and an Eisenhower Fellow, centered his speech around his tenure as a Marine Artillery Officer. Jason was a natural born leader and the Marine Corps discipline and desire to bring the fight to the enemy was one of the main reasons he joined the Corps. He emphasized that his success was a result of his desire to lead Marines and he took every measure possible to keep them alive.

Unfortunately, Jason’s convoy was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), an event that physically and mentally changed his life and altered his career. After losing part of his arm, he decided to leave the Marine Corps and find a different path to lead and make an impact. He immediately enrolled in the MBA program at Notre Dame to launch him on his new career. Jason may have stopped serving in the Marine Corps however he took the lessons and leadership and brought them to Boeing Defense.

The OVA would like to thank the many guests that attended and to express our appreciation of the ongoing support of our faculty, staff, alumni, and honored guests. We look forward to the continued impact our veteran students make to our program and our community. Thank you to all our active duty service men and women for their continued sacrifice. We are grateful for those veterans who have served, many who are no longer with us today, and honor them with this event.

Guest Blogger: James Jacobs
VP of Communications, Olin Veteran’s Association
MBA ’17

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life



Glenn MacDonald, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy, warned of negative fall out from the new minimum wage that goes into effect this month in St. Louis.

In an article distributed by the Associated Press, MacDonald said, “There are plenty of negative aspects: Jobs will be cut. Costs will be passed on to consumers. Even then, not all businesses will be able to absorb the added cost. Some businesses that are hanging on by their fingernails will just shut down.”

Other business owners and employees quoted in the article were more optimistic about the impending hike in the minimum wage. St. Louis businesses will be required to pay a $10 minimum wage, increasing to $11 in January, 2018.

Link to article

CATEGORY: News



Diana Zeng, BSBA ’14, thought she would explore St. Louis during her four year degree and then head back to Boston. The first didn’t happen. And luckily, neither did the second.

After moving to the United States and growing up near Chicago, New York, and Boston, Diana was looking forward to getting to know St. Louis while studying business and art at Washinton University. Quickly though, she became immersed in campus life and rarely explored the city.

Founding member and CEO of Full Circle - Diana Zeng

Founding member and CEO of Full Circle – Diana Zeng

“The campus bubble is simultaneously lovely and enclosed. There are endless organizations to get involved in, so without a channel to explore St. Louis, it can be easy to forget that an entire bustling city exists outside of WashU’s campus. When I did manage a rare glimpse, I was charmed by the character of the city.  After a summer internship in St. Louis through the Skandalaris Center, I was introduced to the entrepreneurial energy and incredible people making an impact here. I didn’t just want to get to know the city anymore, I now wanted to be a part of it!”

Post-graduation, Diana transitioned from working at a tech startup to leading a nonprofit start-up called Full Circle. The organization’s mission is to connect young talent to St. Louis and build a more economically vibrant and inclusive city in the process. She is the founding Executive Director but gives credit to her team and numerous community leaders for believing in this larger economic development effort to make St. Louis a hub for young talent.

“Our founding team consists of WashU, Saint Louis University and Illinois College alums from four countries – the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, and China. In a lot of ways, we represent the potential that can be captured here. There are many missed opportunities when we don’t connect young talent coming from all over the world to this city and its people. Through Full Circle, we can offer young people a channel to explore St. Louis and a community of peers to be energized by. Additionally for students, getting to know people in their mid-twenties shows them what making a life in St. Louis could be like.”

Modeled after successful efforts in Philadelphia and Baltimore (which has increased student retention from 29% to 51% in the past decade), Full Circle aims to uniquely highlight St. Louis. Their programs and events introduce young talent to professional, social, and civic opportunities in the city while putting a fun and funky twist on networking to help form genuine relationships.

beef+and+a+toast+-+with+love+from+stlFor example, CITYTREK focuses on exploring local events and hidden gems in the city while Beef And A Toast, held in partnership with Venture Cafe, focuses on discussing “beef” (issues) within St. Louis and toasting to being part of the solution.

Student interest from Washington University, Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and University of Missouri – St. Louis has also encouraged Full Circle to roll out a campus ambassador program for all of the regional colleges and universities.

“Recently, a WashU sophomore emailed me stating, ‘Full Circle is an organization that I have been trying to find to get involved in.’  That meant the world to us!  The economic benefits are substantial but hearing from an individual about how much we matter to them, that moves us to keep going. I love St. Louis and am proud to call it home, so being able to connect people through Full Circle is extremely fulfilling. Investing in people becomes a direct investment in St. Louis as well.”

If you want to get in touch with Diana to learn more, or support Full Circle, you can reach her at diana@fullcirclehq.org.

Written by guest blogger, KC Friedrich, Senior Associate Director for Development, Olin Business School.

CATEGORY: Career, News, Student Life



Givable is a new St. Louis startup that provides a platform for charitable giving and community involvement. Their mission is to “empower individuals and businesses to fuel change by making giving easy, social, and interactive.”

The company was founded on the principle of contributing to and empowering the growth and development of the St. Louis community. While there are numerous charities within St. Louis, individuals and businesses may not be aware of their existence and/or purpose. Givable shines a light on these charities and allows individuals to conveniently contribute to them and/or get involved within their communities.

Through Givable’s interactive micro-donations, charitable giving is easy and fun. Its transparent and trusted platform will allow Givable to lead the way in community-focused, subscriber-based giving mechanisms.

elise_hastings

Elise Hastings

As a team, we are helping Givable develop a marketing strategy to increase subscriber awareness and acquisition. After conducting an industry and market analysis, we now know that St. Louis has tremendous potential to enter into the new era of giving. We have also enjoyed having the opportunity to work with the founder and executive director of Givable, Elise Hastings. Ms. Hastings has truly inspired us to learn more about the St. Louis community and the potential number of organizations that Givable could serve.

Our ultimate goal is to help Givable grow, and through the process we hope to make a positive and lasting impact on both the company’s marketing strategy and the St. Louis community’s involvement with local charities.

Givable logo_darkCompany Background: Founded with the support of the Regional Business Council, the Staenberg Foundation and Cultivation Capital, Givable is a subscription-based daily philanthropy platform designed to engage millennials with awareness of social engagement and habitual giving to local nonprofits.

Project Goal: Identify an audience and create a marketing strategy to target that audience and increase Givable’s subscriber base.

CELect Givable Team: Adam Brock, BSBA; Allison Halpern, BSBA; Andrew Mackin, Law; and Nirav Patel, Law