Joined: May 25, 2017
This review is for Olin
Program Full Time MBA
Class of 2016
I'm a recent alum and an immigrant. The Olin family has always made me feel welcome to The US and to St. Louis. Many schools say they have a collaborative culture, and it could be true, but I'd say Olin lives and breathes collaboration every single day. From fellow students, faculty, non-teaching staff to even the Starbucks employees everyone knows you and your story.
Many professors are world class with their research and/or teaching, but there are a few who need improvement. The building and its facilities/equipment are state-of-the-art. St. Louis has a burgeoning startup scene that budding entrepreneurs can take advantage of (no visa support, though). The Greater St. Louis area has many F500 companies that seem to have strong ties to WashU and Olin, but an absurdly high percentage of them do not even look at immigrant students during recruiting.
Student clubs are hit or miss; depends on the leadership in place at the time. Ditto with social life; depends on how outgoing students are.
My favorites: Sergio (Operations), Tom (Accounting), John (Microeconomics), Elfenbein (Strategy), Dirks (OB), Seethu (Marketing).
Some international travel/consulting opportunities seem fun, too, from what I've heard from my classmates who did those.
My biggest concern is that the career center (WCC) doesn't seem to have a Director for 3+ semesters now, and none of the career advisors seem to care whether you have a job or not. They treat the MBA program as if it is the undergraduate program, which is highly ranked in The US. WCC employees are SO far out of touch with reality it's not even funny. They don't seem to maintain relationships with companies, or even current students and recent alums. Yes, Olin has recently placed people into MBB, Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, and it boasts that some 97% of the students found jobs within 90-days of graduation, but there's a big asterisk here. They severely undercut the denominator in this 97% metric (sometimes shadily but maintaining the "technically correct" stance), and even if you are included as a successful graduate there's still a catch. I'd advise international students to look towards a lower ranked school on the East/West coast if you're interested in Finance/Tech respectively. The Midwest isn't for you, and Olin won't do you any good.
International students in the past 3-4 years have been facing increasing difficulties finding employment. Even larger firms in the area don't seem to want to risk H-1B sponsorship so forget about the smaller/relatively unknown mid-sized companies around the country. I have, from my personal connections, confirmed information that greater than 50% of the international cohort usually doesn't find jobs even 1+ month after graduation. Which results in people settling for companies/roles/salaries that are beneath a top-20ish MBA graduate, or people simply going back to their home countries - both of which are extremely sad scenarios. Of late, Americans have been facing challenges with recruiting as well and the trend is becoming worse every year from what I hear. I'd urge the Olin hierarchy to overhaul the WCC with a few exceptions, and start taking career advising seriously.
Overall BSchool experience (4.0)
Schools contribution (2.0)
Classmates rating (3.0)
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Career opportunities provided by school