“Olin has changed how I think. I used to think things were obvious, but now I see all the decision points and understand better how companies work, including my own.”
Chad Conner didn’t have to look too far to observe the positive impact an Olin Professional MBA degree could have on a career. “I wanted to stand out, and the degree definitely helped me get my current job,” Conner says. Since completing his MBA, Conner has changed positions within Wells Fargo, moving from Fixed Income Trading to Risk Management.
Guest Speakers with an impact
Jim Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve, taught one of Conner’s favorite classes. “We had guest speakers every week, and the topics were always relevant,” explains Conner. He added, “These were people you regularly see on TV, and I was able to talk to them after class and get their perspective on current events.”
Considering different aspects
Sergio Chayet’s operations class was another highlight for Conner. He liked the immersion into supply chain and still considers its impact in everyday situations. Conner says, “If I’m in a store and they stock out of a product I’m looking for, I immediately think about how their supply chain can be improved. I wonder if the company is experiencing a bullwhip effect, and if so, how it can be prevented in the future. These topics are problems that Professor Chayet challenged us with solving in most of our class discussions.”
Cohorts—friends or foes?
Conner acknowledges that the cohort system (being placed in a group of peers for your core classes) was an initial reason for concern. “I thought the atmosphere would be competitive,” he admits. He knew everyone would be smart and ambitious and was apprehensive about a “zero-sum” situation. He says his worries quickly vanished. “Inclusiveness was everywhere. Everyone was very friendly, very willing to help.” He adds, “It was more of a ‘let’s learn more together’” experience.
Calculating the benefits
As a part-time student, Conner was able to apply coursework to his daytime responsibilities. Taking Investment Theory from Professor Matthew Ringgenberg was a great experience at Olin. “The topics discussed in his class really gave me a different lens on how I should look at risk for the financial portfolio I help monitor on my job. Being in his class gave me ideas that I was able to then apply on my job the following day.”
Chad Conner, Professional MBA
Assistant Vice President, Market Risk Consultant, Wells Fargo Advisors