Tag: Undergraduate

Various Olin students contributed to this post.

Earlier this summer, we shared the stories of six MBA ’22 students and how their Olin education set up them up for success. Today, we’re back with three MBA ’22 students and one BSBA ’22 student. Whether they’re working in marketing, finance or logistics, the foundational skills they learned at Olin have prepared them for the job ahead.

How did your Olin education prepare you for your internship?

“At Schnucks, I work with the Communications team. Our team has a hand in every single department and the dissemination of information both internally and externally. Coming from a background in journalism, Olin offers me many brand-new learning opportunities. Within my internship, I’m enjoying building on the solid foundation of the FTMBA program. Having the first-year core classes at Olin has prepared me to communicate and strategize more effectively with departments such as Accounting, Finance, Merchandising and Operations at Schnucks and become a more well-rounded businesswoman.”

-Lucy Reis, MBA ’22, communications intern at Schnuck Markets

“I use Olin’s’ value-based and data-driven approaches every day of my internship. At Amazon I’m encouraged to dig deep into data sets to gather insights and invent new creative solutions to solve customers’ problems. Olin’s education prepared me for my internship at Amazon by teaching me qualitative and quantitative analysis frameworks that allow me to deconstruct and analyze business problems in an organized manner. In my current role, I’m using the managerial insights I mainly learned in my operations and strategy courses. [They] allow me to complete my work and to communicate effectively with high-ranking, experienced technical and nontechnical professionals with over 20 years of experience that are even outside of my own area of expertise.”

-Antonio Rivera-Martínez, MBA ’22, senior manager program intern at Amazon

How/what are you taking what you learned at Olin and applying it to your current role?

“The most valuable thing I have applied from my time at Olin to my current role is communication and teamwork. Olin’s curriculum emphasizes team projects, which simulate real work environments that cultivate problem solving and concise communication. Throughout my time at Olin, I’ve had the opportunity to work with different teams, either in extracurriculars or classes. I come out of each team project learning more about working with different people with diverse backgrounds to achieve the best outcome.”

-Daphne Liu, BSBA ’22, business analyst intern at McKinsey & Company

“Building a competitive and marketing strategy with a unique value proposition for a product, building relationships with different stakeholders, and understanding customer problems first and then providing them a solution are some of the things which I learned and apply in my current role.”

-Vaibhav Dabas, MBA ’22, product manager intern at VMWare

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Established by former Olin professor Cliff Holekamp, the Holekamp Seed Fund provides $1,000 in funding to student entrepreneurs. The award helps students kickstart their business ventures without financial obligation.

Fund directors—Holekamp, Elise Miller Hoffman, BA ’11 and MBA ’16, and Doug Villard, Olin’s academic director for entrepreneurship—select deserving students. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis until the funds run out.

This year’s awardees

Lloyd Yates, MBA ’22, founded Tylmen, a direct-to-consumer line of accessories includes ties, belts, scarves and even face masks that double as pocket squares.

Greenlight, co-founded by Evan O’Connor, BSBA ’20, is an online shopping extension that grades sustainability of brands and offers alternatives.

Arron Zheng, BSBA ‘22, co-founded EDUrain. EDUrain is an app that simplifies college financials by bringing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarships and housing fees together in one place.

Made by BLU creates gourmet nut butters using natural, high-quality and traditional ingredients in the base product then adding exciting mix-ins. It was created by Fiona Blumin, BSBA ’21.

Elijah Olasunkanmi, BS ‘22, is the operating officer at Innovative Apollo Media. The service, RaiseMeFunds, is similar to GoFundMe, but is accessible to people in West African countries.

FreeEats, founded by Trey Rudolph, BSBA ‘23, seeks to reduce food waste. The mobile app provides information on leftover free food produced on college campuses.

Founded by Laife Fulk, MBA ‘21, Sherpa combines data and technology to guide event staff with real-time information.

Lumière is a streaming platform designed for short films aimed to revolutionize the way that short films are consumed worldwide. Trey Checkett, BSBA ‘22, is the founder.

Amanda Foley, MBA ’21, and Tom Dart, MBA ‘21 are co-founders of DRIPTEK. DRIPTEK automatically lubricates wires for cranes and elevators significantly reducing downtime.

Applications for the fund are open to current Washington University juniors, seniors and graduate students. Students must be US citizens or permanent residents. You must have at least 25 percent ownership of your startup venture. To apply, visit the Holekamp Seed Fund website

In March, Chinese students gathered in Beijing and Shanghai for two weeklong residency programs. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the residencies were the first time many of the students met in person.

Members of the Weston Career Center team in both the US and China designed the programs, and undergraduate, MBA and specialized masters students attended.

Each day’s activities centered on one of Olin’s pillars of excellence: values-based, data-driven decision making; global experiences; entrepreneurial spirit; and experiential learning. The week culminated with an experiential learning project to solve a real-world business problem for the athletic footwear company New Balance.

Throughout the week, students interacted with classmates, engaged with alumni, listened to industry leaders and met with their career coaches.

The human connection

The opportunity to meet her peers face to face stood out to Ruxin (Andrea) Zeng, MSBA ’22. She’d met her cohort through Zoom, but the residency gave her opportunities to interact with her peers in a casual environment.

Learning from industry leaders

Wenxin (Hugo) Xue, MSCA ’22, enjoyed the opportunity to listen to industry leaders. As a business analytics student, he was excited to learn more about the future of big data and how it could affect his career.

Endless opportunities in business

Similarly, Yang Shen, MSBA ’22, found it helpful to learn more about different opportunities in business, whether he networked with employers or listened to various distinguished alumni.

The WCC team planned excursions for students to enjoy during breaks from their coursework. The Beijing students took a day trip to the Great Wall of China, while the Shanghai students took a night cruise down the Huangpu River.

Christina Xue, BSBA ’21, was the student speaker at the virtual undergraduate programs graduation recognition ceremony on May 21, 2021, selected by her peers. Here is what she had to say to her fellow graduates.

Thank you, Dean Taylor, for the kind introduction. Students, faculty, family and friends: I am incredibly honored to be the student speaker for our graduating class of 2021 and to share a bit of my story and reflections with all of you.

When I first came to WashU— I was definitely apprehensive. Being born and raised in New Jersey, I was convinced I wanted to stay in my Northeast bubble forever. Coming to the Midwest, which seemed like the great unknown, had never been part of my life plans. I honestly couldn’t even place Missouri or St. Louis on a map. But—I learned to adapt, as we all did.

Now, after reflecting upon the past four years at WashU, I’m glad that I left comfort zone. This university has taught me a multitude of lessons, but one of the most important ones is to expect and embrace change. Change can be big or small. For example, change is realizing that College Hall is now called Risa Commons. Change is declaring a history minor and realizing I have to do hundreds of pages of reading every week. Change is when, at the age of 4, my mom told me I would be a big sister and I didn’t quite understand what that meant. Change is watching my older sister get married this past year. Change is immigrating to a new country, as my parents did when they were only a few years older than I am now. Change is graduating.

‘The vitality of my support network’

People often say that one’s college years are some of the formative in their life, a platitude I find to hold true. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all evolved in some regard during the past few years— in the way we think, our beliefs and values, the knowledge we hold. For some of us, our sense of fashion and hairstyles have definitely changed for the better.

And of course, this past year alone has been the most transformative that our generation has and probably will ever, witness during our lifetimes. In a time where the unthinkable became reality, I realized the vitality of my support network during these moments of change and unpredictability. My family, roommates, and close friends have served not only as a pillar of stability, but as a motivating force in encouraging me to pursue my dreams and having the courage to step outside my comfort zone. They are the ones I laugh with about nothing and everything, the ones I cry to when a MEC exam didn’t go too well, and the ones I go to when I need brutally honest advice.

I hope that you all have found your support network during these past four years, and that you have a deeper appreciation for those people after the tragedies and hardships this past year has brought us. I hope that this support network follows you after we graduate, because while the grades and assignments we have may fade in our memories, the experiences and relationships we’ve made can be everlasting.

‘Resilience, courage and strength’

As we graduate and begin our journey as real adults, I hope that change takes us in exciting directions, be it grad school, jobs, or new locations. I also know, that after this past year, we are uniquely equipped to handle change however it may manifest itself. We have shown resilience, displayed courage, and have become stronger as a WashU community through the hardships and pandemic that have plagued our country and world at large.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” As this new dawn approaches, I hope that WashU has prepared you with the strength and intellectual curiosity you need to embrace change and leave your own mark on the world. I hope that life is full of change for you in the best ways possible.

Thank you.

Ally Gerard, BSBA ’22, who was recently elected president of Olin’s Business of Sports Society, describes the origins of her interest in sports business and exciting plans for her upcoming term.

Growing up in Los Angeles, I was always intrigued by the sports and entertainment industry. I was never an athlete in the traditional sense (instead opting for a 12-year run at Irish dancing), but with nearly a dozen professional and collegiate teams in Southern California, there was never a night of sports-free television.

Soon enough, that avid fandom evolved into a profound passion for the business, at which point a top-notch Midwest university with a budding sports business program piqued my interest.

When I told people—even family and friends—I would be studying sports business at WashU, they questioned my academic and professional interests. “So … you just want to be on TV?” “Interviewing players after the game?” “Is your goal to be like Jerry Maguire? Moneyball?”

I heard it all. In an ecosystem so consumed by Hollywood and cinematic wanderlust, nobody really understood my ambitions or could envision a place for females in top front office roles, given popular cultures’ skewed representation of the industry at large.

Supported inside and outside the classroom

In just three years, my sports business acumen has developed exponentially, through the support of Patrick Rishe, director of Olin’s sports business program, and my peers in BOSS. The Business of Sports Society was founded in October 2019 to help WashU students learn about and gain real-world experience in the sports and entertainment industry.

While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted much of our initial goals for the organization, I am beyond proud of the way our club has pivoted and thrived in the virtual environment.

I was elected president in October 2020 with the intention of promoting experiential learning, mentoring and working opportunities. We were able to quickly form a strong and passionate executive board, and we spent weeks this winter reflecting on the original direction of BOSS and altering our objectives to cater to the remote setting.

Over the past eight months, BOSS has launched four pro-bono sports consulting projects, welcomed eight industry leaders as guest speakers at biweekly meetings, and sent six student representatives to the 2020 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the holy grail of sports business conventions.

Spreading their wings at the SSAC

As a first-year student, I had the privilege of attending the SSAC in person in Boston in 2019, and after assuming the role of president I was committed to providing this opportunity (albeit virtual) for more of my peers. After appealing for funding from the Olin BSBA office, we were able to secure six conference tickets for our members to attend this unforgettable two-day virtual learning experience.

Between panels, presentations and networking events with the likes of Jessica Gelman, Daryl Morey, Mark Cuban and more, SSAC celebrated the resiliency of the industry and its ability to innovate moving forward. Our very own Devlin Sullivan, BSBA ’22, even won the prestigious MLB Hackathon Event in the student category!

As we continue to grow and progress as an organization, I look forward to future BOSS leaders providing these unique and memorable experiences for our members. Though I will soon transition BOSS leadership to the next generation of sports business change-makers, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to serve this wildly passionate and genuine community.

“BOSS has opened up endless doors for me,” said soon-to-be BOSS Vice President Eashan Kothari, BSBA ’24. “I have already learned endless amounts of information about this intricate industry, and I am grateful for the advice across a variety of topics that will help me succeed in life.”