Ashly Collins has been determined to get a master's of business administration (MBA) since age 10. Raised in Paradise, California, by parents who did not attend university but encouraged her to dream big, she worked toward her childhood goal by majoring in economics at UC Davis. Collins found the coursework to be too focused on numbers and realized her passion was to work with people. But she faced a major barrier: extreme shyness. The first day she arrived at SF State, Collins said, she resolved to be more outgoing and pursue leadership roles.
Collins served as co-leader of SF State's Net Impact chapter, an organization for students and professionals to support social and environmental causes. This April, Collins and her Net Impact team won first place in a competition among local universities for which they developed solutions to real-world challenges faced by PG&E. Collins was also a member of a College of Business task force that designed new graduate programs to meet the needs of students and potential employers. Her biggest achievement, she said, was organizing a student-led on-campus recruitment initiative.
"Coming in extremely shy and not really participating in classes, my peers and professors pushed me out of my comfort zone, so I think they have seen tremendous growth in me," Collins said.
After graduating, Collins will work at Kaiser Permanente's Oakland headquarters as an organizational development consultant in the Organizational Excellence department. She will be building employee engagement and implementing training programs, and described the position as her "dream job."
Final Project: "Strategic Analysis of PulpWorks"