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Alexis Olson ’23

Alexis Olson reflects on saying yes to a new MBA program of its kind, the Kellogg MBAi Program, and how she's growing as an engineer.

Even though she’s traveled the world and called many states home, Alexis Olson has always considered herself a Midwestern girl. Growing up in Michigan, then going to college in Indiana, there was always a natural pull towards Chicago.

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in chemical engineering and an impressive record on the women’s rowing team, Alexis launched her engineering career at Dow Chemical Company as a production engineer. While living and working in Houston, she had exposure to all areas of the business.

"It was a cool work environment. I worked at a small site and got to have my hands on everything. I learned about logistics and supply chain, and the operations aspects of the job," said Alexis.

After building her leadership experience through her work on safety and compliance projects, as well as pitching and implementing innovative projects, Alexis accepted a promotion and relocation to New Orleans. Then Covid hit.

As the world slowed down, Alexis spent time reflecting on her career, where she wanted to go and what her next steps were. With a long desire of wanting an MBA, Alexis felt this was the perfect time to go back to school.

"I've always been interested in sustainability and deliverables, so that was another reason to get my MBA to fuel that pivot and help further those industries."

Making a move back to the Midwest

Despite her strong connection to Chicago, Alexis initially set her sights on other schools in hopes of experiencing something new. But when she heard about the Kellogg MBAi Program, Alexis couldn’t resist. With a desire to pivot into cleantech, Alexis wanted to find an MBA program with a strong emphasis on data science while building on her business foundation.

“The MBAi was the perfect fit for me to do that," said Alexis. "Especially for me trying to pivot into tech, I really wanted to have that internship experience. So the MBAi program length allowed me to do that and learn more programming and AI skills."

Wanting to make the most of her time here, Alexis hit the ground running by building relationships with her MBAi cohort, getting involved with clubs and even applying for Northwestern University’s Sustainability Fellowship, sustainNU. As an NU Sustainability Fellow, Alexis will work on driving local impact through electrifying school buses.

For Alexis, now is the time to explore all options. “I wasn’t aware of all these roles in the business world, so I’m learning a lot at Kellogg about new things I’m interested in,” she said.

As she continues to navigate this new program, Alexis hopes to secure a product management internship position with long-term goals of working in cleantech.

About Alexis
Midland, MI
Chemical engineering, University of Notre Dame
Pre-Kellogg Job
Senior production engineer, Dow Chemical Company
Fun fact
I played in several NCAA tournaments with the Notre Dame women's rowing team.
I wasn’t aware of all these roles in the business world, so I’m learning a lot at Kellogg about new things I’m interested in.
Alexis Olson
MBAi Program

What has been your most memorable Kellogg experience?

KWEST has been my most memorable experience so far. It was an exceptional way to get integrated into the Kellogg community since it allowed me to start school with a close group of friends.

What has surprised you most during your time at Kellogg?

I’ve continued to be surprised by the diversity of backgrounds across the students. Coming from manufacturing, I’m still exploring what professional options are available to me, so I’ve made a point of learning about the past experiences of everyone I meet. It has been incredibly interesting to learn how people found their way to Kellogg.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about pursuing their MBA at Kellogg?

Ask questions and try new things. There is so much to try out there and the more you've done before starting business school, the more doors you have open to you afterwards. Also, business school is a chaotic time, so start asking questions now: talk to the schools, talk to the alumni, talk to the people in the careers you may want to pursue.