2018 Best & Brightest: Asher Enciso, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Asher Enciso

University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

“Dog-loving, tech touting entrepreneur who believes in the power of business to improve people’s lives.”

Fun fact about yourself: I was on TV for 15 seconds during the Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl Game a few years ago. Not only that, but the camera zoomed in on me for the entire time! I was being pushed in the air by the people around me and I still have a photo of it hanging in my dorm room.

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

High School: Brophy College Preparatory

Major: Accountancy

Minor: Entrepreneurship

Favorite Business Course: Corporate Financial Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

IRIS (Website design for nonprofits) – Founder/President

BaseND (Business Action in Social Entrepreneurship) – President

Tax Assistance Program – Site Leader and Scheduling Coordinator

Beta Alpha Psi – Member

Beta Gamma Sigma – Member

Notre Dame Accountancy Excellence Scholar

Teaching Assistant – Strategic Cost Management course

Research Assistant – Sustainability Accounting

Dean’s List (4 years)

Where have you interned during your college career?

Vestboard (Phoenix, AZ) – Accounting Intern

Ernst & Young (San Francisco, CA) – Launch Intern

Bain & Co. (San Francisco, CA) – Associate Consultant

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Co. (San Francisco, CA)

Who is your favorite professor? Carl Ackermann – He is the most personable professor you will ever meet. His admirable charisma makes one feel like they have had a lifelong friendship with him shortly after meeting him. He has been an advocate for me at every level and I am incredibly lucky both to have been taught by him and to know him.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The biggest strength of the Mendoza College of Business can be summed up in the tagline “Ask more of business”. That is, at Mendoza, I was never taught solely how to generate wealth. Rather, there is an incredible emphasis on how business can be used as a powerful tool for change and good. As someone who strives to serve and help others, I loved this aspect of my education.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I found through studying business that it has so much more capability and impact beyond merely generating profits. I had the chance to take a social entrepreneurship class and saw just how beneficial business can be when conducted the right way.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?

Keep an open mind! Going into university, I thought I knew exactly what I would like to study and what I would like to do after college. I was totally set on working in public accounting and focused on positioning myself toward that. Once I opened myself up a bit more, I discovered a host of other interests (including consulting) that seemed even more intriguing to me. Without that openness, I would have never found my current job.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…computer science! I have always been a bit of computer nerd and I love tinkering around with tech. Moreover, many of my closest friends are CS majors and I find that I enjoy being with that crowd. My love for tech is a major factor in my choice to work for Bain in San Francisco. It’s the best place in the world for exposure to tech companies, their business models, and their products.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The immense variety of people you find majoring in business both in their personalities and in their personal goals. For example, you have the hyper-ambitious folks who want to be the next big thing on Wall Street and you also have the more reserved groups who want to open their own bakery chain. The diversity of ideas, thoughts, and people stands as one of the most admirable qualities of undergraduate business.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?

While it may not be flashy and exciting, my GPA. As of now, it stands just under a 4.0 (darn it, philosophy!). I know that shortly after I graduate, my GPA may not matter as much as it does now. However, it shows four years of intense dedication, work, focus, and responsibility. I was terrified of college academics before arriving on campus. The cumulative body of work that I have put together over four years represented through my GPA demonstrates that I overcame that fear and excelled.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? For starters, I find that the Mendoza administration does quite an amazing job at running the school. However, if I were to make one change, I would focus on the grading scale. At Mendoza, every class is graded on a curve where the average must amount to somewhere between 3.0-3.4 on a 4.0 scale. While this does a great job at reducing grade inflation and rewarding those who truly do put in the extra effort, it can create a competitive environment with some negative effects. Of course, competition is quite often a good thing, but it can also close students off from each other and create undue stress. The large majority of classes are difficult enough where they do not need the curve at all but there are a few that are too easy. To combat inflation in these classes, I propose simply making them more difficult rather than implementing the curve.

Which classmate do you most admire? My good friend and soon-to-be SF roommate, Ryan Smick! We met during our first few days at ND and have been friends since! He’s an easygoing, approachable, kind, and smart guy. He’s also not afraid to put in a lot of work even as my friends made fun of his super strict work ethic our first two years (homework late Saturday night?!). He’s emerged as a leader in our dorm with a super busy schedule, but he still makes time to talk to people and check in.  I am quite lucky to have become friends with him our first year!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? If I had to choose one person, it would for sure be my mom. She has sacrificed so much to raise my siblings and I with every possible advantage. She gave up other careers and became a teacher so that she could be home with us after we got out of school. She put as much monetary support behind us as she could by sacrificing vacations, restaurants, new clothes, and even cutting way back on heating/cooling. She directly helped me get in to college and gave endless advice so that I could pursue my dreams even before I knew what those dreams would be. Most importantly, she challenged me to be the best form of myself, to value hard work and to realize the impact I could have on the world.

What would your theme song be? “Love Yourz” by J. Cole – I’ve found that it can be easy to get caught up in new projects, ambitions, desires, and goals without truly appreciating what one has right now. The message of this song is to love everything that you have now and to be incredibly grateful. That sort of thinking always grounds me and speaks to how I desire to live my life.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Creating my own foundation or social enterprise! I recognize that I have been given so many gifts that others simply do not have. I have an incredibly supportive family, which provided me with access to top-tier education. That education set me up for amazing opportunities after college. Others, often through no fault of their own, do not have access to these advantages. I hope that one day I can give back and level the playing field a bit.

Visiting Central or South America! Since learning about these countries and their beautiful landscapes in my high school Spanish classes, I have wanted to visit them!

Favorite book: Hatching Twitter

Favorite movie: Skyfall (James Bond)

Favorite vacation spot: Disneyland

What are your hobbies? I like to golf with my grandfather! We’ll go in the summer in Phoenix when the weather is incredibly hot (~115 degrees) so that all the extremely expensive courses are very affordable. I also absolutely love technology, so I often find myself reading about or tinkering with computers. I plan to build a new one when I move to San Francisco! When I have some spare brain power, I get great enjoyment from dreaming up new business ideas and testing them at small levels

What made Asher such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“I’ve never had a student like Asher Enciso.  He’s a remarkable and incredibly versatile human being.  On any dimension that I would rank a business student — energy, leadership, integrity, intellect, work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and passion to help humanity — Asher is well into the top 1%. He always inspires his group members to achieve their very best, and his listening skills and attention to detail are unmatched.

Remember his name and mark these words: Soon, he’ll be a well-known, tremendously respected and visionary leader.”

Carl Ackermann
Finance Teaching Professor
Nolan Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.