Ms. Ming Zu decided to pursue her graduate degree at Olin Business School at Washington University after moving to St. Louis. She is an alumna of McDonnell partner Tsinghua University in Beijing. Although her undergraduate training was in electronics engineering, studying business was a logical step for her career development. Ming graduated from Olin Business School and started her career at Emerson Electric in 2008. Over the last 13 years at Emerson, Ming has held various positions in analytics, logistics, strategic planning and sourcing, and category management across supply chain functions. As her career has progressed, she has become an influential global supply chain leader.

As the director of Global Category Management at Emerson Systems and Solutions, Ming leads a very diversified global category management organization, managing over $200M across electrical, mechanical, computing and software categories for the company’s world-class control system platforms. In 2020, the supply network experienced unprecedented challenges: including the global COVID pandemic, US-China trade war, volcano eruption, tornado damage, and electrical shortages. Under Ming’s leadership and her resilient and proactive managing style, her team effectively managed and delivered outstanding supplier performance and successfully minimized business impact through the many crises.

As a resident of St. Louis, Ming is very active in her local community. Her main passions are in education, diversity and women’s leadership. She is a member of the Women’s Society of Washington University, supporting and sponsoring higher education of women and future international leaders. Ming is also passionate about growing culture diversity within the community. She’s an active member of the Chinese Education and Culture Center, which is the largest Chinese American non-profit organization in St. Louis – serving as the 2018-2020 Vice Principle of the Art & Culture School in the Center.

Above all, training through Olin Business School and the McDonnell Academy has empowered me with an extensive network of contacts. You get to meet and talk to people you would never otherwise have the opportunity to see.

Ming Zu

Ming continues to remain engaged with the McDonnell Academy. She hosts receptions in her home to welcome Tsinghua University McDonnell Scholars and was a featured speaker for the McDonnell Academy Alumni panel. Ming shares the valuable knowledge she’s gained at Emerson as a recurring guest speaker for the Olin Business School’s Supply Chain & Information Systems class. She is also a mentor for the Olin Business School’s MBA program, where she assists enrolled MBA students, providing academic guidance, personal development and career direction.

Ming attributes her commitment to continuously give back to the community, to the education and training received from the McDonnell Academy and Olin Business School. Both programs provided confidence, a global perspective, and varied leadership skills which were fundamental to her career success and continued community impact.

Ming Zu’s interview with Kurt Dirks, Vice Chancellor for International Affairs and Director of the McDonnell Academy.