Though it may not have been love at first sight, Mickey Turner and Katie Callaghan knew when they met at MBA orientation in fall 2010 that their relationship would be more than a standard business alliance.
Turner and Callaghan, who will graduate May 18 with master’s of business administration degrees from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, are engaged to be married this July.
“I remember thinking when I met her, ‘This girl is obviously very attractive, but I’m here to learn,”’ Turner says. “I didn’t want to get into a relationship right away, but as I got to know Katie better that quickly changed.”
The couple jokes that Callaghan’s father’s advice to her before she started the program was not to date anyone at business school, advice he repeated often.
“He gave a toast at our engagement party and said that was the best advice Katie never followed,” Turner says, laughing.
While they fell in love with each other, they fell in love with Olin as well, making connections, getting involved in student associations and putting their classroom learning to work through internships.
Turner, who has concentrations in strategy and supply chain management, interned for two years at Peabody Energy in St. Louis, where, as a global energy analyst, he developed lead market pricing tables and improved company efficiency.
He has been hired by Emerson Electric in St. Louis, where he will begin working full-time after graduation as a ground team project manager, coordinating with transportation carriers to optimize on-time delivery across more than 70 business divisions.
“Mickey quickly developed a serious interest in operations and supply chain management during the core ‘Operations Management’ course he took with me,” says Sergio Chayet, PhD, director of the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management Program and senior lecturer in operations & manufacturing management. “His questions and comments in class reflected his progressive deeper understanding of important concepts in this area.
“I also had the opportunity to get to know Mickey better while advising him and his teammates in a practicum project for Boeing, during which I was impressed by his many interpersonal traits and an exceptional ability to gain the trust and respect of his peers,” Chayet says.
Outside the classroom, Turner has participated in intramural sports and, as a former captain of the NCAA Division I University of Wisconsin football team, did some volunteer coaching with the WUSTL football program last fall.
Callaghan, whose concentration is marketing, interned last summer in the specialty products development division at Express Scripts in St. Louis, where she created market research surveys and obtained competitive intelligence on other companies.
She has served as vice president of the Olin Marketing Association, vice president of marketing for the National Association of Women MBAs and vice president of events for Olin Cares, the school’s graduate volunteer organization. She also captained the first Olin MBA Relay for Life team.
“Katie has been a delight to have in the Olin MBA program,” says Sarah Miller, director of MBA Student Affairs. “When we talk about students being a good match for our program, we are talking about students like her, who get involved and make an impact.”
Both Turner and Callaghan enjoyed their experience at Olin.
“From my point of view, it was much different coming from Wisconsin, which is a huge school with a large student body,” Turner says. “They really can’t focus on a person individually. At Olin, classes are small and it’s much more competitive, but everyone is given that individual attention. It has been very rewarding.”
Callaghan agrees. “I’ve really enjoyed the people here,” she says. “Everyone from the faculty to the staff and students has been incredibly helpful. A number of our friends from Olin will be coming to our wedding.”
The two were able to capitalize on Olin’s various extracurricular learning opportunities, traveling to study the European Union in Paris for two weeks last summer and participating in a global management studies trip to Brazil in spring 2011.
“I’m incredibly happy I decided to come to Olin,” Callaghan says. “Not only did I get a top-notch education, I met the man of my dreams. It’s really been an amazing experience.”