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Ben Ollendick MBA '02 talks to a business professional. 

The Benefits of Alumni Networking

Ben Ollendick '02 didn’t have a business background when he first came to St. Thomas. But he was determined to get his MBA and build his network. And now years later, he’s leading a top-tier wealth management firm for U.S. Bank.

Opus College of Business is located in downtown Minneapolis with top companies only minutes away. For this Minnesota native, immersing himself in the business community was a must. His classes downtown put Ollendick in the thick of the action.

“The Minneapolis campus is in the midst of a thriving business community,” he said. “For someone with my background, location was so important to make professional connections.”

Ollendick was pleasantly surprised to find many networking opportunities within the Twin Cities. “I had no idea the pervasiveness of the St. Thomas business network. There’s a lot of avenues to explore and build those relationships right in town.”

Now many years later, this alumni board member is a familiar face at networking events. He enjoys mentoring undergrad and graduates through the school’s partnerships with Fortune 500 companies. Working ten minutes away from campus at U.S. Bank, he’s a regular at alumni events, too.

Ollendick is grateful for the early networking opportunities and credits St. Thomas helping him get to where he is today. From his perspective, achieving an MBA is important than ever.

"When I hire people, I always look for those who demonstrate an intellectual curiosity. To me, that's a trait for the likelihood of success. We're in a knowledge based economy and St. Thomas does a great job preparing people through the MBA program.”