A new angle on executive education

Olin Partners Program doing it your way

With trade barriers decreasing and outsourcing becoming a common practice even for white-collar workers, every business—no matter the size – has been affected by globalization. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that American companies have to react intelligently to this reality, but instead of trying to respond on their own, many companies are turning to experts and researchers in the field.

On April 26, managers and CEOs can turn to Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Partners Program for a one-day seminar on “Financial and Corporate Implications of Globalization.” The seminar is just one of 15 that the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis has designed to cater to the needs of companies facing global pressures.

Many business schools offer seminars for business executives hoping to expand their knowledge. But Washington University in St. Louis is taking a different approach in determining what courses to offer companies—an approach that ranks the Olin Partners’ Program alongside such nationally recognized schools as MIT and Northwestern. Rather than tell businesses what they need to learn, the Olin Partners’ Program offers a curriculum based on what businesses say they need to know.

“We held more than 90 meetings with businesses large and small,” says Ken Bardach, Associate Dean for Executive Education. “We learned what kind of classes companies are seeking and the issues they want addressed. The classes aren’t general; they’re designed to address a company’s specific needs, but the classes are still available to managers from all organizations.”

Bardach says the Olin Partners’ Program frequently ends up helping the Olin School of Business as a whole. Since most of the teachers in the one-day classes are top level professors in the school, they are made aware of issues that might not have occurred to them before and they’re challenged to expand their knowledge in those new areas.

Businesses can either purchase one seat for a single class or an annual subscription for multiple seats in any seminars of their choosing. Either way, the Olin Partners’ Program offers a unique opportunity for all kinds of businesses and all kinds of employees. And, Bardach said, the benefits of the program aren’t limited to the St. Louis region.

“People can fly in and spend a day focused on a critically important topic,” Bardach said. “Participants spend eight hours with a world class researcher who has substantial experience teaching and consulting corporate leaders.”