Let the musical chairs continue. Last week, it was long-time Tuck School of Business Admissions Director Dawna Clarke taking over at the University of Virginia’s Darden School. This week, Shari Hubert, who has been associate dean for admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business since 2013, will take the reins at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
“Shari stood out in an incredibly talented and competitive pool of candidates,” Russ Morgan, Fuqua senior associate dean for full-time programs, said in a statement. “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.”
She is also an inveterate recruiter. Prior to McDonough, she served as director of recruitment for the Peace Corps’ Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection, where she was responsible for recruiting 4,000 volunteers annually and managed the operations of nine regional recruitment offices across the United States. Before that, she led campus recruitment for Citi’s Global Bank in North America and served as the manager for campus relations in corporate recruiting at GE’s corporate headquarters. She also led the Executive Leadership and Civic Development Program at the Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy association focused on public and private partnerships.
Hubert, who herself holds an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS), also knows business school admissions from the applicant’s point of view. Perhaps because she’s literally been in their shoes, she’s been extremely focused on the applicant’s experience through the admissions process—and on how it might be improved. At McDonough, she led an initiative to map applicants’ journey through 22 steps in the application process, measuring their highs and lows along the way. And then she helped implement changes to increase the highs and reduce the lows and leave even those who didn’t get in coming away with a positive feeling about the school.
As for the move to Duke and to Durham, Hubert is excited. “I have long admired Duke as a university, and the Fuqua School of Business, from my early days as a corporate recruiter, and more recently as a colleague in this wonderful world of admissions,” she said in a statement. And she’s already been charmed by the school’s community. “Personally, I have been pleasantly surprised to experience that ‘Team Fuqua’ is not just hype, nor is it only reserved for students, but is a way of being that is fully embraced by staff, faculty and alumni as well,” she said.
In assuming the role of associate dean of admissions, Hubert has big shoes to fill. Liz Riley led admissions at Fuqua for almost 25 years before stepping down last spring. Among other things, Riley introduced the school’s famed and much-loved essay question, “25 Random Things.” For years, it’s been Fuqua’s way of getting to know applicants while at the same time injecting a little bit of fun into an otherwise high-stakes, high-stress admissions process.
To help her feel right at home, Fuqua invited Riley’s successor to share her own list of 25 random things about herself, which it published as part of the announcement of her new role. Among the tantalizing tidbits she served up were the fact that she could see herself as a vegetarian if only she didn’t love pork so much and that her single mom—who sacrificed her career and worked as a full-time nanny to put her through college at Dartmouth—was her hero.
We also happen to know that her go-to cocktail is a straight-up pineapple vodka martini, her pet peeve is intolerance, her worst habit is procrastination, and her biggest regret is following the herd out of business school. (It led her into consulting at Boston Consulting Group.) She also has an absolutely stunning jewelry collection.
Of course, it’s her track record of success in graduate management admissions that landed her the Fuqua job. While at McDonough, she helped that school increase its application volume, number of full-time students, and average GMAT score. “I am confident that under Shari’s leadership our world-class 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,” Morgan said.
Shari Hubert’s 25 Random Things:
- My father is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda—very proud of him.
- I am a newly minted Auntie. My younger sister just had her first child—Charlotte “Charli.”
- I have a famous aunt—she was the first mother on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
- I am a Virgo and totally live up to the definition.
- I was named after Shari Lewis of the “Shari Lewis and Lambchop” show.
- I had a near fatal kayaking accident in college—haven’t stepped foot in a kayak in over 25 years.
- 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!
- I consider myself a connector and enjoy coaching/mentoring young professionals.
- I love romantic comedies and action movies. (Muriel’s Wedding and any of the X-Men, James Bond movies are among my favorites.)
- My favorite female actor is Meryl Streep; favorite male actor is Robert De Niro.
- My favorite music artists are Annie Lennox, Seal, Adele, and New Edition—I have very eclectic tastes in music and shows.
- I enjoy Karaoke but am tone deaf.
- The most memorable place I’ve visited is Angkor Wat—very spiritual.
- The most beautiful place I’ve visited is the Amalfi Coast—breathtaking.
- 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.
- 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.
- I love Brussels sprouts and eat them every chance I get.
- Despite my chosen career path, I am an introvert naturally. My Myers Brigg indicators are ISFJ.
- I still get butterflies when I have to speak in public or present to large audiences.
- 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).
- I am an avid spinner.
- I have traveled to all but one continent—Antarctica is on my bucket list—hopefully will get there before the next iceberg cracks off.
- I am deathly afraid of horror movies and roller coasters.
- 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.
- 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.
Don’t Miss from Clear Admit’s Archive: Real Humans of MBA Admissions: Shari Hubert of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.