Haas School of Business
 
Fueling the Blockchain Crusade

FUELING THE BLOCKCHAIN CRUSADE

Berkeley Haas champions our student stars in fintech

Ashley Lannquist, MBA 18, entered the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program eager to study fintech, specifically blockchain, the decentralized ledger system originally used for digital-money transactions but now spanning myriad industries. By graduation, Lannquist had capitalized on every available opportunity—and created new ones for the Haas community.

In addition to Haas courses, Lannquist co-founded the Haas FinTech Club, one of the most popular student-run organizations in recent school history, which hosts industry speakers and visits fintech firms. She also joined the campus’ Blockchain at Berkeley student group; consulted for companies; co-founded a large consortium for automakers to innovate with blockchain; and co-founded Berkeley Executive Education’s Blockchain Unlocked program, among other achievements.

Like Lannquist, waves of students are seeking more blockchain-related learning opportunities, and Haas is now a world-class center for fintech research and teaching.

Last spring Haas partnered with Berkeley’s School of Law and College of Engineering to offer Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, and the Future of Technology, Business, and Law. The pioneering interdisciplinary course was a runaway success, earning mention in The New York Times.

Haas also won a multimillion dollar, five-year grant supporting faculty and student research on blockchain, cryptocurrency, and payment systems, as well as conferences, competitions, and speakers. This University Blockchain Research Initiative, housed in Haas’ Institute for Business & Social Impact and working closely with the Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering Program, is funded by Ripple, a San Francisco company using blockchain to move money globally.

As for Lannquist, she landed a dream job: blockchain project lead at the World Economic Forum. Congratulations, Ashley!

Photo above: Ashley Lannquist and Caitlyn Driehorst, MBA 18s, were the first Haas FinTech Club co-presidents. The club’s first four vice presidents were also women—making it a standout in the male-dominated fields of finance and technology. Founded in fall 2016, the popular club aims to promote and support the next generation of fintech leaders in the Bay Area.