Tag: Undergraduate

Emily Su

Emily Su, BSBA ’22, is a strategy fellow for Bear Studios, a student-led consulting firm on campus. She wrote this for the Olin Blog. She is studying finance and economics and strategy with a minor in philosophy.

Students today seem to approach life full steam ahead, fielding questions like, “Where are you working next summer?” or “What are you doing after graduation?” It’s not often that you hear people talk about time as something that can, or should, be slowed down.

In high school, I watched a TED talk that introduced the idea of recording one second of each day. By the end of 2016, I had a roughly 6-minute long video of the past 365 days.

This project, not one of physics or science, enabled me to slow down time and rewatch my life. After all, the more memories we have in our memory network, the more reference points we have to look back upon, and the fuller we perceive our lives to be.

Now, each time I rewatch my videos, I travel back to 00:00:00 and relive that year.

There are always moments of simplicity—moments easily forgotten, but nonetheless integral to my college experience, like a St. Louis sunset overlooking Mudd Field.

There are memories that I would have rather forgotten in the moment, like walking out of a technical interview where I couldn’t answer half of the interviewer’s questions.

But there are also moments of pride and joy, like being admitted into one of WashU’s business fraternities and meeting new mentors and peers who would become my closest friends.

Together, these clips are no more than a few gigabytes of data on my computer’s hard drive, but they have contributed more to my perspective on life than I ever would have imagined.

When I sit down to rewatch one of my videos, I am reminded once again of the incredible brevity of time. I’ve realized that both the ups and downs are always going to be present in my life, and thus can be vital learning experiences if reflected on properly.

Now, as a sophomore in Olin Business School, the benefits of my recordings are indisputable. I almost forgot that in early 2016, I volunteered at a nonprofit that taught underprivileged children the basics of saving and spending.

This experience is what prompted me to apply to business school in the first place: I had realized that I wanted to find the intersection between business and philanthropy.

After watching my 2016 video and re-familiarizing myself with my original passions and interests, I joined Bear Studios with the hopes of uplifting companies and individuals in a business environment.

Beyond redefining our professional aspirations, these videos can also push us to live more in the moment. What use are disappearing Snapchats or Instagram stories when we have everlasting highlight reels of our lives?

As students, we’re constantly searching for the next rung of the ladder: the next class, the next internship, the next step in our lives. But we now have the ability to slow down time and keep everything in perspective—and if we can take advantage of something that unthinkable, we can apply it to the challenges that lie ahead.

Washington University in St. Louis and Olin Business School both continue to be top venues for entrepreneurship education—ranking No. 6 for undergraduate studies and No. 16 for graduate studies in the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur rankings for Top Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies. The rankings were announced online Tuesday, November 12, 2019, and are featured in the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

The newest ranking represents a one-step jump for undergrads and two steps up for graduate programs from the previous year’s ranking.

WashU’s place on this year’s lists marks a significant movement for the university. In five years, the university moved nine spots in the graduate studies rankings and four in undergraduate studies.

“The WashU community is key to this recognition. Across the university innovators and entrepreneurs come together and support one another in a way that is unmatched”, II Luscri, Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of the Skandalaris Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “The Skandalaris Center is proud to do our part in supporting WashU founders and aspiring entrepreneurs at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.”

The ranking comes on the heels of a No. 1 ranking in a first-of-its-kind analysis of MBA-level entrepreneurship programs published in early November by Inc. magazine and Poets & Quants.

Read more about the Princeton Review ranking on the Skandalaris Center’s blog.

Christine Chang, BSBA

Five years ago this month, Christine Chang, BSBA ’04, cofounded her skin care company, Glow Recipe, leaving behind a career in global marketing at L’Oreal US. Just over a year later, she and her cofounder appeared on Shark Tank as a way to jump start the business—and later decided a financial relationship with the “sharks” wasn’t necessary. Chang answered a few questions for the Olin Blog.

​Can you tell us a little about Glow Recipe? What inspired you to found it? Was it conceived at Olin?

Glow Recipe is a clean, cruelty-free skin care company founded in 2014. Our mission is to empower our customers to feed skin the ingredients it needs, when it needs it. We’re available at 1,500-plus doors in all Sephora US and Canada stores, as well as Douglas in Germany and Mecca in Australia.

My cofounder Sarah and I were inspired by growing up in Korea and learning a holistic approach to skin care and self care from our mothers and grandmothers. We were the only two bicultural and bilingual employees at L’Oreal who had experience in the beauty industry in both Korea and the US, and we thought this background could uniquely serve us to bridge these two cultures. While Glow Recipe is based in New York, it will always be K-beauty inspired.

Why did you decide to attend WashU and Olin?

I was looking for a school that had diversity, in terms of class size, backgrounds, ethnicities and majors so I would be exposed to a rich breadth of options and possibilities. Olin was an incredible foundation for my first job at L’Oreal as a marketer and helped me build analyticial, creative and presentation skills.

How did you decide to move down the path of entrepreneurship?

I was an assistant vice president at L’Oreal, heading marketing for the skin care category of a brand I really enjoyed working with. At the time, a great number of global beauty companies were starting to partner with Korean manufacturers due to the sheer level of innovation, especially in skin care, that was coming from Korea.

The Korean beauty brands that were being brought over were not reflective of this innovation, nor was there strong brand building. I decided this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leverage my background and experience to bring over beauty innovation and education in a relevant way for a global audience.

Why Shark Tank? What was that experience like?

We were huge fans of Shark Tank even before we were entrepreneurs. It was a surreal experience to be on national TV (completely unrehearsed!) and to have your business dissected by five successful, inspirational entrepreneurs.

It was nerve racking, but such a valuable learning experience on how to pitch our brand and communicate our mission. We got three offers from the sharks and shook hands with Robert Herjavec on the show, but eventually amicably parted ways. When the show aired in December 2015, it brought incredible nationwide awareness for our brand and philosophy.

Have you needed or planned to go outside for additional funding, or has that not been necessary?

We are bootstrapped and have not received outside investment.

Mentions in E!, Cosmo, HuffPo, CNN—is there a secret to the media exposure you’ve been able to capture?

Compelling, educational content has been the cornerstone of our platform and the fuel behind our social and press growth. We’ve always believed that educating on the routine and our skin care philosophy comes before selling a product.

Skin concepts such as Glowipedia, the first “skin care look book,” or “glass skin” skin care hacks like “seven skin method” were appreciated by both editors and customers as our unique approach to skin care techniques and education.

A recent shoot featuring a behind-the-scenes look at how our Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask was made also went viral. We got a lot of feedback from our community that they appreciated the transparency behind our processes.

In what ways was your experience at Olin formative in your experience and goals?

Olin was a combination of interesting courses, lifelong friendships and a supportive, safe environment to figure out how I wanted to approach my career and life after college. 

Were there particular courses or professors or alumni who were particularly memorable or influential?

Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, granted me time to do an informational interview. She was one of the first to really effectively create an experiential retail space and is an inspirational entrepreneur.

I also love seeing the work of Celia Ellenberg, AB ’04, who is the beauty director at Vogue. She consistently pushes the boundary on interesting, out-of-the-box beauty editorial.

What are the next steps for you in your career?

Continuing to grow Glow Recipe and build our team. Glow Recipe started as a curation site in 2014, bringing over natural K-beauty products to the US. Glow Recipe Skincare, our in-house brand, was launched in 2017.

This year, we hit a major milestone by evolving our business model from doing both curation and creation, to solely focusing on Glow Recipe Skincare. We have a lot of exciting innovations and activations planned for our brand and can’t wait to see what 2020 brings.

Find more about Glow Recipe and Christine Chang on the company’s Instagram page and her personal Instagram page.

Mark Taylor, approximately 10 years old in Warwickshire, England.
Mark Taylor, approximately 10 years old in Warwickshire, England.

On most Friday nights in the 1970s, you might find teenage Mark Taylor outside a pub in the UK’s working-class Warwickshire community hawking “American hotdogs” to the patrons who had just tipped back a pint or two.

Taylor made the circuit throughout the weekend, from the pub until 2 a.m., to the soccer ground on Saturday afternoon, to a nightclub on Saturday night, pocketing 20% of the proceeds to cover basic needs—school supplies, clothes and a few meals here and there.

Taylor knew he needed to ease the burden on his parents and three brothers—who either worked for—or were destined to work for—the local auto plant in the gritty industrial town. He had different dreams in mind.

Skip ahead six years. With innumerable hotdogs and a year working as a tutor behind him, Taylor had become the first in his family to complete the British equivalent of high school. With straight A’s on his exit exams—and intervention by a visionary headmaster—Taylor became the first in his family to attend college.

And not just any college: The oldest campus in the English-speaking world—tracing its origins to the 11th century—Oxford University, where Taylor had earned a seat to study philosophy, politics and economics.

Mark Taylor with his parents in Warwickshire, England.

“I suppose arriving at Oxford and being able to measure myself against people with different backgrounds—that was the first time I realized how transformational this could be,” Taylor said, recalling his early days at university. “Without financial assistance, it would not have been possible.”

That financial assistance came in the form of British government-sponsored scholarships available to high-achieving students who had been accepted by a university. With straight A’s on his exams, a seat at Oxford and working-class parents, Taylor not only qualified to have his fees covered, but he received a small government stipend to help with living expenses during his studies.

“You’d get one check at the start of each term, so you had to be very careful not to blow the lot in the first week,” Taylor said.

Taylor is particularly keen on the importance of undergraduate scholarships, which he views as the first and most formidable barrier. Once he had earned his undergraduate degree, Taylor was able to leverage that to get his first job in a professional career track.

From there, he could finance his further education, including a master’s in economics at Oxford, a PhD in economics from the University of London, a higher doctorate in finance from from the University of Warwick and a master’s in English renaissance and romantic literature from the University of Liverpool.

“For me, education was a totally transformational experience,” said Taylor. “The difference is not only in material well-being, but also in terms of ways you can enjoy and view the world in different ways.”

Learn more about the ways Olin works with scholarship recipients and donors—and learn how you can become one—on WashU Olin’s scholarship page.

In the first week of October, Anne Petersen was in the passenger seat driving through upstate New York when she noticed her email was starting to blow up.

The Weston Career Center coach was on vacation with her husband when inquiries started to roll in from an email the career center had just sent to thousands of WashU Olin alumni. “You’ll always be able to partner with the Weston Career Center for lifetime career support,” the email said, inviting alumni to seek support whenever they needed it.

Seek they did. More than 50 Olin alumni reached out within the week that the email blast and video went out. Some were recent alumni, out only a year or two. Some had left as long ago as the 1960s.

“The emails started coming and the phone started ringing immediately. It was more than we anticipated,” Petersen said. “I don’t think alums were aware of our coaching services and the breadth of resources available. They also didn’t realize that we work with alums across the country via phone or Skype, as well as in person in St. Louis.”

Existing services—and new ones

The email campaign and related video were designed to remind Olin alumni of the career coaching resources available to them long after they walked away with their diploma. Coaching, career assessment, personal branding, resume and LinkedIn profile building, interview preparation, networking and negotiation—all services alumni can continue to get from the Weston Career Center.

That day in October, Petersen started responding to alumni seeking ideas about making a career pivot or changing geographies. She set up later appointments with some and worked with Jen Whitten, associate dean and director of the Weston Career Center, who fielded inquiries and connected alums with experienced coaches on the WCC team—including Frans Van Oudenallen, Mary Houlihan and Kathie McCloskey.

“They’ve run the gamut from young alums, undergrads, MBAs, specialized masters, senior citizens, mothers that were out of the workforce,” Petersen said. “It’s been a great process. We have had the opportunity to work with a lot of fascinating alums.”

Once Olin, Always Olin

A number of them have started by taking advantage of the WCC’s career leader assessment, a survey instrument that normally costs $75—but is available to alumni free of charge.

“It gives alums insight regarding their interests, motivations, skills, potential career directions and company culture matches,” Petersen said.Petersen said. The response to the email has been gratifying for the WCC team, who had sensed the services were not well-known enough or that alumni from outside St. Louis might be reticent to take advantage of them.

“They very much are commenting about the idea of ‘Once Olin, Always Olin’— the idea that it’s for me at any stage of your career,” Petersen said. “They felt like, ‘This does pertain to me—no matter where I am.'”

Looking for career help as an Olin alum? Contact Anne Petersen for career coaching resources (annepetersen@wustl.edu or 314-935-8951), or Jen Whitten (jwhitten@wustl.edu or 314-935-8970) to discuss WCC’s resources or any questions you might have. For remote coaching, the WCC is prepared to connect via Skype, phone or in person.