“Almost anything you could possibly want to do, you can do at Olin.”
In the second year, Alaina Flowers served in the Olin/United Way Board Fellows program, doing a second practicum (read the blog post) and working with two classmates on their first entrepreneurial venture. In her free time she likes to read and travel.
On her Consortium fellowship network
Flowers is a fellow for The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, an organization that works to increase the number of African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans in business leadership and business schools. During orientation, she “was flooded with resources,” including access to corporate partners, alumni from top-tier companies, and other business leaders.
Takeaways from the Venture Consulting course in Budapest
As part of Olin’s Venture Consulting course, Flowers spent seven days in Budapest working on a market-entry project for Oriens, a privately owned management-investment firm with offices in Central Europe and Southeast Asia.
“My first day began with a history lesson on Hungary from one of Oriens’ managing partners,” she says. “And he went way, way back in time (the country was founded in 895 A.D.). Americans supposedly care nothing about the past; they only care about the future. Well, Hungarians are the opposite; they care deeply about their roots. That lesson enhanced our client meetings throughout the week.
“There wasn’t much public information on the company my team researched for Oriens, and most of the information we had was in Hungarian. But, as a result of the experience, I’ve become much more adept at inferring information, a skill that adds value to the due-diligence process at a start-up accelerator. I also became more efficient at problem formulation, which is critical in any project-management role.”
Alaina Flowers, MBA 2015
Post-MBA employment: Associate, Inclusion Ventures, San Francisco Bay area
MBA Internship: Capital Innovators, St. Louis
Pre-MBA employment: Teach for America, corps member in Dallas and manager of finance & risk in Houston
Education: BS, accounting, Wayne State University
Venture Consulting in Budapest,
Practicums for Second Street (Spring 2014) and Saint Louis Fashion Fund (Fall 2014),
Olin/United Way Board Fellows,
Taylor Community Consulting for the Cancer Support Community of Greater Saint Louis,
Hatchery course and Olin Cup Competition,
Illinois MBA Strategy Case Competition
Consortium Fellow; president, Olin Diversity Council; finance officer, Net Impact; Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Association member