Tag: Weston Career Center



Shannon Hagedorn, a career coach for the BSBA program in the Weston Career Center, wrote this for the Olin Blog.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes intention, coordination and time to create great things, whether they are architectural masterpieces that last centuries or an effective career pipeline.

Vaios Kouvelis ’19 shared his insights as a current IB analyst in the Lincoln International info session on February 20.

We knew we had a lot of work to do to build up investment banking at WashU. About a year and a half ago, we received feedback from students, alumni and employers. We listened and acted accordingly. Now, we’re developing a program that has strong relationships with alumni and employers, thorough preparation resources for students and a more inclusive process of connecting students to available opportunities.

We (and I use that term very loosely and inclusively to refer to students, staff, employers and alumni!) have been very busy with the following initiatives:

  • IB Interview Prep Sessions and Mock Superdays: Hosted prep sessions, collaborated with the WashU Career Center to conduct two rounds of IB mock superdays with 10 alumni and employers as interviewers, and processed feedback in additional interview prep sessions.
  • Author Talk: Gleaned insights from Josh Rosenbaum, managing director and head of industrials & diversified services at RBC. He discussing his book, Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • On-Campus Information Sessions: Connected with Lazard, Lincoln International, Moelis and RBC in person.
  • 124-Page Trek Prep Binder and Prep Session: Compiled recent data from Market Line and Bloomberg into trek notebooks and discussed each student’s research on each firm’s strengths and news as well as questions to ask each firm individually during a prep session.
  • Four-Part IB Essentials Spring Series: Launched a webinar series designed to equip sophomores with critical insight about accounting, the leveraged buyout, mergers and analyst expectations for interviews and internships.
  • Organized Virtual Information Sessions and 28 Alumni Coffee Chats: Converted in-person trek sessions and networking activities cancelled due to COVID-19 into effective virtual experiences with alumni and contacts at PWP, Moelis, Centerview, Houlihan Lokey, RBC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Cain Brothers, Citadel Investments, AWH Investments, Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Inc., Wolf Hill Capital, NBC Universal, Eco Street Capital, Benefit Street Partners, and US Bank.
  • 25 IB Mentor Matches: Paired first-years and sophomores with recent alumni for a four-session mentorship, in collaboration with the WashU Career Center.
  • 20-Plus Mock Interviews with Senior Bankers at Goldman Sachs: Developed skills and gained insights from behavioral and technical questions.
  • IB Insights Summer Series Podcasts: Engaged 10-plus alumni and industry experts to offer short, high-level, exploratory conversations for students early in their career discernment.
  • Countless Coaching Sessions, Informational Interviews, Mock Interviews, Info Sessions, and Conversations with Students, Alumni and Employers: Appreciated that a lot of work happens behind the scenes and that this list only begins to scratch the surface of recognizing what we’re all doing to help students prepare for and secure their next steps.
Josh Rosenbaum, head of industrials & diversified services at RBC, and the WUIB presidents, Luis Vazquez-Ugalde and Jonathan Severns, connect after the author talk.

We’ve still got a lot to do but we’re excited to start seeing results, including feedback from our team’s collective efforts, landing stories from students, and recognition from firms. You can take my word for it, or read some of the comments below:

  • Matt Bauer, BSBA ’22, who accepted a 2021 internship at Lincoln International, “wanted to say thank you and express my gratitude for all the help and advice you’ve given me along the way. Going back to the beginning of the year when I didn’t even have a resume, I definitely couldn’t have done it without you.”
  • Addison Liang, BSBA ’22, who accepted a 2021 internship at Credit Suisse, was grateful for “all [the] help throughout this process!”
  • Ian Welsh, BSBA ’22, who accepted a 2021 internship at Morgan Stanley, “wanted to say thanks for helping me with so many aspects of this process. It is so helpful to have people like you at the career center that are so willing to help guide me through every step of the process.”
Sophomore students practiced interviews with a mock superday. (Pictured left to right: Heidy Wang, Roger Wang, Albert Kao, Ian Sajjapong, Drew Wilkerson, Harrison Arnberg, Max Schieferdecker and Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu)

We know it takes time, but we’re laying the foundations for a self-perpetuating cycle and lasting impact, as we build investment banking at WashU.

Pictured at top: Alumni from Guggenheim, Lincoln International, Barclays, Lazard, Oppenheimer and Moelis offered insights in a superday of IB mock interviews. (Pictured left to right: Matt Bernstein, Vaios Kouvelis, Syed Ahsan, Colin McCune, Nikhil Angelo, Bill Reisner, Meg Stolberg and Calvin Works).




WashU Olin alumni have continued to benefit from their membership in the community many years after leaving campus. This is part of an occasional series of vignettes about the alumni experience. Today, we hear from Onyi Oradiegwu, BSBME ’15/MBA ’15, consultant, Boston Consulting Group

While working as an internal auditor and process consultant at Owens Corning’s fiberglass plant in Tennessee, Onyi Oradiegwu decided she wanted to make the jump to management consulting. She connected with Olin for help during her case interview preparation process. The coaching and advice she received through Olin were integral to her interview preparation—and to receiving an offer from Boston Consulting Group.

“With each practice session, I grew more comfortable with my behavioral and case interview skills and more sure of my genuine interest in working as a management consultant,” she said. “Practice matters.”

Oradiegwu especially enjoyed being able to schedule time online with career advisers, the use of resume tools and access to a bank of prep materials. “I feel like I can rely on WashU and Olin for the rest of my life for support if I ever do look for another job,” she said. “I’m glad I was able to tap into those resources because it really did make a difference in my job interview.”

Stay in touch.

Center for Experiential Learning

Business Development

  • Dorothy Kittner, MBA ’94, associate dean and director of business development and corporate relations 314-935-6365 | kittner@wustl.edu

Alumni & Development

Weston Career Center

Executive Education

  • Kelly Bean, senior associate dean and professor of practice in leadership 202-797-6000 | beank@wustl.edu



Entrepreneurship professor Doug Villhard (top center), works with students in the CEL

Right now, Ally Gerard should be on the west coast working in the corporate partnerships department for the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team. A student in Olin’s business of sports program, Ally landed the internship after a very competitive recruiting process.

Coronavirus had other plans, however, and the internship was scrapped—a situation a great many of WashU Olin’s undergraduate and graduate students now face. Still, Ally’s chance to flex her Olin muscles, apply her skills and gain experience has not been lost.

That’s thanks to a new seven-week course Ally, BSBA ’22, and more than 300 of her fellow students are taking right now—a course Olin’s faculty and staff conceived and launched in a matter of weeks as the pandemic gutted internship opportunities for our students.

“Applied Problem Solving for Organizations” began as an idea in late April. By the time the course began June 1, more than 30 faculty members had volunteered to serve as project advisors. Dozens of companies—many with Olin alumni in leadership—had proposed projects offering real-world experience to our students.

Ultimately, the team at Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning had settled on 50 projects for teams of four or five students, many of which include both graduate and undergraduate students.

Preserving experiences for summer

“I wanted to help out the students who were confronted with internship challenges,” said John Horn, professor of practice in economics and advisor to Ally’s team. “It’s not a perfect substitute, but it’s really pretty good. I’ve heard from students who kept their internships that their virtual experiences were challenging. Their employer is also trying to figure out the program in real time.”

Another faculty advisor, Durai Sundaramoorthi, senior lecturer in management, expanded on Horn’s last point.

“This is an interesting alternative to a traditional internship,” he said.  “This project gives a broad perspective about the entire business of entrepreneurship. It is a great learning experience for students.”

Built with care—and haste

Enough cannot be said about the urgency with which the Olin community tackled this challenge—from the CEL, which organized the curriculum, to the staff that promoted the program and recruited students, to the Weston Career Center, which guided students toward the opportunity and worked with potential clients, to the alumni who recognized the need and offered project opportunities.

It’s worth noting that the opportunity worked in both directions.

“Honestly, we had to scrap existing plans to bring on summer interns due to the pandemic,” said Jay Li, BSBA ’16, and director of marketing for Regatta Craft Mixers. “When I received the email from Dean Taylor about the program, we rushed to pitch a strategic project we’ve been struggling with.”

Now, an Olin team is working with the New York-based beverage maker to gain insight from its consumer research to inform a grocery-store selling strategy.

Solving real-world problems

Ally’s team is working with St. Louis-based Insituform Technologies—a pipeline rehabilitation firm—to research industry best practices and conduct a competitive intelligence analysis to understand the regional differences in the firm’s operations. She’s leading the team, which includes graduate students.

“This is my first experience in ‘leading up’ to students much further along in their higher education journey,” she said. “The CEL has fostered a working environment that pushes us to grow as consulting professionals but also as empathetic leaders and teammates.”

In many ways, of course, this turn of events was disappointing. We have exceptional students who have worked hard. We have built a world-class career center, which has been knocking it out of the park with student placements and internships—then, a global crisis.

We can’t get the internships back, but we can make sure our students have a meaningful experience. We can make sure our students have a story to tell about the work they did this summer. We can—and we have.

Pictured above: Entrepreneurship professor Doug Villhard (top center), works with students in the CEL’s summer program.


Career coaches and advisors in WashU Olin’s Weston Career Center understand it’s a tough time to emerge into the workforce, thanks to a global pandemic that’s wreaked havoc on the economy and cast uncertainty into the outlook for many companies.

Their advice: Don’t despair. Check out these resources for ideas, direction and inspiration.

HIRING REALLY HASN’T STOPPED. Just because the overall economy has slowed let’s not assume hiring opportunities have disappeared.  In fact, check out this article from The Muse regarding companies that are still hiring. The Muse

GET YOUR NETWORKING GOING. Although your approach may be different, now is definitely the right time to build or enhance your network during COVID-19.  Just ask…KornFerry.

EVEN IN THE ERA OF SOCIAL DISTANCING. Fortune Magazine also offers suggestions on networking in the era of social distancing: Fortune Magazine.

PREP FOR A VIRTUAL INTERVIEW. For the next few months, look for all recruiting activities to be virtual.  How ready are you to meet the challenge of a virtual interview? Indeed.com has some ideas for you to consider: Indeed.com.

BUT BRUSH UP FIRST. This is an extremely competitive time in the job market.  You have an opportunity now to brush up on your interview skills, so please make this a priority. Here is an article from The Muse that may help: The Muse Interview Guide.




Carolyn Feltner, EMBA50, wrote this for the Olin Blog.

Touring with the Grateful Dead the summer after college. That is the only time since I was 15 that I didn’t have a job. And I sold water out of my car, so, technically, I was still working. Just ask my parents.

I love working. It gives me fulfillment, a sense of accomplishment and feeling of community. I made many of my best friends at the office.

I am one of thousands whose position was eliminated because of COVID-19. I came home from spring break with my two daughters on a Saturday night. Less than 12 hours later, I went to the office that Sunday to catch up on work, only to walk into my own layoff.

I had been worried about the effect COVID-19 would have on my family’s physical health, but I did not think of how much it could impact our financial health. Talk about your life being flipped in 24 hours.

‘What’s next?’

The question became “Okay, what’s next?” I have more than 20 years of marketing experience and was an EMBA50. I have been honored to be part of two established and respected communities in St. Louis: Olin and Anheuser-Busch.

I had heard of Mary Houlihan before, as she worked at Anheuser-Busch and now is at Olin, but I had never met her. The day I lost my job, March 22, I couldn’t count how many times former colleagues and classmates told me to connect with her, once I had told them my news. And, as if by luck, I received an email that afternoon that Olin was starting a boot camp for MBAs in transition led by Mary Houlihan and Frans VanOudenallen, career coaches at Olin’s Weston Career Center.

The boot camp has been invaluable. Topics such as managing the transition, having the right mindset and getting organized have helped me navigate the beginning of this journey. Peter Ambrose, EMBA12, was a guest speaker at the last session and explained the importance of “emotional resiliency” as we transition during the crisis.

Olin also offers a career group coaching session. I took this course when I started in the EMBA program. At the time, though, I was employed and wasn’t pursuing other career opportunities. It was a great course then, but it is even more vital now.

Mary has been my coach through all of this. She both supports me and pushes me.

Once Olin, always Olin

I have known the strength of the Olin community for a long time. My mother, Sally Roth, EMBA11, has talked about her connection to the school, relationship with the professors and friendships with her classmates. I felt that way while I attended Olin two years ago.

Only now, however, do I understand the significance of my time at Olin. My classmates from industries as diverse as manufacturing, finance and healthcare have reached out. They not only have offered connections and advice, but also they are there for me as friends.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Yes, a layoff can happen to you. Yes, even you.
  2. Everything happens for a reason (and you will repeat that mantra until you almost believe it).
  3. Olin staff, faculty and alum are there for you. Reach out to them.

As much as my time at Olin was valuable, the connections I made there have been priceless. Once Olin, always Olin. Now time to find my next career adventure. Unfortunately, no bands are touring now, so I’ll be sticking with marketing.

Photo: Carolyn Feltner, EMBA50