McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Harvard | Mr. Australian Navy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.74
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. 10 Years In Finance
GMAT Not Required / Waived, GPA 2.65
Harvard | Ms. Social Enterprise/Healthcare
GRE 324, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
NYU Stern | Ms. Civil Servant To Fortune 50
GRE Writing May 31st, GPA Undergrad: 3.0, Graduate: 3.59
MIT Sloan | Ms. Designer Turned Founder
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Strategist
GMAT 750, GPA 73%, top of the class (gold medalist)
Harvard | Mr. Brightside
GMAT 760, GPA 3.93
Berkeley Haas | Mr. All About Impact
GMAT N/A, GPA 63%
Harvard | Mr. Forbes U30 & Big Pharma
GMAT 640, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Ross | Mr. FP&A
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Ms. Not-For-Profit
GMAT TBD, GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Big Chill 770
GMAT 770, GPA 3-3.2
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Ross | Mr. Dragon Age
GRE 327, GPA 2.19/4.0
Wharton | Ms. Type-A CPG PM
GMAT 750, GPA 3.42
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Young Software Engineer
GRE 330, GPA 3.60
NYU Stern | Mr. Indian Analytics Consultant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 322, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. RAV4 Chemical Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.62

Meet Washington University’s Olin MBA Class of 2017

Washington University, Olin Business School

Washington University, Olin Business School

ST. LOUIS EMERGING AS THE NEW HOTBED FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

So what attracts students to Olin? Despite the school generously heaping scholarships and aid onto 64% of its students, money wasn’t even a factor to the incoming class. The program’s flexible curriculum structure, however, earned kudos from incoming students. “After the first semester, which is designed to increase your awareness in virtually every function of business, the rest of your classes are basically all electives,” Henry explains. “Olin has five different platforms (Corporate Finance & Investments, Consulting, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Operations & Supply Chain Management) to choose from if you want to have a specific focus, and each platform has specific concentrations within them if you want to concentrate on a niche. You can do up to two platforms, but you don’t have to do any. If you [want to]… take a broad course load that touches a little bit on everything, that’s fine too.  There’s also a lot of opportunities to take classes in the law school, med school, or wherever. You take whatever interests you.”

In doing so, students get a semester jumpstart on their specialization before they start their summer internship. That may be one reason why Olin reported a 96.9% placement rate for the 2014 Class, second only to Chicago Booth (97.2%) among Top 20 schools. Another reason involves the ample opportunities for real world experience at Olin. For Alan Croitoru, a Columbia native looking to launch a fitness company, such experiences are invaluable to establishing student credibility and value with employers. “I wanted a program that would allow me to try out what I learn prior to graduation. The CEL (Center for Experiential Learning) at Olin allows students to help real companies solve business issues they are currently dealing with.”

St. Louis

St. Louis

Prospective students are also taking into account that St. Louis is enjoying an entrepreneurial renaissance. CB Insights reports that St. Louis was the fastest-growing metro for startup funding in 2014, attracting $155 million dollars in VC investment (up 235% over the previous year).  And such growth drew Markey back to her hometown. “I seek to fuse the non-profit and for-profit sectors and Olin’s programs merit such fusion by embracing, incubating and launching entrepreneurs of all kinds. Olin’s robust entrepreneurship platform, too, is supported by a city (St. Louis) with an ever-growing, collaborative startup scene.”

STUDENTS LOOKING TO LEAD AND TRANSFORM THEMSELVES

Olin’s MBA program also boasts a rich tradition of developing senior executives, including the current CEO of Verizon and recent Presidents of Purina, Marriott, and Anheuser-Busch. And many members of the 2017 Class are already itching to become leaders. “I would love to lead a student group—either in the Olin Women in Business or in the Olin Marketing Association,” admits Heather Reinhardt, who most recently helped manage fulfillment and operations for Lilly Pulitzer. “Leadership is important in the business world and I would be honored to lead my peers in a group setting in which I am passionate about the subject.”

Indeed, the 2017 Class’ ambitions are as varied as their backgrounds. Culver wants to “build the foundations for another business prior to graduation.” Gangopadhyay hopes to become “someone who epitomized the Olin culture.” Yao She, who has already earned a Master of Finance from Olin, envisions success as learning and experimenting, securing a dream job, and finding his “other half.”

Olin

Others, such as Reinhardt, are hoping to take a more personal and transformative journey. “I have lived my entire life within a 200 mile radius, so I think it is important to familiarize myself with the Midwest and specifically St. Louis. This will be a great opportunity for me to personally spread my wings and learn about myself on a new level. With new friends, a new environment and new opportunities, it feels as if the world is my playground.”

Nelson, on the other hand, expects more from her time at Olin than just fat rolodex. “Personally, I hope to leave with a community rather than merely a network.” And Lee plans to make the most of her time and resources so she can leave school without any regrets. “I don’t want to look back and think, “Wow, I should have taken advantage of that because now I don’t have that opportunity.”

To read profiles of incoming Washington Olin students – along with their advice on tackling GMAT, applications, and interviews – click on the student links below. 

Alan Croitoru / Bogota, Columbia

Markey Culver / St. Louis, MO

Richa Gangopadhyay / Northville, MI

Danny Henry / St. Louis, MO

Matt Holtshouser / St. Louis, MO

Courtney Lee / Gainesville, FL

Cambrie Nelson / Denver, CO

Heather Reinhardt / Wilmington, DE

Yao Shi / Zhengzhou, China

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