Students participated in experiential learning in Uganda.

​Innovative Learning. Delivering Impact.

Olin Business School’s Center for Experiential Learning creates innovative learning opportunities for you to deliver impact for organizations through faculty-guided, student-driven consulting projects and experiences within the St. Louis community and across the globe.

The CEL offers six challenging programs geared to build your résumé. These programs are designed to help you develop business management consulting competencies including project management, critical thinking, problem formulation, and leadership and communication skills. Learn more about the student application process in Campus Groups.

Six experiential learning programs for Olin Business School students

The CEL Practicum Program

Eligibility: All WashU students
Teams: Customized teams assembled based on client needs
Timing: Full semester – Fall/Winter/Spring
Credits: 3.0

The CEL Practicum puts you at the center of real-world, team-based consulting projects with business leaders. Apply and enhance your critical thinking skills through a 14-week, full semester project. Clients include startups to Fortune 50 firms regionally and globally. Travel may be required. Read about benefits to clients.

“Our CEL Practicum project allowed my team to get out of the classroom and out of our comfort zones. It allowed us to move beyond a typical business school case and apply ourselves to a real issue facing a real company. Ultimately, the CEL Practicum allowed us to stretch our limits and grow our abilities and confidence.” –Conn Davis, MBA 2017


Small Business Initiative (SBI)

Eligibility: Undergraduate students
Teams: Customized teams assembled based on client needs
Timing: Full semester – Fall/Spring
Credits: 3.0

The Small Business Initiative (SBI) is designed for passionate undergraduate students who want to build consulting competencies by tackling real-world issues facing small businesses. By participating in SBI’s 12-week, team-based management consulting projects, you have the opportunity to provide actionable recommendations that can directly impact the success of a local small business. Read about benefits to local small businesses.

“The SBI program has been the most rewarding leadership experience of my college career. It has empowered me to hone my strengths leaving me with a clear understanding of my potential as a manager and businessman.” –Henry Cummings, BSBA 2017


CEL Entrepreneurial Consulting Team (CELect)

Eligibility: All WashU students
Teams: Based on experience and ability
Timing: Full Semester – Fall/Spring
Credits: 3.0

Impact the STL startup ecosystem by working with local entrepreneurs in technology, life sciences, and more. Read about the benefits to the St. Louis startup community.


“As a law student, the CEL Entrepreneurial Consulting Team provided a cross-disciplinary avenue to understand business functions in a startup environment.” –Aidan Yee, JD 2017


Taylor Community Consulting Program

Eligibility: All WashU students
Teams: Apply as a team or individually
Timing: Mini B – Fall/Spring/Summer
Credits: 1.5

Impact your local community through this eight-week nonprofit consulting program. You’ll apply and enhance your critical thinking skills through team-based experiential learning projects with agencies such as American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club of America, and International Institute of St. Louis. Read about the benefits to clients.

“Nothing prepared me better for my career in consulting than the structured problem-solving skills I learned at the Center for Experiential Learning.” –Colton Calandrella, BSBA 2017


Olin/United Way Board Fellows

Eligibility: Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA, and Executive MBA students
Teams: Individual opportunity
Timing: One-year service from May to April
Credits: 3.0

The Olin/United Way Board Fellows Program provides the opportunity to apply and enhance your leadership skills while serving on the board of a local nonprofit agency for one full calendar year. As a full voting board member of a local nonprofit, you will see board governance in action, create and execute a project for the agency, and develop your skills serving alongside business and community leaders. Learn how agencies benefit.

“This is a great program to bring new ideas to all of these nonprofit boards in the area. Through this program, the CEL is able to give thought leadership to these organizations.” –Adam Clark, MBA 2017


Global Management Studies

Eligibility: Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA
Teams: Opt-in based on program and destination
Timing: Mini A + Spring Break
Credit Hours: 1.5

Through Global Management Studies, you gain exposure to international perspectives and global businesses as part of a student-led team conducting field research in a specific geographic region and business sector. Recent projects have taken students to Japan, Brazil, Dubai, China, and South Africa.

“Learning from a textbook is one thing, but to go out and experience business where it happens is true learning.” –Gene Kang, MBA 2017