“Staying where I was would never test my leadership ability.”
By all accounts, Faught was advancing in his career as a financial analyst and developing a strong skill set. But to “move up the career ladder,” he needed a “business education larger than portfolio analysis.” Faught wanted to become a leader.
Highlights of his WashU MBA experience
During his first year in the MBA program, Faught was one of the lucky student-lottery winners to meet über-investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett. Faught, representing Washington University, attended the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting and met with Buffett for a Q&A session. Faught was even able to ask the “Oracle of Omaha” a question: “What would you do if you were in business school today?”
Faught says Buffett looked him in the eye and spoke directly to him on the importance of networking with faculty and staff to gain outside-the-classroom experience and perspective.
“I followed Mr. Buffett’s advice,” Faught says.
What surprised him most about the program
Faught took a few business courses as an undergraduate at Cornell University and also as a “graduate student-at-large” when he worked for the University of Chicago. “So my expectations were high when I came to Washington University.
“The quality and accessibility of Olin professors blew me away. One-on-one questions that would be answered by teaching assistants at other top-ranked schools are directly addressed by faculty here. Olin professors deliver professional development services to students and are always willing to help students out.”
“Creating something for the team”
Faught also was “surprised by how willing Olin students are to help each other. Another MBA and I were going after the same job at Anheuser-Busch InBev. We coached each other as interview prep. As Olin students, we understand that the success of our classmates strengthens our overall business network. We’re creating something for the team.”
Support in his job search
“At the end of the day, I wouldn’t have landed my internship – or my job – at Edward Jones without a networking event sponsored by Olin’s Alumni & Development office and the Weston Career Center. The event was where I first met several Edward Jones partners and Olin alumni, including my future leader, John Beuerlein.”
In addition, Faught “plugged into the WCC for finishing touches, such as last-minute interview coaching. My career advisor was my ally in my job search.”
Alex Faught, MBA 2014
Post-MBA: Management Development Associate, Edward Jones, St. Louis
MBA Internship: Edward Jones, St. Louis
Pre-MBA employment: Analyst, Center for Research in Security Prices, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; Analyst, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Education: BS, Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, cum laude
Hometown: La Verne, CA
Practicum, early-stage investing, Skandalaris Center
Activities & Awards
Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, Olin MBA Finance Award, and Knight Scholar (top 10 graduating Olin MBA students)