Olin EMBA provides professional connections that enlighten, support

  • March 1, 2024
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

One of the most valuable assets that an Olin executive MBA leaves with fits in the palm of their hand—a phone full of contacts that represent the supportive community they built while earning their MBAs.

To celebrate the Olin EMBA 40th anniversary, Olin Business magazine interviewed several alumni about what they took from their experience in the program. Again and again, we heard about the bonds forged in the EMBA cohorts, which the program carefully curates to provide a mix of backgrounds and skills.

“We had so much talent in our class, that I actually think I learned more from my classmates than I did from the professors,” said Shelly Lavender, EMBA 2003. “That’s not to say the professors weren’t also incredible.”

Lavender, who retired from Boeing as senior vice president of strike, surveillance and mobility and St. Louis senior executive, said the long-lasting connections made—not just with her own cohort classmates, but with faculty, staff and new students in the program—has been an ongoing source of value from her Olin degree.

Mary Frontczak, EMBA 2009, found that learning from her classmates, who came from a range of careers was an important part of her EMBA education.

“There was a lot of experience in the room,” said Frontczak chief legal and administrative officer and corporate secretary for Compass Minerals. “And learning from each other was invaluable.”

For Victor Fields, EMBA 2022, his experience in the EMBA program kicked off “lifelong friendships” that provided him with unique perspectives.

We had people of all walks of life in our class that can provide different perspectives on the subject matter being covered.  

Victor Fields

The experience inspired Fields, president of Fields Electrical Supply Co., to continue to make similar connections going forward, by passing along his leadership insights to others beginning their entrepreneurial journeys.

To read more about Olin’s celebration of 40 years of EMBA—as well as ground-breaking business research, practical experiential learning opportunities and other unique aspects of life at WashU Olin, check out the current issue of Olin Business magazine.

About the Author

Washington University in Saint Louis

WashU Olin Business School

Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander in scale. The education we deliver prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world.

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