Julie Cole Q&A: ‘Network, network, network’

  • March 29, 2019
  • By Brooke Van Groningen
  • 2 minute read

Part of a series of Q&As with Olin BSBA alumni. Today we hear from Julie Cole, BSBA 2017.

What are you doing for work now, and how did your Olin education impact your career?

I am part of the presidential associate program (rotational program) at the Estée Lauder Companies, in the responsible sourcing (sustainable procurement) rotation. The program has various tracks, and being an operations and supply chain management/marketing major at Olin, I chose the supply chain track. Without a degree in supply chain, I would not have been able to choose this track.

What Olin course, ‘defining moment’ or faculty influenced your life most, and why?

Dr. Durai Sundaramoorthi definitely had the biggest influence on my life. I was able to be a teaching assistant for quantitative business analysis for several years, which provided me with leadership opportunities and people management skills, along with the chance to report to Dr. Durai, similar to how I report to a manager at work. I use these skills every day as I am spearheading a new initiative under the responsible sourcing team. I project manage, collaborate and share progress with the team and report to senior leadership on my work.

How do you stay engaged with Olin or your Olin classmates and friends?

I live in New York City and am fortunate to see many of my Olin classmates who live here or come to visit. Some of my closest friends I met on Day 1 when I found out they were on my Management 100 team.

Why is business education important?

Being in a rotational program, I switch from team to team every six months. Doing so, I touch so many parts of the business, many of which I learned about during business school. Though I majored in operations and supply chain management and marketing, I have to talk with other teams, like finance, very frequently. Because I took finance classes during my four years, I can participate in the conversation, share ideas and ask questions.

Looking back, what advice would you give current Olin students?

Enjoy what you do! I chose OSCM as my second major because I enjoyed the coursework and I chose to be on the responsible sourcing team at work because I am passionate about what we do. Work is so much better when you are personally invested in it.

Also—network, network, network! Network at your internship, network at school, network on an airplane. You never know who you will meet. As an intern, I was contacted by a senior vice president, a fellow Olin graduate, who mentored me throughout my internship and pushed for me to be on the supply chain track of my program (something that had only ever been allowed for those with graduate degrees).

About the Author

Brooke Van Groningen

Brooke Van Groningen

Brooke Van Groningen has been a part of the WashU community since 2016 and is a part of the Olin Marketing and Communications team as a brand manager. She is constantly inspired by the alumni in the Olin community and all that they do to impact the business world. When she is not working, you can find her walking her labradoodle in Tower Grove Park with her husband, exploring new restaurants in the city, or taking a yoga class.

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