Poets & Quants names two Olin BSBAs to 2024 Best & Brightest list

  • April 8, 2024
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

A documentary filmmaker promoting digital well-being through a film about overcoming her own phone addiction. A finance major who helped lead WashU’s Women in Finance Club out of COVID restrictions.

The stand-out accomplishments of WashU Olin’s Yoelle Gulko and Jeanette Smith helped them land on Poets & Quants  list of the 100 best and brightest undergraduate business majors.

Gulko and Smith, both BSBA 2023, were named to the ninth annual listing, which is made up of graduating students “whose infectious energy and unrelenting commitment to personal growth represent the best of their cohorts.”

P&Q interviewed both women, who described their undergraduate experiences at Olin, their proudest accomplishments and their career goals.

Gulko, from New York City, talked about Our Subscription to Addiction, a film she is directing about her experience overcoming phone addiction. The project has resulted in a grant from the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund—whose funders include Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archewell Foundation and Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures.

She also recalled her “stare-down” with Mark Zuckerberg at a congressional hearing and offered advice to other driven business majors.

Reach out to people who inspire you. Upon starting college, I hesitated to reach out to those I looked up to… I’ve found that those who initially intimidate me are those from whom I’ve learned the most.  

Yoelle Gulko

Smith, of West Windsor, New Jersey, described the challenge she faced when she became president of the Women in Finance Club just as COVID restrictions began to subside. She worked to grow the membership and revive flagging engagement through programming, corporate sponsorships and guest speakers.

Smith detailed her professional bucket list, including attaining her first board seat, which is a goal she nurtured working with The Fourth Effect, an organization devoted to diversifying corporate boards. And she noted the importance of communication in achieving success.

One of the most surprising lessons I learned while studying business is that developing an effective and compelling way to present an idea is almost as important as the idea itself.  

Jeanette Smith

To learn more about Gulko and Smith, check out Poets & Quant’s Best & Brightest listing.

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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