Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Qihong (Susan) Luo, Washington University (Olin)

Qihong (Susan) Luo

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

“I knew I would pursue a career in supply chain since I was 5 years old.”

Hometown: Beijing, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: The president of Malawi is my neighbor.

Undergraduate School and Major: Washington University in St. Louis, Systems Science and Engineering, double major in Mathematics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Business Intelligence Project Manager

What has been your favorite part of St. Louis so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Being in St. Louis since undergrad, this city has become my second hometown. My favorite part of St. Louis is WashU’s Danforth campus, and the community it represents. I decided to pursue my MBA in the same campus because the education here is personal and tailored, and the relationship with the community and colleagues that support my journey is going to extend beyond the two-year MBA horizon.

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? Traveling with the cohort (and hands-on learning)! It makes me feel like a teenager going on a field trip with classmates—always so much fun on the road, with learning that happens spontaneously.

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? I like the platform options and the flexibility of course selection. The platform provides general guidance to build expertise in specific areas, and flexible course selection ensures the curricum is tailored to personal needs. I want to pursue a supply chain career in the tech space, which is a very specific post-MBA direction; I am able to hone my supply chain skills following the SCM platform, while still given room for polish my technical skills.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Olin? I love the accounting courses taught by Tom Fields! I am not pursuing a career in accounting, but know that accounting is essential to understand the business landscape. Tom was able to make a dry topic approachable and fun for non-accounting experts, and helped me apply the concepts in real-world challenges through case discussions.

In terms of activities, I enjoyed being the MBA corporate ambassador for Olin’s Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation. The hands-on experience to solve top-notch industry challenges is so valuable as it applied the theory we learned in class, as well as honing the soft skills needed to excel in real business settings. The Boeing Center experience also provides me with a lot of good examples in behavioral interviews.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I managed the supply chain business intelligence project at Anheuser Busch, and was able to elevate AB’s business intelligence maturity from basic reporting to predictive analytics in two years.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Small accomplishment: My storytelling video won first place in the Effective Business Communications course. Big accomplishment: Survived my summer semester with all high passes, while taking care of two young kids!

What has been your best memory as an MBA student so far: Everyday interactions with my cohort is becoming my new best memory. I remembered Darinee brought me garlic sauces from Houston, Rick sent me email with encouragement after seeing my storytelling video, Margeret comforted me once knowing my kid was sick … from those little things, I know we’ve got each other’s back, and it’s been the best part of my MBA journey.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Olin MBA program? Know your story well and tell it. I used to think my life is a pretty unique story already, but I am constantly impressed by how diverse and multi-layered my colleagues’ stories are. Take the time and reflect on your journey. There is always something you have not discovered about yourself!



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