Staff Spotlight: Meet Karissa Rusu, Center for Career Engagement

  • March 27, 2024
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

Karissa Rusu is associate director of graduate business career development for WashU’s newly reorganized Center for Career Engagement. She leads a team that works with SMP and MBA students in career development. Rusu shares insights about her work, her travels and her love of patio dining:

The road to WashU

I’ve been at WashU for over four years and have absolutely loved my time working at Olin and being a part of students’ career journeys. My team of coaches is passionate about students, creative, strategic and super fun to work with which makes my job pretty cool!

My career in higher education began in undergraduate and graduate business admissions, recruiting and academic program support over 10 years ago. After a two-year experience working for an international NGO in Burkina Faso in West Africa, I returned to my hometown of St. Louis and supported international students at Saint Louis University. In 2019, I joined the (WashU) SMP career coaching team in the career center.

My experience with international students informed my strengths-focused approach to career development. 

Karissa Rusu

I had the chance to travel to Beijing and Shanghai last July and had an incredible time connecting with SMP students and alumni! Everyone, including perfect strangers, was so hospitable, kind and helpful to me during my travels. Di Lu, who leads our employer engagement efforts in China, and I hosted student and alumni mixers in each city and also facilitated a Shanghai Finance Trek to visit three companies with 20+ SMP students and a few alums. I had the chance to explore the Forbidden City, The Summer Palace and Suzhou while also experiencing traditional hot pot. SO good!

Mountains and patios

In my spare time, I enjoy time outdoors walking my 50-pound mini Goldendoodle, Oliver, or hiking with my husband, Ciprian. We love exploring new places together, especially ones with mountains. This past summer we went to Spain, our first international trip since the pandemic. We visited San Sebastian, Seville and Madrid—each city had its own personality and completely wowed us. We can’t wait to go back! 

I am a people person through and through and am a big fan of my hometown, St. Louis. That means that I am often meeting up with friends for coffee or happy hour—if on a patio in the sunshine, even better. Broadway Oyster Bar is one of my favorite patios in STL as it makes me feel like I am on vacation in New Orleans.

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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