“I want to be an ally, advocate and co-conspirator in building inclusive futures. This includes undoing the harm of systemic racial inequality and amplifying the voice of underrepresented communities.”
Leadership in the workplace is an attribute that Olin MBA student Jennifer Lanas is passionate about pursuing.
“I want to remind people of the fundamental power of their own agency. The future is actively being written by the hand of our ingenuity,” Lanas said. “At my core, I work backward and think of people first—and the challenges and opportunities that exist in people creating their own solutions.”
After building a career in one of the most fast-moving industries in America, the tech sector, Lanas is now pursuing an MBA in the human resources leadership development program.
What spoke to her about Olin
Olin’s core values, pillars and mission aligned perfectly with the goals Lanas sets for herself. When she was searching for a school to continue her education and help her personal mission, Olin was the perfect fit.
“I am interested in the entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “The way entrepreneurs engage in deep empathy when paired with a values-based, data-driven mindset is the foundation of a business model for the beloved community.”
Lanas stresses the importance of learning by doing, always seeking to create something new and remembering that we exist in an interconnected world. For her, these are not just ideas, but critical to helping individuals thrive.
On her view of business
“Systemic inequality is an urgent business problem,” Lanas said. “Solving this problem involves all of us completing a personal inventory.”
She was particularly moved by the lessons she learned when Vernice “Fly Girl” Armour—America’s first African American female combat pilot—visited Olin.
“She challenged us to confront unconscious bias and fully embrace the importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging,” Lanas said.
The Weston Career Center
When Lanas was looking for a support system at Washington University, the search did not take long.
“I am exceptionally grateful for the guidance and support of the team at the Weston Career Center,” she said. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I sought their counsel and assembled a squad that couldn’t be more willing to help me to refine my story.”
Lanas knows that the team she has assembled for assistance will impact her longer than her years on campus, praising the WCC career coaches as exceptional resources, as well as Olin’s business development and employer relations team for “maintaining critical links to alumni in key industries.”
Preparing for an evolving business landscape
The Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, native is ready to take on the world as a leader in the information age. With the growing impact of technology in the marketplace, Lanas is prioritizing growth and adaptability to her education.
“Society is not fully prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that come from tech disruption and automation,” she said. “As I look to help companies lead the social enterprise, building trust, resilience and learning agility in people and teams is paramount. Shining a light on the values, rituals and stories that give us joy, purpose and meaning is key.”
Jennifer Lanas, MBA 2020
MBA Internship: Cisco
Pre-MBA: marketing supervisor, EPIC Systems Group, LLC
Education: BA, theology, Saint Vincent College; MA, secondary education and teaching, California University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Key Olin success drivers
Extracurricular activities/student clubs
Key Olin pillars of excellence
Values-based, data-driven mindset