Olin Business School undergraduate program ranked No. 8 in the nation

| Senior News Editor

The Olin Business School at Washington University’s undergraduate program was ranked eighth in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek in its 2012 rankings released earlier this week.

Last year, the program was ranked 14th.

“We are excited. I am so proud of our students and professors. This is a team effort; we have a great program, and we are delighted it is recognized as such,” Olin Business School Dean Mahendra Gupta said.

According to Gupta, the ranking is just one way the school measures its success.

He named three alternative ways of measuring success. The first is the quality of students enrolled in the program.

“What makes us special is the pure quality of our students—not just the quality when they come in, but how they absorb knowledge here and then go out in the world and deliver,” Gupta said.

He also noted the value of the program’s faculty.

“The quality of our faculty and the education we provide is again and again recognized as one of the best in the nation,” Gupta said.

Lastly, he says that the educational experience is an important factor.

“What we focus on is what makes our students most successful. Whether it is the advisors, the [educational] facilities, facilities like [Einstein Bros.] Bagels, it all comes together for their experience at the business school,” Gupta said.

Junior Michael Rudolph, a marketing major and the incoming Olin Business Council president, agrees with Gupta that there are a number of factors which affect the rankings.

“I think it’s definitely a great thing. I think it comes from a lot of different aspects…[the school] worked on branding themselves better…I think it’s a great indication of where we are going right now. Pretty much every program is getting better,” Rudolph said.

Olin was ranked ahead of other big-name business schools, including New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Olin students say the program deserves its new ranking.

“I feel proud that I am going to a school that’s growing ever more in prestige every year, and overall I do think that Olin deserves [the ranking] because it has a well-structured business school and has great faculty and provides a lot of great benefits to all the students,” sophomore accounting major Shawn Huang said.

Students hope that the ranking will improve the program’s prestige in the eyes of both incoming students and potential employers.

“I am thinking about majoring in finance, and I’m excited. I feel like as a finance major its nice to see that the rankings are improving. I hope this would attract the attention of more recruiters,” freshman Aaron Pang said.

Gupta thinks the program can continue to climb in the rankings.

“If we continue what we are doing right, we will continue increasing in the rankings,” Gupta said.

With additional reporting by Wei-Yin Ko

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