Shari Hubert, the highly admired and respected admissions chief for Georgetown University’s business school, is jumping ship to join Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business as associate dean of admissions. Hubert will assume her new job this Friday (Oct. 6).
For Fuqua, the appointment represents a major changing of the guard. Hubert succeeds Liz Riley, a mainstay of MBA admissions at Fuqua for the nearly a quarter of a century. Riley stepped down in the spring when a search for her successor got underway. “Liz Riley has been one of the most recognizable and important Fuqua faces for many generations of students,” Dean Bill Boulding told Poets&Quants. “We will miss her energy, enthusiasm and wisdom. What Liz has done to make Fuqua better will never be forgotten and her impact will be felt for years to come.”
Riley’s Zen-like office has offered comfort to thousands of anxious MBA applicants over the years just as her iconic “25 random facts” essay has promoted thousands of applicants to proffer some of the more revealing aspects of their lives. That admissions prompt has long been acclaimed as one of the most innovative of B-school admission essays. In a Poets&Quants survey of MBA admission consultants last year, it was singled out as the most favorite prompt to answer (see Most & Least Challenging MBA Applications This Year).
Indeed, as part of the announcement today (Oct. 4), Hubert completed that essay herself, acknowledging that she was named after Shari Lewis of the “Shari Lewis and Lambchop” show and that she grew up in a single parent household by her Mom who worked as a full-time nanny to put her through Dartmouth College. Only six months ago, Hubert, who also earned a Harvard MBA in 2000, was recognized with a distinguished alumni service award by Harvard Business School for her work in helping young people pursue their dreams through the value of an MBA.
‘SHE LED SOME TERRIFIC INITIATIVES WITH STRONG OUTCOMES FOR GEORGETOWN’
Switching schools gives Hubert the gatekeeper role at a more highly selective school that receives more than double the number of MBA applicants each year. At Georgetown, she had to admit nearly the same number of applicants (811 vs. Duke’s 849) to yield a class that had 163 fewer MBA students. Some 3,796 candidates vied for Fuqua’s 439 class seats last year vs. McDonough’s 1,742 applicants for 276 full-time MBA seats. Fuqua, which placed 11th best in Poets&Quants‘ composite ranking last year, has an acceptance rate of 22%. McDonough, which ranked 25th, has an admit rate of 48%. Fuqua’s average GMAT last year was 702 versus 692 at Georgetown.
Before joining Georgetown in 2012, Hubert had been director of recruitment for the U.S. Peace Corp for nearly four years. A former sales rep for Merck pharmaceuticals, Hubert joined the Boston Consulting Group in 2000 after graduating with her MBA from Harvard. She then did a two-year stint as senior director of corporate affairs for The Partnership for NYC, before working at NBC Universal as director of community affairs.
Her involvement with academia began in the corporate world in 2004 when she managed campus relations for General Electric and then at Citi as a senior vice president who managed a team of seven recruiters and headed up the global banking graduate recruitment efforts for undergraduates and MBAs interested in analyst and associate positions in GE’s investment banking and corporate banking units.
DESCRIBED AS A ‘PERENNIAL OPTIMIST’ BY COLLEAGUES
In disclosing the appointment to the Fuqua community, Senior Associate Dean for Full-Time Programs Russ Morgan rattled off a series of improved admissions stats for Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business where she has served as associate dean of MBA admissions for the past five years. “Shari brings a wealth of experience in higher education and from other industries, which distinguished her in our minds from an incredibly talented and competitive pool of applicants,” wrote Morgan. At Georgetown, he added, “she led some terrific initiatives with strong outcomes for the school, including simultaneously increasing applications, the number of full-time students and the average GMAT score.
“Of great importance,” noted Morgan, “I strongly believe Shari is a terrific fit within our culture. She is a demonstrated collaborative leader with a track record of making the people around her better. Her former colleagues at Georgetown describe her as a perennial optimist. Her former senior associate dean praised Shari’s impact: pointing out her professionalism, attention to detail and her ability to bring out the best in her team professionally and personally.
“I know you all recognize that Fuqua has a world class admissions team. I am confident that under Shari’s leadership our admissions function will become even sharper, more focused and more innovative in attracting the very best students who will ultimately use business to change the world for the better.”
In what may well be a first in an announcement of a new admissions chief, Fuqua apparently asked Hubert to complete one of its admissions essays for MBA applicants.
SHARI HUBERT’S 25 RANDOM THINGS
1. My father is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda – very proud of him.
2. I am a newly minted Auntie. My younger sister just had her first child – Charlotte “Charli.”
3. I have a famous Aunt – she was the 1st mother on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
4. I am a Virgo and totally live up to the definition.
5. I was named after Shari Lewis of the “Shari Lewis and Lambchop” show.
6. I had a near fatal kayaking accident in college – haven’t stepped foot in a kayak in over 25 years,
7. I brought a pair of pink silk pajamas and a curling iron to a weeklong camping trip in the wilderness of Mount Moosilauke – clueless college student!
8. I consider myself a connector and enjoy coaching/mentoring young professionals.
9. I love romantic comedies and action movies (Muriel’s Wedding and any of the X-Men, James Bond movies are among my favorites).
10. My favorite female actor is Meryl Streep; favorite male actor is Robert De Niro.
11. My favorite music artists are Annie Lennox, Seal, Adele and New Edition– I have very eclectic tastes in music and shows.
12. I enjoy Karaoke but am tone deaf.
13. The most memorable place I’ve visited is Angkor Wat – very spiritual.
14. The most beautiful place I’ve visited is the Amalfi Coast – breathtaking.
15. I was recognized in March with a distinguished alumni service award by Harvard Business School at their annual African-American Student Union Conference – for my work helping young people pursue their dreams through the value of an MBA – very humbled and proud. LOVE MY JOB
16. I grew up in a single parent household with my mom. She was my hero – sacrificed her career to work as a full-time nanny to put me through college.
17. I love Brussels sprouts and eat them every chance I get.
18. Despite my chosen career path, I am an introvert naturally. My Myers Brigg indicators are ISFJ
19. I still get butterflies when I have to speak in public or present to large audiences.
20. My happy place is having a glass of wine, sitting on the couch after work getting caught up on my Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV shows (currently watching Handmaids Tale, Rake, House of Cards, Casual, Queen Sugar, Grace & Frankie, Ray Donovan).
21. I am an avid spinner.
22. I have traveled to all but one continent – Antarctica is on my bucket list – hopefully will get there before the next iceberg cracks off.
23. I am deathly afraid of horror movies and roller coasters.
24. I am an early riser, go to bed early, and can fall asleep in any moving object even if I just drank a cup of espresso.
25. I could in theory become a vegetarian – love vegetables and crave them, but in practice I am held back because I love PORK even more.