First-Person

Kate Ashley

Kate Ashley

PhD Candidate, Operations Management

Previous degree:
BA, Economics, Northwestern University

Operations management decisions used to be made without much consideration for how they would affect consumers. But Kate Ashley is interested in the growing field of research looking at how strategic consumer behavior analyses can be integrated into operations models. "Firms are starting to realize just how smart consumers are, and that their purchase decisions can be quite complex, and actually influence a firm's operations behavior," she says.

"I firmly believe that research can make the world a better place. Look, for example, at the progress made in health care delivery and sustainability initiatives. That aligns well with the Berkeley-Haas Beyond Yourself Defining Principle. "

"Interesting research results are often counter-intuitive. You take what is known and try to demonstrate that the opposite can be true. What better way is there of Questioning the Status Quo?"

"I chose Operations Management as a focus because I like the way it applies the rigor of mathematics and economics to real-world problems that can have a significant impact on a firm's success."

"Having access to world-class resources like the UC Berkeley Economics Department and the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the Engineering School adds so much to the Berkeley-Haas PhD Program. We get to work with students and faculty who may look at problems through different lenses, and learn to use those lenses ourselves."

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