Tag: Undergraduate



The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently profiled the Olin alumnus behind one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the country.

Chuck Cohn, BSBA ’08 and a 2017 Emerging Leader Honoree, is the founder and CEO of Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction online, on mobile devices and in person.

In his interview with the Post-Dispatch, he offered this advice to other entrepreneurs:

First, do something you are passionate about. It can be incredibly hard to build something that customers and the world value, so it’s important that you are passionate about the work you are doing. I know the work we are doing actually helps people and I get to see the positive feedback, testimonials and the impact we have on a lot of learners and it is really rewarding.

Second, listen to your customers. If you build something that solves their problems and helps them, you are a lot more likely to be successful. It’s important to survey your customers and never accept the status quo.

Last, you need to test everything. You need to constantly be trying to improve every aspect of your operation. Eventually you’ll build something special.

Check out the full Q&A with Chuck on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

#OlinKudos, Chuck!




Students in the CELect Entrepreneurship Course, held at the T-REx startup accelerator, are sharing their team projects with the Olin Blog. Student team Anna Cossio, Mark Gum, Nick Rafferty, and Shannon Turner describe the experience of consulting for their client, alum-founded GiftAMeal. 


The CEL entrepreneurial consulting team course (CELect) provides WashU students the opportunity to work with and solve business challenges for St. Louis-area startups. Our team is working with GiftAMeal CEO Andrew Glantz, BSBA’17, to develop a marketing strategy for the company’s St. Louis region. Through this marketing strategy, we hope to increase downloads and engagement on GiftAMeal’s mobile app.

GiftAMeal is the perfect example of the amazing work for-profits can accomplish when they tackle social causes. Since 2015, Andrew and his team have worked with various mentors, accelerators, and investors to develop an app meant to address food insecurity by providing meals to food banks.

[RELATED: Gift A Meal doubles donations]

Here’s how it works: Download the app and check out one of your favorite participating St. Louis restaurants. When your meal arrives at the table, take a picture of your food, and share with your friends via the social media outlet built into the GiftAMeal app. Once your photo has been shared, GiftAMeal will donate a meal to Operation Food Search in St. Louis at absolutely no cost to you. It’s as simple as that!

[RELATED: Glantz named to AKPsi 40 Under 40 list]

Our team has loved working with Andrew and his team on this project. His drive to address food insecurity in the community has proven to be contagious. Beyond that, it is inspiring for us to know that our recommendations will translate into a larger impact for GiftAMeal. Not only are we learning how to formulate and communicate our recommendations in a professional setting, we are also contributing to the success of an application that will provide support to many families in need.

Working on this project has given us the experience of working from the ground up to understand the current needs of clients and users of the app. We have interviewed restaurant owners who are registered under the GiftAMeal application, analyzed feedback from current app users, and experienced using the app first-hand by donating meals as we dine at restaurants. Each of these steps have allowed us to begin formulating ideas for the recommendations we will provide Andrew and his team in the following weeks. Stepping into the business world has given us the opportunity to attain real-world knowledge, an experience not often available to students stuck in the classroom.

Guest Bloggers: Anna Cossio, BSCS/BSSSE ’20, Mark Gum, Law ’18, Nick Rafferty, BSBA ’20, Shannon Turner, MBA ’18 




In Poets & Quants‘ second-ever ranking of undergraduate business programs, the online business education site ranked Olin Business School #2.

Released on December 5, this year’s ranking saw an influx of institutions participating, growing from 50 schools in the inaugural ranking to 82 schools, which represent the top 16% of accredited undergraduate business schools in the United States. The ranking includes schools with highly demanding academics—both public and private universities with two- and four-year business programs. Olin was ranked #1 in the 2016 ranking.

“We are very proud to be at the top of Poets & Quants’ undergraduate rankings for the second year in a row. It’s a testament to Olin’s academic excellence and student satisfaction, particularly in a much larger field of top business schools,” said Dean Mark Taylor.

Three key area were considered equally: admission standards, the quality of the academic experience, and employment outcomes. Olin scored in the top ten in all three categories. In fact, in employment outcomes, Olin jumped 6 spots to the #5 position.

  • Admissions standards measured average SAT scores, acceptance rates, and the percentage of incoming students who were in the top 10% of their high school classes.
  • Student experience measured alumni responses to four questions:
    • 1) Was their degree worth its cost in time and tuition?
    • 2) Did the school’s extracurricular offerings nurture their growth as people and business experts?
    • 3) Were faculty available for mentoring and meetings outside of class?
    • 4) Were alumni approachable and helpful?
  • Employment outcomes weighed the percentage of students with internships prior to senior year, the percentage with jobs three months after graduation, and the average salary and bonus of a graduate.

Click here to see Poets & Quantscomplete survey, methodology, and school profiles.




The Madagascar Sustainability Initiative, previously run through University College, is the most recent addition to the Center for Experiential Learning’s portfolio of offerings, in partnership with Missouri Botanical Gardens.

We talked with recent Madagascar alumnus Joseph Park, BSBA ’19, about the course, how it aligned with his personal goals, and his takeaways from the experience.


What is the Madagascar Sustainability Initiative?

It is both an academic and immersive course. Students spend a semester learning about the economic, political, and sustainability issues facing the country. Then, four- to five-person teams develop projects to address the problematic deforestation rate in the country and improve the lives of the people in Madagascar. At the end of the semester, students travel to the Mahabo village to implement projects, live with the native Malagasies, and explore the culture through activities like visiting the free market and going on a lemur walk.

What does the day-to-day work look like in Madagascar?

The trip to Madagascar is three weeks. Two weeks are spent implementing projects in the village of Mahabo, while the other week is spent traveling and sightseeing in Madagascar.

Joseph’s group introduced a method of converting animal droppings into charcoal, creating an alternative to wood for fires and beginning a system of waste management for animal owners. This work is a foundation for larger future projects that have the potential to significantly reduce wood usage in the country.

Projects vary. For example, other groups distributed feminine hygiene products to women and girls or revived a community garden.

The cultural immersion piece is truly what makes this class unique. “Not only do you study the issues facing the country, but you also actually experience it for yourself and have the opportunity to change people’s lives,” Joseph said.

As a business student, Joseph says his goal is to use business for social impact, and the Madagascar class helped him to do so. He described the course as the “perfect opportunity to use the teamwork skills he learned in business classes to create positive change for people living on less than a dollar per day.” Beyond that, his experience taught him how non-profits can help impoverished areas, and he hopes to leverage this understanding to have a larger societal impact in the future.

What would you say to students considering the Madagascar course?

“My advice would be to talk to as many people as you can who have done the program before, and try to understand their experiences as best as you can. That helped me a lot in grasping what exactly the Madagascar environment would be like, and I wish I had done that even more,” Joseph said. “For people on the fence about taking the class, I would say that every penny I spent going on this trip was worth it for me. It’s an experience unlike any other, and is something that is difficult to come by without a program like this. I even got quite a bit of financial assistance from both Student Financial Services and Study Abroad scholarships, so hopefully money isn’t such a large issue.”


We are excited to integrate Madagascar into our offerings at the CEL. The CEL is looking for passionate students who are intrigued to get involved. Please feel free to stop by Simon 100 if you would like to learn more or have any further questions.

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


The below post originally appeared on The Source.

A campus classroom may seem like an odd spot to consider organ donation. But trust Sara Miller when she tells you it is better than a hospital waiting room. That’s where she and her family made the decision eight years ago to donate the liver of Miller’s older sister, Laura, who had been declared brain-dead days after being diagnosed with cancer at age 14.

“The hospital is the worst place to have these discussions,” the senior told classmates during the fall meeting of Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA). “That’s why I helped create this organization. I wanted to bring light to the importance of organ donation so that when others have to make a decision—whether it’s a yes or a no—they are making it from a point of clarity and education.”

Miller is one of about 300 students who will participate in the December Degree Candidate Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Athletic Complex. She will graduate with a degree in health-care management from Olin Business School.

Miller arrived at the university eager to join a club that promotes organ donation. When she learned that no such organization existed, she started one herself, with the help of two upperclassmen and the support of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.

Since then, she has trained 50 volunteers and hosted more than 30 events, including registration drives, conversations with bioethicists, panels with transplant surgeons and events with donors and recipients.

Sara Miller and Trish O’Neill present at a recent Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA) meeting.

At a meeting this fall, Miller welcomed a very special organ recipient: Trish O’Neill, the schoolteacher who received Laura’s liver. They told students the story of their friendship and dispelled some of the myths surrounding organ donation, such as that certain faiths reject organ donation and that potential donors do not receive the same lifesaving measures as nondonors.

When a classmate asked Miller if her family experienced any unexpected consequences, she did not hesitate.

“The biggest surprise for us is how organ donation has helped us heal and to recover more fully,” Miller told the audience. “And then there is the gift of Trish’s friendship. We like to joke that we would be friends with her even if she didn’t have my sister’s liver.”

After graduation, Miller plans to work in health-care management, where she hopes to focus on the patient experience. Fellow leaders will continue SODA’s mission at Washington University. Miller will stay involved with SODA, too, guiding the expansion of SODA to Marquette University, in her hometown of Milwaukee.

“I am proud that SODA has created a dialogue about organ donation on campus,” Miller said. “I came here knowing this is what I wanted to do. WashU gave me the leadership skills and the support I needed to make it happen.”

Video by Tom Malkowicz


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