MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Innovation
GMAT 790, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Magistrate Auditor
GMAT 720, GPA 16.67/20
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Digital Health
GMAT 760, GPA 3.42
Harvard | Mr. Soldier Boy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
HEC Paris | Ms Journalist
GRE -, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Tuck | Mr. First Gen Student
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Native Norwegian
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. CPA To MBA
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Michelin Man
GMAT 780, GPA 8.46/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Airline Developer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Mr. Latino Banker
GRE 332, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Lean Manufacturing
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Hopeful
GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Darden | Ms. Environmental Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Go-Getter
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Global Healthcare
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Social Impact To Tech
GMAT -, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD Explorer
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Automotive Project Manager
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Honor Roll Student
GRE 320, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2

Our 2016 Honor Roll: The 40 Under 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors

Laura Huang of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School

Laura Huang of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

IF NOT FOR TEACHING, THEY WOULD BE COMEDIANS, LINE COOKS, EVEN RABBIS

As in previous years, we asked each professor a series of questions to help our readers get to know each of them as individuals, not just professors. For instance, what started these rising stars on their journeys to where they are today?

While the paths to professorship are as diverse as these forty scholars are–Yale’s James Choi says he knew he wanted to be a B-school professor when having been a management consultant for a few months out of college, he realized that he neither wanted to be his firm’s partners nor his clients–the life stories that would’ve unfolded had they not chosen this profession are just as intriguing.

Read ahead to find out which professors say that if they weren’t in academia, they’d be making a living in comedy, working as a line cook, serving as the general manager of a well-known ice hockey team, and… a rabbi. Another told us if he wasn’t in this field, producing academic research and teaching future business leaders, he’d simply be criticizing others’ decisions without getting paid for it.

‘SHE TEACHES US HOW TO THINK RATHER THAN WHAT TO THINK’

Speaking of future business leaders, MBA students had a ton to say about this year’s top 40. Mostly, praising the professors for making tough material both easy to grasp and relevant to what’s happening in the world around them. However, much of the feedback students gave us helped make it very clear why these 40 professors are so outstanding.

What students’ testimonials confirmed is that being a top business school professor is as much art as it is science, and as much performance as it is an innate passion. A passion for transferring not just knowledge of a subject, but confidence and excitement for it. Here’s what students had to say about some of this year’s under-40 professors:

“It is clear to anyone watching that she thrives in her role as mentor and role model to a generation of entrepreneurs.”

“Transforms a subject many expect to be dry and uninteresting to a truly enjoyable and stimulating course.”

“She teaches us how to think rather than what to think.”

“The professor that you imagine when you are applying to a top business school.”

“Class felt like a ‘spa treatment’ because you learned a lot in a relaxed environment.”

“Without her, I doubt the company I started would have had such a tremendous first year.”  

“He was responsible for making me choose economic research as the field where I am currently developing my career.”

“By far my most memorable class at business school.”

“Her advice still resonates in my ears as I think about running my own venture.”

“He is a consummate professional and a master at his craft. I realized this within minutes of his first lecture.”

“She’s the real deal.”