Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class of 2018


Raisaa Tashnova

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am a small person with a BIG VOICE! Always asking life – what more is there to you?

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Fun Fact About Yourself: I write poetry in secret and no I am not reading one to you.

Undergraduate School and Major: Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (Finance)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Feature Writer, The Daily Star Bangladesh. Communications Manager, Unilever Bangladesh Limited.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It would be helping write, singing in, helping produce the first ever Company anthem for Unilever Bangladesh. It was an innovative project, attempted to bring the employees together during a difficult time for the company, bringing people together behind the company’s mission and reminding employees of the glorious history and achievements of the company. The music video was picked up by the local TV channels. Within the company the anthem managed to raise spirits.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Start with the GMAT and then worry about what comes next. For the GMAT, do not try a crash course approach. The GMAT is a way of thinking instead of being a syllabus to complete. To develop that way of thinking, I believe one needs to practice every day for a significant number of days. Let me repeat that – EVERY DAY, for a number of days. It can be as little as doing 2 problems some days, but stay in touch.

For essays, I would suggest looking at the essay topics the moment they are released and then carrying on with your life. Once you know the prompt, you will keep thinking about it subconsciously and that will help prepare your essay narrative faster. Above all, stress as much as you want to, but also remember to enjoy the process.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? In deciding to apply to Olin, I looked at its awesome international student placement rates. I had no idea WashU was such a giant university in terms of its reputation but that definitely helps. Once I was accepted, it was the warmth with which Olin reached out to me and answered all my questions that drew me to the place. In addition to that, I took into consideration the small class size of the program, which would provide an international student like me the individual attention I might need; the opportunity to study with people from so many diverse backgrounds; and the fact that it is a city school.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I am really crushing over brand management and brand marketing at the moment. I would love to work with global brands and help develop their brand stories. It will be even better if the brand or company has a sustainability agenda to their business since sustainability is very close to my heart. I am a strong believer in doing well by doing good and that is the value I want to bring to any company I join. Hence I am looking at PepsiCo, Kimberly Clark, Reckitt Benkizer as potential employers, among others.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? During my farewell from Unilever, my colleagues described me as brave and strong. I want that title to remain and add to that – smart, fun and helpful.

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