Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class of 2018


Eric Changhan Ko

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A postman turned mobile marketer at Samsung.

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was a postman in my early 20s. I managed to transform myself into a marketing manager at Samsung and promoted Galaxy smartphones, travelling 10 countries.

Undergraduate School and Major: SungKyunKwan University, Business Administration.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Inju Co., Ltd. – General Manager

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. – Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Using Galaxy S6 EDGE smartphones, I initiated and managed Samsung’s Enterprise Distribution Program (‘EDP’), a seed marketing sample distribution campaign to Fortune 500 companies and contributed to increase B2B sales by 15% in 2015

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? If you decide to study GMAT or write an essay for business school, I suggest that you consider these key questions:

1) Who you are?

2) What you want?

3) What is your focus?

Ask yourself questions like “What is my strength and weakness?”, “What do I really want to do in the next 5 or 10 years?”, and “What is important to me at this moment?”. Once you know who you are and what you want, you will be able to adjust your focus. Although this is very basic and fundamental approach, I believe it will help you discover the fastest route in your career path. Lastly, just be yourself.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Personally, optimization became the most important keyword in my life since I was a mail carrier who delivered a lot of mail every day. Calculating and finding optimized delivery route was a key success factor.

Therefore, I was thrilled when I heard about Olin’s platform-based classes because no matter what platform I choose, each platform provides optimized classes to move me forward to my future goal.

CEL Practicum was another reason. Many startup companies visit the Olin campus and share their challenges and business issues. Since these companies are passionate about their business, both professors and students put enormous effort into assessing and solving their challenges. I believe that CEL Practicum is a great way to learn about real business issues in the marketplace and to build a network with local companies.

More importantly, Olin class size is small but incredibly strong when it comes to its education quality. I feel like I have almost unlimited access to faculty members whose passion is far beyond my expectation. they are always willing to offer support whenever I have the need. I also feel like they actively engage with students. For example, our Associate Dean participates in many casual school activities and spends substantial time giving us not only professional insights but also advice so students can improve. In addition, many Olin alumni actively engage in school activities while networking with us and sharing their own experiences.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? When I was a postman, what made my truly meaningful was humanism. I enjoyed watching the pleasant looks of recipients when they received their long-awaited mail. Every day, I woke up early morning thinking about this job and found pleasure in it because I knew it was meaningful to people I met along the way. Since then, I dream about becoming a global leader of a company that connects with people by delivering the world’s best service and, more importantly, has a positive social impact on mankind, thereby contributing to the world’s happiness. During my nine years of marketing experience in the mobile industry, I have developed a passion for product marketing. By leveraging this passion and my expertise in the mobile industry, I want to make a strong contribution to improve services for consumers seeking for a better life.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I imagine my classmates saying, “Hey, Eric! We all feel so grateful that you bring a perfect game to the table every day.” On my graduation day, I want to hear from my classmates that I was the front-runner who is always willing to help others by bringing courageous thinking, different perspectives and excellent solutions.


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