Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class of 2018


Rob Garwitz

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Driven. Disciplined. Energetic. Competitive runner. St. Louis native. Aspiring entrepreneur.

Hometown: St. Peters, MO

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have run six marathons and in five of them I qualified for the Boston Marathon.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Missouri-Columbia – BA in Journalism

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Nike, Inc. –  Account Executive and Marketing Specialist

Big River Running Company – Team Sales Director and Store Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am proud to say that my career so far has been a purpose-driven journey. Each step has been intentional and has aligned with a bigger mission. I spent five-and-a-half years with Nike because I wanted to work for a company that shared my vision that sport can change people’s lives for the better. Before that, I worked for a St. Louis area startup, Big River Running Company, that shared a similar vision. My mission has evolved over the years, but it’s always been the guiding force in my career choices.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? There is life after the GMAT. No, really. That test pushed me to the limits. It took me three tries to get the score I knew I was capable of getting. If you are worried about the GMAT, think about how much you want it. If you are like me and you really want it, work hard and be strategic with your study habits. And something more tactical, make sure to decrease your study volume the week of the test especially over the last few days. Make sure your mind is fresh the morning of the test.

More importantly, reflect on what makes you unique and figure out how to effectively sell yourself in a concise way. This took time and practice for me. I am still working on this. It doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking experience or personal quality. What drives you? What gets you up early in the morning or keeps you up late at night? Why did you sacrifice so much to pursue your MBA? Effectively telling your story will get you noticed by schools and future employers.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Beyond the obvious academic advantages, it was all about fit. Early on in my MBA search, I identified that my main priority was finding a lifelong business partner, not just a piece of paper. I also wanted to be in a culture that would intellectually challenge me and inspire me think big in my career. Olin exceeded my expectations on both of those promises.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I am an entrepreneur at heart, so long-term I hope to start my own business. In the short-term, I can see myself refining my leadership skills at a local startup. I had a realization recently that the positions I held at both Nike and Big River were entrepreneurial in nature. As someone from St. Louis, I am personally motivated to either start or contribute to a venture that will create opportunities for young people, make the community better, and elevate our city on a national stage.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I hope my peers say that I inspired them in some way. Or maybe I got them thinking about business in a different way. I like to lead by example, so hopefully my drive and passion will shine through.

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