2022 MBA To Watch: Jannat Singh, Washington University (Olin)

Jannat Singh

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

“Passionate about helping initiatives that incrementally change the world.”

Hometown: Panjab, India

Fun fact about yourself: I attended eight different schools before graduating from high school.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Bachelor in Fashion Design from Panjab University

Master in Fashion Management from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Operations Manager (Retail), SCP

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? (List Company and Location) Arch Grants, St. Louis

ResMed, San Diego (Remote)

Where will you be working after graduation? Walmart – MBA Senior Manager, Merchandising Operations

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Forté Fellow

Recipient, Chancellor’s Scholarship

Officer, Net Impact Club

President, Olin Wine Club

Olin Student Ambassador, Olin Admissions

Volunteer, SCORE St. Louis Chapter Mentor

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My team recently placed third in Howard University’s MBA Experience case competition. This year’s case competition focused on providing solutions to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within workplaces. I enjoyed ideating and brainstorming with my team for solutions for a challenge that is top of mind for so many leaders, organizations and communities today.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I spearheaded my business’s efforts to navigate the early days of the COVID-19 crisis when a lot of uncertainty engulfed all aspects of the business. In a short span of time, not only did we have to rethink the business’s revenue profile, but also what that meant from a people and processes standpoint. I was proud and humbled by how the team stepped up to meet this challenge.

Why did you choose this business school? I was very impressed by WashU Olin’s focus on bringing together a very diverse yet small and tight-knit student body, enabling students to build personal relationships with classmates and faculty alike. Olin prides itself on fostering a community where everyone knows you by “your name and your story” and that sense of belonging was important to me. As I look back on my MBA journey, these personal interactions with my peers within the program and the faculty have contributed significantly to both my intellectual and personal growth.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Tom Fields is a senior lecturer in accounting at WashU Olin, and he teaches the MBA core accounting class in addition to accounting electives. Interestingly, not having prior exposure to the subject coming into the MBA, I was nervous about accounting. Professor Fields manages to turn a very complex and monotonous course into an easy to understand and engaging class. We learn not only “how” but also the “why.” He demonstrates a lot of care and compassion in his interactions with the students. Ultimately, I enjoyed the core accounting class so much that I ended up taking two more advanced accounting electives!

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite part about B-school was learning more about different cultures from my classmates. Through events organized by Olin graduate student clubs, I was able to participate in diverse cultural traditions from around the globe!

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? In hindsight, I should have taken more advantage of the learning and experiential opportunities WashU Olin provides. From speaker events in various platforms to the sessions organized by the Weston Career Center, I would have benefitted tremendously from participating in these—even if they didn’t directly relate to my area of interest.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about WashU Olin is that it is a “regional” school and that future job opportunities are restricted to the Midwest. However, in reality, WashU Olin opens many doors and can help you get wherever you want to be.

What surprised you the most about business school? Coming to business school, I expected to meet driven and competent people. But I was surprised and am continuously impressed not only by how capable my classmates are, but also by how deeply they care about making a positive impact in their communities.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose?

I reached out to the admissions team and had conversations with several current students to learn more about the city and the program. On the one hand, I tremendously benefited from their advice, and on the other hand, it gave the school a chance to get to know me better and beyond my application.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I have met some of the most incredible people during my time at WashU Olin. If I had to pick just one, it would be James Dutton. James is hardworking, humble and always willing to help. He is always ready to help his classmates, whether with academics, interviews or just acting as a sounding board. He is also the president of the Olin Finance Club and, among other things, hosts a podcast to familiarize students with potential career options in finance. I am honored to call him a friend and cannot wait to see all that he will accomplish in the years to come.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father was the biggest force behind me pursuing business. I have always worked in marketing, and I had been contemplating for a while going back to school to grow my skillset and develop my leadership skills. Ultimately, my father’s unwavering belief in my success empowered me to take the leap.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

I hope to pay it forward by sharing my knowledge and experience, and mentoring and contributing to the professional growth of those around me.

Having worked in the VC space, I am fascinated by the impact investors can have by empowering entrepreneurs. Eventually, I hope to become an investor in a startup or a search fund.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic made me reconsider the meaning of and the need to make an impact. Today, I want to work with an organization that enables me to touch people’s lives in a meaningful way, whether it is a more direct impact or by making a process better, easier, faster and more cost-effective for customers.

What made Jannat such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Based on my experiences teaching and collaborating with Jannat during her time at WashU Olin Business School, I can state with strong confidence that Jannat’s skills, experiences, attributes, accomplishments, cognitive abilities and habits make her an outstanding candidate.

This confidence is driven by three primary factors. First, Jannat’s unwavering commitment to her studies, maximizing every opportunity that WashU Olin offers. For example, Jannat was a standout student in all three courses that I teach. While impressive, what is extraordinary is that she enrolled in the evening section of each course, those typically taken by working, part-time graduate students. Driven by the rigor of their program, rarely do full-time MBA students enroll in these sections. In addition to being an outstanding individual performer, she enhanced the overall learning experience of her peers. This leads to the second factor, volunteering in a variety of ways to serve the WashU Olin community. For example, helping to lead the Impact Investment Symposium that brought together speakers from all over the world to engage in thoughtful conversations in the social impact space. This leads to the third factor. That is Jannat’s ability to form empathy for others and her genuine desire to make a positive and principled difference in communities and society at large. For example, facilitating Changemakers, an event that recognizes leaders who are solving critical problems ranging from education to women empowerment within the St. Louis community.

Jannat exemplifies the values-based, data-driven culture of WashU Olin, and it has been an honor to have been a part of her journey. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly with any questions or concerns.”

Michael Wall
Professor of Practice, Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Co-Director, WashU Olin Center for Analytics & Business Insights
Academic Director, WashU Olin Marketing Platform
WashU Olin Business School

“Jannat is one of those students whose curiosity and intensity inspires me as an educator.  She consistently poses questions that dig beneath the surface of the materials, revealing her ability to see connections and opportunities most students miss. She is conscientious and thoughtful with her time, choosing to invest in high impact areas like Net Impact’s Olin chapter and the Impact Investment Symposium Team. As a student ambassador and a volunteer with Score, Jannat lives her values. Her dry sense of humor belies that she can also connect with others at a personal level. Jannat is a stand out student who creates value for others with passion and integrity.”

Trish Gorman, MBA, PhD
Professor of Practice in Strategy, Entrepreneurship
WashU Olin Business School


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