“Being at Olin just reinforces WashU’s status. All the best corporations in town send their employees here for an MBA. The caliber of people here makes it a world-class institution.”
Sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward. Or, at least, that’s how Darrel Pfeifauf is mapping out his career. While Pfeifauf started his career at a hedge fund in Connecticut trading emerging market debt, he took a turn with the Washington University Investment Office right here on campus. He then left WashU to put his hedge fund talents to use for Summit Strategies, another St. Louis company. Today, he’s back on campus, but this time, as a Professional MBA student.
“I came back to WashU and Olin because I really wanted a broader understanding of how business overall worked, not just from an investments perspective,” Pfeifauf says. In other words, Pfeifauf wanted to stretch himself beyond the finance and accounting frameworks he relied upon daily. What he didn’t expect was that he’d be applying what he learned in the classroom so immediately to his day job.
Pfeifauf was deep into building a forecasting model for investments as part of a work project when he realized he had all the tools he needed thanks to one of his Core classes at Olin. “All these statistical options were right there in front of me, so I chose one of those instead of a typical approach,” he said.
Fast-paced, for those in a hurry
Having lived on the East Coast isn’t a prerequisite to wanting to accelerate your future. Olin’s weekend options allow you to get in your electives in a compressed time frame and start advancing in your career more quickly. Pfeifauf explains, “I actually took three weekend classes. I think the weekend classes are a great way to get credits in and exposure to various course topics. With the classes I took last spring and a weekender over the summer, I'm set to graduate next May.”
Alongside the best
Olin’s cohort groups are always one of the most cited advantages of the program. Pfeifauf, too, feels this approach encouraged his own critical thinking. “It’s refreshing to see how others think,” he says. “It helped force me to articulate my views so those coming from different perspectives could understand them,” he explains. Pfeifauf is also impressed with the caliber of students he’s meeting in his classes and the experiences and insights they’re sharing. “All the best corporations in town send their employees here for an MBA. The caliber of people here makes it a world-class institution,” he says.
Darrel Pfeifauf, Professional MBA
Senior Research Analyst, Summit Strategies