Business success: A matter of degree

Imagine an executive degree that opens doors to business opportunities around the world.

A program that prepares you to lead people and organizations–or to start and grow your own company. Brings clarity and creativity to your decision making. Provides fundamentals for enterprise-wide management. And introduces you to global markets, business practices, and perspectives.

Top-ranked Executive MBA program in the “Mile-High City”

Part of top-tier Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School brought its Executive MBA (EMBA) program to Denver in 2013.

According to Edith Varley, Olin’s director of discernment, the 20-month program turns your career aspirations into qualifications that “make you hard to copy in a market full of lookalikes,” and is underscored by a professional-development process the EMBA team calls “Olinization.” Professor and peer assessments; 360-degree feedback; in-depth, one-on-one executive coaching; and a weeklong leadership residency build your personal brand and your ability to guide stakeholder relationships.

Off to a flying startup

Denver admires adventurers and risk takers, inventors and experimenters (what you’d expect from a city founded by gold prospectors). And so does Olin. Consider the EMBA program a springboard for entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs looking to commercialize a business idea or to launch a new product or service.

Alicia Herald developed her concept for a startup during her second year at the business school, when she and her classmates were studying innovation and market disruption.

The 2011 program graduate and former Teach For America executive director tested the waters with a class assignment. Instead of a book report, she wrote a white paper for myEDmatch, an online company that reduces teacher turnover by pairing “best-fit teachers and schools.”

“Professors advised us to solve a big problem,” she says. “And that’s what I did, with incredible support from the Olin faculty.”

Pipeline, an influential community of Midwestern entrepreneurs and leaders, named Herald its 2014 Innovator of the Year.

Seth Burgett, yurbuds founder, also excels at innovation. For three consecutive years, his company produced “the No. 1 sports headphone in the United States.” Global audio equipment designer and manufacturer HARMAN acquired yurbuds last June. Now Burgett’s St. Louis team is working to become “the No. 1 sports headphone provider in the world.”

Burgett, who received his EMBA degree from Olin in 2009, is HARMAN’s vice president, general manager, and strategic business unit leader for headphones and wearables. “My EMBA program participation was a profound milestone in the creation of yurbuds,” he says.

“Do it fast. Do it cheap. Do it often. Those are my takeaways on innovation from the Executive MBA program,” adds Ronak Sheth. “Preprogram, I was used to companies spending a lot of time and money on the solution that was right for the moment. Once they thought they’d found it, they’d stop innovating.”

During the four years since he graduated from Olin, Sheth has helped take food-label-data startup FoodEssentials “into other verticals, like apparel, cosmetics, and personal care. We now cover all categories offered by a big-box retailer.”

A change in the company name—to Label Insight—reflects the broader scope of business where he is chief customer officer.

Closer to home, current student Chris Lindley operates six fitness studios in the Greater Denver Area. “For me, entrepreneurship comes down to one thing: taking action,” he says. “Every EMBA course jogs my mind for what I should be doing for Endorphin (named for the feel-good hormones released during exercise). One of my professors even suggested my company tagline: ‘Movement is our drug.’”

An expanded global—and domestic—footprint

Olin’s EMBA program offerings have grown in the past 30-plus years. The Washington University in St. Louis-Fudan University Executive MBA program was established in 2002, China’s first joint venture in management education. US students participate in a required residency at Fudan University’s Shanghai campus.

Olin added an EMBA campus in Kansas City in 2010 and the Denver campus three years later. (Note: Second year, theme-based courses are taught in St. Louis.)

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay-Washington University in St. Louis Executive MBA program will launch in April, becoming the first program in the world to confer an Executive MBA degree from both an Indian and an American university.

The Denver Executive MBA program format focuses on convenience. Classes meet monthly for three-day sessions (except for the residencies). First-year courses are held at RubinBrown’s offices at 1900 16th St. in Denver.

(The sponsored content was provided by Olin Business School at The Washington University in St. Louis.)

Categories: Company Perspectives, Sponsored Content