Haas’s New MBA Admissions Director Gives Q&A

By - Oct 15, 12:00 PM Comments [0]

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The University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is kicking off the school year with a new head of full-time MBA admissions, Eric Askins. A recent Q&A with Askins sheds light on what some of his priorities may be as he begins his tenure.


In the Q&A, Askins tells the story of how his path led to becoming Haas’s MBA admissions director. Askins, whose mother was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, grew up in Queens. He then attended the Bronx High School of Science and graduated from Hunter College, part of CUNY.


After beginning his career in banking, where he worked in small business lending, he entered the admissions world, joining Fordham University and then the New School. During that time, he said he became “amazed at the impact business school alumni could make on the community.”


When a job offer to Askins’s wife brought the family to the Bay Area, he decided he wanted to work at one of Berkeley’s graduate schools, and he was drawn by Haas’s core values, which he says closely reflect his own. 


As Haas’s admissions director, Askins says he will be “focused on maintaining the academic standards of our program and broadening our outreach strategy.”


In particular, Askins intends to step up the program’s efforts to draw a greater percentage of women applicants. 


He wants the admissions office to “think about how we are reaching out to all women: women of color, international students, women from different academic backgrounds, and students with non-binary identities.”


Askins noted that Haas was one of the first B-schools to enroll a class with at least 40 percent women, and said: “My goal is to consistently hold that figure.” Part of doing so, according to Askins, will involve highlighting Haas initiatives such as Women in Leadership and the Gender Equity Initiative.


Recounting how his background led to Haas and what he hopes to accomplish, Askins emphasizes a vision of business schools as engaging people from diverse backgrounds, contributing to the community, and embodying core values. 


In a sense, Askins’s ability to describe how his background informs the unique perspective he brings to Haas is a good lesson to MBA applicants. Applicants are tasked with doing the same: showing how their experiences will help them further the goals and values of a school like Haas. 


If you’d like feedback on how you can clearly communicate a personal brand that highlights the experiences you bring as an MBA applicant, we’d be happy to help. Just request a free MBA application assessment!

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