Monday, March 7, 2011

Having the Time of my Life at Olin Business School

Hooray for Spring Break! After an intense seven weeks of class at Washington University in St. Louis, I now have two weeks of relaxation before classes resume. Since I’ll be working during my break, let me tell you some highlights of the past couple months.

We have now broken out of the core, so we are free to select our electives and take any classes of our choosing. I had originally planned to stick with the finance platform, which outlines the best classes for a concentration in finance, but I realized about eight minutes before class started on the first day of the semester that I wanted to branch out from finance. So I quickly dropped two of my finance classes and signed up for a critical thinking and data-modeling course that runs for the entire semester. This is one of the greatest benefits of attending a smaller program like Washington University has – waitlists are short, and most students have no problem shifting between classes to make sure their schedule fits their goals. My last-minute decision has proven to be great! Although this class is very demanding and time-consuming, the knowledge I’m gaining is insurmountable. In a very short time, I have learned the ins and outs of sensitivity analyses, simulations, decision trees and other useful tools. In fact, I plan to implement a sensitivity analysis within the budget that I will create while working at my former employer over the break.

At Washington University, outside of classes, we know how to have a good time. On Thursday, March 3, we had our MBA spring formal. The theme was a masquerade, and most of us arrived in gowns, suits or tuxedos donning the most colorful masks we could find. The food was excellent, the drinks were aplenty and we danced the night away, enjoying the last social outing with the MBA Class of 2011, which will graduate in a couple months. Not only did several teachers take part in this merriment, but Dean Gupta also attended to share in our celebration!

There is no doubt about it; the curriculum at Washington University is challenging, but as a result, my professional acumen is growing. And while I am developing as a professional, I am having the best time of my life!

Kelly Bien, 2012 Forte Fellow
Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis

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