Ashley Wu

MBA 2020
  • Hometown: Portland, OR
  • Pre-MBA: Gates Foundation Nutrition, Assoc. Strategy Officer

Ashley Wu

Post Graduation Goals:

Creating a more sustainable future enabled by technology

Favorite Class:

The Lean Launchpad (co-taught through the Engineering school) was a fantastic dive into entrepreneurship, navigating product-market fit and building a minimum viable product.


Favorite GSB Memory So Far:

All of the great travel experiences with my amazing classmates, from diving in Colombia to running a relay race across a Hawaiian island.

My day starts early with Online Marketplaces. We did an exercise on approaches to matching passengers and cars in ride-hailing apps, and discussed some interesting trade-offs between minimizing total wait time vs. “greedy” algorithms that match riders with the closest car.
There are amazing running routes any direction you turn from campus, but my favorite is the Dish. Originally built to detect Soviet radar installations, the area around the Dish makes for a great running trail. It’s about 7 miles roundtrip from my room in Jack McDonald hall.
I’m part of the Impact Investment Fund, which makes early-stage venture investments in companies that create beneficial social and environmental impacts. My deal team has a bit of prep to do for our first investment committee meeting tonight, so we meet over lunch.
Our finance professors teach class in the style of an interactive skit - and it’s very entertaining. We also had the CFO of AB Inbev as a guest speaker, who discussed how capital structure affects company strategy.
We’re starting to narrow down to the three investments the Impact Fund will make, so at tonight’s meeting we heard some initial thoughts from our investment committee.
It’s our first week back from Spring Recess, so made time to catch up with some friends at the Dutch Goose, a fun place close by in Menlo Park!
Our kitchen gets great light in the morning, so I start the day with a breakfast of pumpkin overnight oats and some reading for the day
The business school take on macroeconomics is extremely practical and useful for understanding news and policy. Today’s topic is why economies experience differential growth rates.
From macro, I head to Building and Managing Sales Organizations, where we weigh the benefits and costs of using value-added resellers vs. a direct sales force for a hospital device company.
Lunch at the dining hall is an amazing deal - $10 for a buffet with fresh fruit and veggies and some great hot options. I’ll eat here with friends a few times a month. The Arrillaga Dining Common is just a few minutes away from the Knight Management Center where our classes are.
Pop into a talk hosted by the Corporations and Society Initiative, on balancing technology and power in the Internet Age
Operations class: today’s case is about a chain of Brazilian hair salons. We analyze the bottlenecks per station and average customer wait times, looking for opportunities to improve the flow
This summer, I’d like to spend time working at an early-stage startup in the food technology sector. I’ve scheduled a couple calls this afternoon with potential companies to chat through what an MBA intern might do on their teams. In between calls, I throw in and transfer my laundry.
Previous and future employers are always around campus hosting great events to help us get to know them better. A friend’s previous firm hosted a cooking class at Sur La Table, and I tag along as a plus one
With 400+ classmates, chances are there’s a great birthday to celebrate on any given night. Tonight, I’m going to a birthday gathering to celebrate Kavya!
My partner and I try to spend our weekends together, splitting time between Berkeley (where he’s in law school) and Palo Alto. This Saturday, it’s my turn to make the drive over.
It’s been a very wet winter for the Bay, so we felt inspired to take advantage of the amazing sunshine to go for a hike. Mt. Diablo is a 30 minute drive away, and a great hike with 2,000 ft of ascent.
We’re lucky to have some great friends at both schools. Tonight, we’re hosting dinner at Bob’s apartment.
The “Bear”rister’s ball (named for the Cal Bears) is in downtown Oakland, and we have a great time seeing the law school class let loose after a tough first year.