2020 Best & Brightest: Yaseen Ali, Washington University (Olin)

Yaseen Ali            

Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis

A learner and a teacher, an explorer and a home-lover, a passionate change creator.”

Fun fact about yourself: My favorite recent endeavor has been singing Opera!

Hometown: Wyckoff, NJ

High School: Bergen County Academies – Academy for Business and Finance

Major: Finance and Healthcare Management

Minor: Economics

Favorite Business Course: Olin Grand Rounds (Healthcare Management)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Olin Distinguished Dean’s Scholar
  • Judy and Jerry Kent Scholar
  • Olin Academic Curriculum Committee Undergraduate Representative
  • Director of Commerce – Connect Circles
  • Founder of the iPads for Residents Program
  • Global Health Advisory Board Vice President of Olin Business School
  • Delta Sigma Pi New Member Educator
  • Outreach Chair of WashU MSA
  • Teachers Assistant for Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting
  • Spartan Race Final Finisher
  • Washington University Investment Banking Association Class President (2016 – 2017)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Summer 2017: Morgan Stanley, Junior Intern, New York, NY
  • Summer 2017: Convene, Real Estate & Finance Intern, New York, NY
  • Summer 2018 & 2019: McKinsey & Company, Summer Business Analyst, New York, NY
  • Summer 2019: IBM, Research Intern, Poughkeepsie, NY

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Company – Business Analyst

What company do you admire the most? I admire McKinsey & Company the most – the firm works on a wide variety of projects that stretch across industries and it has the ability to affect positive change all over the world. I relish the opportunity to work on projects where I can create this change at the highest level. McKinsey & Company also places a major emphasis on personal growth and I’m excited to partake in personal development in such an atmosphere.

Who is your favorite professor? Hands down, Michael McLaughlin. He has become one of my closest friends and confidants throughout my time at WashU and has been there for me no matter the circumstance. His class, Managerial Accounting, largely drove my interest in Management. His incredible life story and care for his students is so unique and I am very grateful for him.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I love the people that I’ve found here – WashU has a culture that emphasizes knowing everyone “by name and by story” and from day one I have felt its impact. Friends and faculty push to understand each other and the environment is best described as “collaboratively competitive.” It really is the optimal place for growth.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I’ve learned of the range of corporations and entities that a business background can lend itself to. As I’ve augmented my skills, I’ve realized that there are no limits to where I can go or the occupations that I can pursue. Skills taught at Olin serve as the foundation for work at all organizations.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would tell the student to think critically about her reason for pursuing business. I was lucky enough to grow up in and around my grandfather’s pharmacies. As an immigrant, my grandpa worked from beginning with $8 in his pocket before eventually opening several pharmacies. I learned so much from his work and am continuously inspired by him. I think everyone needs some sort of motivating story that speaks to why they are pursuing business and I am lucky enough to have been gained that from my grandpa.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business?  I have been most surprised by my healthcare management courses. I very much expected to only study finance and strategy at WashU, but was blown away by the level of collaboration that the healthcare management major has with our amazing medical school. The field is so unique and different from other aspects of business and I’ve loved getting to focus on it.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m definitely most proud of my role as the new member educator of Delta Sigma Pi. The organization is professionally-focused, and business-geared – at WashU it is designed to give a select set of students a heightened set of business skills and access to an incredible network of current and graduated students. I got the chance to design and implement an eight-week education program that involved corporate projects with IBM and Proctor & Gamble, numerous resume and cover letter workshops, and a number of bonding events that helped the new students grow close.

Which classmate do you most admire? Of my peers, I admire my friend, Ankita, the most. Through college, she has changed career paths multiple times and has done so fearlessly, especially with her most recent switch from Investment Banking to Consulting. She is actively involved on campus and prioritizes giving back to the Olin community by mentoring others and sharing her dedication and skills.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my mom and dad – my relationships with each of them have been different but they have served as my backbone through every step of college. My mom is my constant source of motivation. She pushes me to explore the world and live limitlessly. My dad has helped me learn to reflect. He helps me think deeply about who I am and where I want to go. I am so grateful for their roles in my life.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • I would love to become an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co.
  • I hope to attain an MBA and MPH in the future.

What are your hobbies? Singing Opera, Competing in Spartan Races, Watching ATP Tennis, Scuba Diving, Listening to TED Radio Hour.

What made Yaseen such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“From day one, Yaseen has been a top student contributor at Olin. He has positively impacted so many people in our community through his roles mentoring pledges, serving as a teaching assistant in accounting courses, to representing the Olin student body as the student rep to our undergraduate faculty curriculum committee. In my twelve years at Olin, few students have made a mark on the Olin community as profoundly as Yaseen. I know that he will shine bright in all of his future endeavors.”

Paige LaRose
Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Programs


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.