2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Brock Mullen, Washington University (Olin)

Brock Mullen

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

“Always smiling, making friends with everyone and learning fun facts about obscure topics.”

Fun fact about yourself: I visited 18 countries while studying abroad!

Hometown: Parker, Colorado

High School: Chaparral High School

Major: Marketing, Chinese Language and Culture

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Corporate and Global Strategy – taught by Minyuan Zhao, Associate Professor of Strategy

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • WashU Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Student Tour Leader
  • Association of Christian Truth Seekers, Outreach Director, Leadership Team Member
  • Matriculate, Advising Fellow, Working Group Lead
  • WashU International Relations Club, Model United Nations Team Head Delegate, Under-Secretary-General of Finance, Executive Board Representative
  • Bear Studios, Strategy Partner, Director of Development, Senior Strategy Consultant
  • WashU Student Union, Vice President of Finance of First-Year Class Council
  • WashU Student Investment Fund, Treasurer, Senior Research Analyst
  • OneFamily Church, Visual Production Assistant
  • Olin Business Teaching Assistant, Principles of Financial Accounting, Consumer Behavior, and Marketing Research courses
  • Olin Business Tutor, Data Analytics and Management 100 courses
  • Weston Career Center, Career Peer Leader
  • WashU China Forum participant
  • Out for Undergrad participant
  • Management 100 Case Competition winning team member
  • Dean’s List awardee (all available semesters)
  • Gilman Scholarship recipient
  • Glazer Global Scholarship recipient
  • Olin Scholar in Business

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Microsoft, Financial Rotation Program Intern, Redmond, Washington
  • American Century Investments, Global Marketing Intern, Kansas City, Missouri
  • WashU Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Admissions Intern, St. Louis, Missouri
  • S. Department of State, Virtual Student Foreign Service Intern, Regional China Office of U.S. Embassy Fiji, Suva, Fiji

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at McKinsey & Company as a business analyst! I will be affiliated with their Growth, Marketing & Sales Practice and based in Seattle, Washington.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve gained from studying business is that doing well for yourself and doing great things for society are not mutually exclusive. I’ve learned that there are innumerable ways I can use my business skills to make the world a better place. For example, I work at Bear Studios on campus, which provides consulting services primarily to St. Louis entrepreneurs and small businesses. I’ve enabled numerous clients to make a transformation in our community — they just needed someone with business knowledge to be the catalyst for their impact. I’m excited about the numerous ways in which my business studies can benefit society.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? While technical skills are important, I’ve learned that soft skills are even more important for your career. As such, I’d advise students to do activities (take classes, participate in clubs, etc.) that build skills like speaking ability and problem-solving.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I’ve been surprised by how collaborative and interactive my business education has been. I’d heard the stereotypes that college classes are typically boring lectures and that top students would be competitive. At Olin, my classes have been truly engaging, and the students categorically support each other. My peers are always working together and discussing course material, which has really added to my education.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I’d branch out earlier and begin exploring more outside of my business education. I gained a lot of supplementary perspectives and knowledge from my non-business courses that have helped me professionally, so I would want to start that process sooner than I did.

What business leader do you admire most? My mom is the business leader I admire the most. While I was growing up, she started her own business, with no prior industry experience. She eventually grew it into a multi-million-dollar organization and oversaw thousands of people. I got to see her coach and mentor people, learn new skills and become successful, all while raising me. I hope to serve as a role model like her to my future children.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of my work with Matriculate, a nonprofit that pairs current college students as advisors with first-generation/low-income high school students applying to college. Without the assistance I received as a high school student participating in Matriculate, I would not have ended up at WashU. Therefore, once I was in college, I knew I wanted to give back and become an advisor myself. I mentored multiple students over the years who are now successfully attending great colleges. Most excitingly, one of my mentees is now a student at Olin! It has been very fulfilling to see this opportunity come full circle.

Which classmate do you most admire? Olin is full of admirable and impressive people, but Harrison Tanaka stands out above them all. While he is a true Olin student with majors in Marketing and Organization & Strategic Management, he always makes sure to explore his myriad interests and take a variety of non-business courses, as well. His hard work and dedication in all that he does are very inspiring, and I truly admire his passion for the things he cares about. Harrison has made me a better person inside and outside the classroom, pushing me to grow as a student and a human. It was also great that he let me serve as our travel agent while we studied and traveled all over Europe for one semester.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I have so many people to thank for my success, particularly my family and childhood teachers. However, one person I’d like to highlight is my former career coach, Shannon Hagedorn. She was assigned to me at the beginning of my first year at Olin and was such an amazing support system. She excelled in helping me go through my professional and self-development journey. Beyond that, however, her positive attitude and huge amount of empathy were always able to help me through stressful situations.

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

  1. Use my Mandarin Chinese fluency in a job.
  2. Become the CEO of a large company.

What are your hobbies? Building Legos, hiking in national parks, admiring glass artwork.

What made Brock such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?  

“Brock’s dedication and determination to make the most of his four years at Olin have made him not only an invaluable addition to the class of 2023 but to Olin and WashU as a whole. Brock innately understands the importance of gaining knowledge both in the classroom and from local and international communities, gaining perspectives that help to create the amazing young man he is today. Although he experienced setbacks at Olin, like three planned study abroad experiences canceled last minute due to COVID, his involvement and positive attitude never wavered. I was endlessly impressed by his adaptability in the face of ambiguity and his ability to pivot from what could have been a disheartening disappointment to an exciting new adventure. Whether looking for someone to speak with prospective students, offering advice to first-year students on how to get involved on campus or providing tutoring for core business classes, Brock’s name was always first to mind for staff and faculty. He truly exemplifies Washington University in St. Louis’s aim of creating an environment that encourages and supports wide-range exploration by embracing diverse perspectives from individuals of all identities and backgrounds. I am extremely proud of the individual he has become, and I cannot wait to see how his business career advances the world for good.”

Sara Stratton
Associate Director of Global Programs


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