Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Minjy Koo, Washington University (Olin)

Minjy Koo

Washington University in St Louis, Olin Business School

“Goal-oriented learner, who hopes to build community that advance one’s career and confidence.”

Hometown: Busan, South Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a blogger with over 1 million views! I love sharing my daily thoughts and helpful information.

Undergraduate School and Major: Dongguk University, Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: T-fal (European home appliance company), Junior Product Manager

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? Out of other criteria, the school’s culture mattered to me. I looked for schools that truly value collaboration and diversity. As an international student, I hoped to get exposed to the supportive environment, leading everyone to grow and learn together. While I connected with Olin faculties and students, I was drawn to the genuine and supporting people and culture here.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Supportive and resilient mindset. While spending time with fellows, I saw everyone was helping and empowering each other. Regardless of different time zone and virtual settings, my classmates always make the most of every moment with strong resiliency. I am product of my Olin MBA cohort!

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Olin Women In Business. My passion lies in improving gender inequality in the workforce. This club will help me develop my core value and broaden my perspective. This experience will also strengthen and elaborate on my mission to build a platform to help women continue their careers.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my last company at GroupeSEB, I was the youngest employee promoted into the Junior Product Manager role in company history. I was able to lead my product category by collaborating with 10 different channels’ sales managers. I put my full effort into finding solutions and execute action plans together. My category’s sales increased by +52%, and every channel increased compared to the last year. I was genuinely happy to explore outstanding teamwork and learn the value of synergy with my precious coworkers!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In my first year of college, I read a book by a Korean woman, Hyea Park. She shared her MBA experience at Duke. I was fascinated by the transformative, challenging, and committed journey. After I read this book, pursuing an MBA became an item on my bucket list. After more than four years of marketing roles at global consumer electronic companies, I desired a new and challenging environment to grow. After contemplating, I realized that it was the right time to make my MBA dream come true. I genuinely believe that the MBA will broaden my perspectives and advance me from my prior marketing career.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I was asked, “What industry and companies do you think are promising in the future? Why?” I did not expect this type of question, so I panicked. Thankfully, I had read a related article a few days ago, so I could manage it.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Figuring out the school’s culture was one of the challenging parts for me. First, based on my search, I listed all information with specific criteria. The current students’ interviews from Poets & Quants were also tremendously helpful in understanding each MBA program deeply. The most beneficial method was talking with a current student who had a similar background as mine. They gave me realistic and insightful thoughts.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? “No. These gifts are only for your brothers, I did not bring you any.” My conservative grandmother told me this when I was a child. Since sons usually carry the family’s heritage, my grandmother gave my brothers special treatment in every way possible. These events traumatized me, leaving a permanent scar in my heart. Thus, I naturally developed my core values by looking up to successful women in leading roles; I want to become a leader who empowers women. In the future, I hope to build a platform for women who left their careers due to parenting and help them re-enter the workforce. I decided to pursue an MBA because it will be a stepping stone for achieving my ultimate goal. Thus, whenever I faced obstacles while working toward my MBA, this mission motivated me to keep moving forward.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is Netflix. It is impressive to see how Netflix shifted its own business model and expanded the streaming service market exceptionally. I look forward to learning the Netflix’s future strategy against other giants!


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