From Tiara to Textbooks: Ashley Shaffer

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After a year of making public appearances at schools, grand openings, charitable fundraisers and the like, what's a beauty queen to do when her reign comes to an end? Well, go back to school to earn a master's degree, of course. At least, that's what Ashley Shaffer, Miss New Jersey 2009, chose to do.

“As the pomp, pageantry and celebrity start to fade, reality begins to set in. What next?” reflects Shaffer. “I ultimately decided a career in business would be the next chapter in my life."

So with a university that boasts an internationally renowned business school right in her home state, it was an easy decision for Shaffer to select Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick as the institution where she would spend the next two years honing her business acumen.

A graduate of Marist College with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Shaffer fancies herself more a writer than a businesswoman. Consequently, transition from a primarily verbal discipline to one fraught with mathematics has taken Shaffer a bit out of her comfort zone. Having successfully completed one semester of accounting, micro economics, and finance, however, Shaffer welcomes the many new challenges the MBA program brings.

Shaffer immediately found a way to put her communications and writing skills to productive use at Rutgers Business School while serving the needs of its students. Last semester she helped launch the school’s very first student blog, “Through the Park,” a blog written and maintained by Rutgers Business School students.

“The goal of the blog is to get students talking about Rutgers Business School in an engaging and interactive way,” comments Shaffer. “We want ‘Through the Park’ to be a vital source of information for current and prospective students.”

Bloggers write about past and upcoming events, networking opportunities, and general information about the business school. Shaffer welcomes more content on issues of concern to women and second-year MBA students.

As the close of her first year as a business student looms nears, Shaffer finds herself asking a familiar question yet again. “What next?”Just like her peers at Rutgers Business School, Shaffer has her sight set on securing a meaningful summer internship. With a concentration in finance, she is hopeful she will land a job with a major financial institution, preferably a securities firm located in New Jersey.