Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class Of 2021

Tianyuan Chen

Washington University, Olin Business School

“Adventurer, team-player, fast-learner.”

Hometown: Tongling, Anhui, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: Played over 100 room escape games in Shanghai

Undergraduate School and Major: Fudan University, Biotechnology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Assistant Analyst, Mulberry Capital

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I successfully completed the due diligence and investment of a biopharmaceutical company, and was greatly appreciated by our General Partner.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Intelligent—many of them are so bright and have brought awesome perspective to our discussion.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Scholarship. Both WashU and Olin are very generous in terms of offering scholarships. I am with McDonnell International Scholarship, besides the full coverage of tuitions and a monthly stipend, the exposure to leadership training and cohort excursions are very inspiring.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? There are so many choices! But the one I want to join most is the Healthcare and Life Sciences Club, for it aligns with my future goals.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “Tell me about a time when you faced people doing things that are contradictory to your values.” The question itself was not very tough, but I struggled a bit because I was in a dilemma whether I should give away the person who did the thing that contradicted my values.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? With a background in healthcare and biotechnology, I always felt that I want to build a bridge between laboratory research and real-world application. And this MBA will be a great value-add for preparing me for my future path.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? No, I’m in the joint degree with the Master of Public Health program at the Brown School, WashU, so this is the only MBA program I applied to.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Although I didn’t do research on various schools, I did talk with a couple of rising second-year students, including international students and joint-degree students, and tried to get first-hand experiences and evaluation from them. All of them offered great comments, and I’m sure I will do the same next year.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I was always a rebellious kid in terms of the Chinese standard. When I choose my undergrad institution, it was based on my well-rounded research and judgment without my parents’ permission. When I finally persuaded my parents to admit and support my decision, I learned to be a reasonable decision-maker and to be responsible for my own choices.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I hope to work for or start my own healthcare venture capital firm and help startups with their long-term development and bring more cutting-edge technologies into the market.