2018 Best EMBAs: Natacha Alpert, Washington University (Olin)

Natacha Alpert

Washington University, Olin Business School

“Natacha Alpert is bringing advanced innovation to life on a global level. Focusing on 3D technology in fashion, her goal is how to evolve production and design as we know it.”

Age: 46

Hometown: New York City, grew up in London, Istanbul, Italy and Boston.

Family Members: Daughter, Mira Sofia Capolino; parents and extended family live in Istanbul and Italy.

Fun fact about yourself: I speak three languages and worked as a production designer in film in college for Sesame Street commercials (Elmo).

Undergraduate School and Degree: Sarah Lawrence, Liberal Arts; Emerson College, Bachelor of Science

Where are you currently working?

Founder – MIRAS3D


Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • 3D tech incubator mentor. San Francisco Fashion Tech speaker.
  • IEEW: The Institute for the Economic Global empowerment for Women Mentor .
  • Global speaker – PI Innovation.
  • Innovation committee – Footwear Trade Association of America, Washington DC
  • Smart Materials Congress Speaker.
  • 3D Fashion week curator, New York.
  • Euromold Fashion show Curator, Dusseldorf.
  • Footwear Innovation Conference Consultant, Los Angeles Convention Center.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students and the ability to give back to the next generation through Innovation Incubators to create leaders in 3D technology and empower women in the field of 3D.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The opportunity to be a WGBH-NOVA / Researcher for The Scientific Discoveries of the past 100 years for public television when I was in Boston as it was the beginning of my exposure to my love of innovation and science.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Ron King. He was able to teach financial reporting in such an enlightening way and inspire us to learn in such a fun environment. He has taught us the importance of having the knowledge, tools and skills to understand finance in business which is inherent for innovation.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? The DC residency taught by Lamar Pierce was a life-changing experience. The biggest insight was that we are called on to make a difference in all our fields of experience. The DC residency introduced us to incredible thought leaders at the Capitol and Congress. Lamar Pierce and Ian Bagby made our experience at the Brookings Institute an incredible experience.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program?Washington University and the Olin Business School has an incredible reputation based in the history of St Louis. The structure of the classes for executives, the DC and China residency, the EMBA staff and the caliber of the professors inspired me to choose Olin.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Besides the academic program, my entire class EMB51 is an incredible group of talented, amazing people. I have made some of the best friends and our experience is unforgettable. My study team that was assigned—Laura Carel, Matt Farmer, Jesse Gill III and Jeffery Davis—have been incredible as we all work together so well. I look forward to my next study team after the leadership residency this summer that will be taught by Lee Konczak.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work?I learned to negotiate and enhance my skills as a leader and a mentor. The skills we learned in Bill Bottom’s negotiations class were something I apply every day at work.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? Making sure I take breaks and utilizing travel time on planes, trains and automobiles to catch up on my reading.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Make sure you are ready for the best journey you will experience and make sure you can balance everything.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? It’s different than what I had experienced in that you are able to meet so many new people in different industries and learn from that apply in our executive roles, which is different than being an undergraduate.

What was your biggest regret in business school? That I could have attended some of the extra guest speakers, but I still have that on my list.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Jennifer Barker. She is an exceptional leader in her field that has not only become a great friend to all, but has taught us in our class about respect for each other, communication excellence, humanistic leadership and innovation in her field.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized I could evolve to be more and realized I could lead more change in this world.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in the same place. Going to business school inspired me to take things to the next level.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To help the next generation evolve with 3D technologies and nanotechnology. To help influence and lead the world of innovation for the greater good and women in technology.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A futurist with a passion for Innovation and 3D technology.

Favorite book: Pablo Neruda – Cien Sonetos de Amor

Favorite movie or television show: A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

Seeing the Northern Lights in Norway with my daughter.

Working on 3D Project as a Production designer for a science fiction movie

What made Natacha such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Natacha personifies creativity, innovation, and operations. Her entrepreneurial spirit, fluency in four languages and global experience helps her work effectively with others to accomplish big things. Recently, Natacha started her own 3D technology and innovation firm, MIRAS 3D.”

Edith C. Varley

Director of Discernment

Executive MBA Program


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