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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

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Larenda Mielke, Executive MBA 2012

Why I chose Olin:
I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be able to do some different things with my career. I wanted to change my way of thinking, so I came to Olin and it really has met those expectations. I’ve been challenged. It was a lot of work but the professors were really, really excellent teachers.

On Negotiations course:
I thought I was a pretty good negotiator because my husband and I buy and sell a lot of real estate. But after I took the Negotiations class, one of the things that really struck me was the strategy of letting the other party talk about their goals to determine if there is some common ground. That was a new approach to me and it can actually make you better negotiator.

On Olin’s applied-learning program
I think one of the defining moments of Washington University’s Executive MBA program is the opportunity to study in China, specifically in Shanghai. You’re centered in the Midwest but Olin gives you access to the world through the Shanghai experience.

You can read about Shanghai; you can read about Beijing; you can read about China as a country, but until you have the opportunity to touch it and to feel it, you really don’t understand it. We went beyond the classroom to a Caterpillar factory, to an HTC factory, to a Foxcon factory – that’s where you see and feel the real China. And having that opportunity is really second to none.

Career:
Associate Dean and Managing Director
Washington University–Fudan University
Executive MBA Program

Hometown:
St. Louis, MO