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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

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Cindy Dillard Parres, Executive MBA

Cindy Dillard Parres

EMBA Class 42
General Counsel, Vice President Human Resources, and Secretary
Houlihan's Restaurants Inc.
"I was in awe of how intricately built the Executive MBA program is and how masterfully all the pieces fit together."
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"I was in awe of how intricately built the Executive MBA program is and how masterfully all the pieces fit together."

Concerns about enrolling in the Executive MBA program

"My biggest concern was time management. I’m a single parent with a son in junior high school, in addition to my professional responsibilities. I’m also Type A. So I knew if I attended the program, I’d have to give it a 100 percent effort.

"I took an Olin certificate course – Finance for Nonfinancial Managers – as a dry run, which helped me calculate the ROI from the Executive MBA program. Then it was a matter of finding time I didn’t know I had."

Parres says she was hooked from the beginning. "After GO! Week, I was in awe of how intricately built the Executive MBA program is and how masterfully all the pieces fit together. It’s clear the program provides strategy on a high level and helps students develop as a team."

The Executive MBA experience

"A fabulous jewel" is how she describes her Executive MBA experience. "Because the professors stay in Kansas City during program sessions, we eat dinner together, hang out together, and have opportunities to share our experiences and goals."

Advice for other attorneys who are considering the program

"Companies often view lawyers – and human resources managers – as cost centers that are a necessary evil. We need to demonstrate that we get business.

"C-suite thinking is really what Olin’s Executive MBA program is all about. An important part of that is learning how to quantify recommendations, which I wasn’t doing effectively before this program. I already notice a different reaction from my leadership team when I bring solutions to the table."

Cindy Dillard Parres

General Counsel, Vice President Human Resources, and Secretary, Houlihan's Restaurants Inc.

Previous Employment

Partner, Bryan Cave; Associate, Blackwell Sanders

Background

Education: JD, University of Missouri–Columbia
BA, Southeast Missouri State University