Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Livi Logan-Wood, Washington University (Olin)

Livi Logan-Wood (she/her/hers)

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

“A fiercely competitive individual passionate about addressing systemic inequity through a cross-sector approach.”

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was a four-year starter and captain for the NCAA Division 1 Saint Louis University women’s soccer team.

Undergraduate School and Major: Saint Louis University; Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Associate Manager, Partnership for Public Service

What has been your favorite part of St. Louis so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? It has been phenomenal coming back to St. Louis after spending four years in Washington, D.C., in order to pursue my graduate degree. In recent years, St. Louis has been recognized as one of the fastest growing cities for startups, and the region boasts a dynamic offering of history, live music and sports, all at an affordable price. I’ve personally enjoyed taking advantage of free activities in one of the many nearby parks and tapping into the eclectic restaurant and brewery scene during my down time!

You’ll be completing your global immersion next spring (Update: the class of ’23 is scheduled now to travel in fall ’22). What excites you most about this excursion overseas? I am eager to apply lessons from the MBA classroom to an international context. As a joint-degree student studying business and social work, I am excited about opportunities to apply business solutions and concepts to other sectors and settings. Having the chance to be immersed in another country’s business landscape and learn from different cultures, populations, and historic norms will enhance my ability to contextualize future challenges and tackle them with a strategic, curated approach.

Aside from your classmates, global immersion and location, what was the key part of the Olin MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? A large factor in my determination to enroll at Washington University in St. Louis had to do with the size of the MBA cohort. I care deeply about community and being able to actively contribute to whatever environment I am in. Our tight-knit class has enabled me to be familiar with almost all of my classmates, get to know my professors, and acquire leadership positions in clubs such as Net Impact and Olin’s Graduate Business Student Association fairly quickly. I encourage all perspective students to think about what type of learning environment will enhance their professional growth. For me, it’s a smaller class size with ample opportunity for school involvement.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Olin? I really benefited from Professor Seth Carnahan’s Introduction to Management and Strategy class this summer. Although it was an abbreviated course, we were able to dive deeply into multiple cases ranging in company structure, geographic location, and industry. Further, Professor Carnahan does a superb job of incorporating topics around racial and gender equity, global business practices, and evolving technology into his course. This class gave me the language and format to tackle business cases in other classes, setting me up for long-term success at Olin.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At the beginning of 2020, I started working on the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition team, which is a D.C. nonpartisan nonprofit aiming to enhance government effectiveness. Every four years, the Center for Presidential Transition plays a role in supporting the current administration, career federal employees, and opposing transition teams leading up to the election and afterwards. It was an honor to inform such a key process in our democracy during a time filled with critical challenges around COVID-19, election ascertainment, and threats to Congress. I am proud of the work I did specifically advocating for improved policies around political appointee hiring and onboarding to better equip new administrations facing a multitude of challenges from Day 1.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: I have really enjoyed working in teams with my classmates to tackle big, societal issues. In particular, I am proud to have been a part of a team who finished third in the Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition hosted by Penn State. What excited me most about this case was the opportunity to apply business solutions to the real-world problem of electronic waste, which required our team to address social policy, human rights, and environmental issues simultaneously to make a global impact.

What has been your best memory as an MBA student so far: This semester, I had the exciting opportunity to serve as a team lead for a consulting project through Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning. The CEL enables students to apply our learnings to problems facing real clients. This fall, my team and I worked with the Ecuadorian Football Federation to conduct an industry analysis across many comparable international soccer federations. Part of our research led us to travel to Charlotte, N.C. to watch Ecuador face off against Mexico for an international friendly (where Ecuador won!). This was an incredible bonding opportunity for the team, and attending the match provided invaluable insights that informed our final recommendations.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Olin MBA program? I know it sounds cliché, but the best piece of advice I received during the application process was to be yourself, be honest about what you want in a program, and don’t try to downplay your background. As a nontraditional student with experience in social work and public policy, I was worried I wouldn’t fit the MBA “mold.” However, once I decided to highlight my professional background as an advantage and discuss openly ways in which my experience would enable me to contribute to the student community, the application process became a lot less intimidating. It was through this process that it became clear to me that Olin was the best fit for me to advance my education.


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