Building for the Future: Camryn Okere

  • Season 4, Episode 6
  • January 9, 2024
  • 30-minute listen

Building for the Future: Camryn Okere


Is this a story about succession planning—but on a smaller scale? How does a newly minted business school graduate form and grow an organization, then position it to keep growing? And what lessons might this small example offer to others—large and small?

This story is not really about the first pivotal moment Camryn Okere navigated. That’s the moment when the pandemic upended plans for a college internship and shuttered a business she had grown to love. In that moment, she decided to gather some mentors and some fellow students across a few universities to create a boutique consulting firm serving small community businesses—and providing experience to budding business leaders.

No, this story is about another big “oh, shoot!” moment, after that volunteer, student-driven firm—Rem and Company—took off across 20 college campuses, recruited more than 650 student consultants and served more than 300 small businesses around the country.

It’s about the moment Okere’s partners in the early days of Rem and Company started charting another career path, found appealing full-time jobs and left Okere to figure out how to make her baby a sustainable enterprise. She didn’t want her work—providing professional experiences for students and services for local businesses—to die.

My moment was truly understanding that something has to change. You want it to become something, but that means the systems have to be built to make it sustainable.  

—Camryn Okere, BSBA 2020

What was Okere’s story and how did it lead to that moment? How much of herself had she invested in Rem and Company—and why? What compelled her to think the enterprise was something worth sustaining in the first place? How did she realize that the model as it was created wouldn’t be sustainable? What steps did she take to traverse that “oh, shoot!” moment for Rem? What can we learn from her experience? And in what ways was her experience transferable to larger enterprises?

Related Links

Credits

This podcast is a production of Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Contributors include:

  • Katie Wools, Cathy Myrick, Judy Milanovits and Lesley Liesman, creative assistance
  • Jill Young Miller, fact-checking and creative assistance
  • Austin Alred and Olin’s Center for Digital Education, sound engineering
  • Hayden Molinarolo, original music and sound design
  • Mike Martin Media, editing
  • Sophia Passantino, social media
  • Lexie O'Brien and Erik Buschardt, website support
  • Paula Crews, creative vision and strategic support