Favorite Business School MBA Professors

UCLA's Phillip Leslie

UCLA’s Phillip Leslie

Push Students To Bring Out Their Best

Phillip Leslie, Professor of Strategy. As someone who did a lot of strategy work in my prior job, I really loved taking a step back and working through actual framework of strategy. Professor Leslie is not just brilliant, but a fantastic teacher. He never told you the right answer, but always knew how to ask questions or play devil’s advocate to expand your thinking. Through a lot of his own side consulting pursuits, he was able to teach not just theory but also the practice of strategy in the workplace. He was also brutally honest, and would not let students get off with providing a silly answer to a question. He was bright, challenging, and fun – and I found him to be very respectable.”

– Maeghan Rouch, UCLA, Anderson School of Management

SMU's Arvind Mahajan

Texas A&M’s Arvind Mahajan

“I love all of my professors, equally, just some a bit more equally than others. Political answer aside, there are two standouts: Greg Fisher and John Wisneski. Greg Fisher was my Strategy professor during the first semester of business school. Greg challenged students in a way that could have been considered abrasive, if it wasn’t so effective. What I truly appreciated is that he placed the same rigorous expectations on himself, and he worked hard to make the course the best version it could possibly be. I’ve since become his graduate assistant, and the level of trust and mutual respect we’ve developed is something I don’t take for granted. John Wisneski is the director of the Consulting Academy and someone I consider a mentor. I suppose a testament to my feelings toward him is shown in that I took a class of his for no credit, simply because I wanted to learn from him. His kindness, empathy, and objectivity will lead me to solicit his advice far beyond graduation.”

– H. Kyle Hebenstreit, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Dr. Arvind Mahajan – Finance Professor. He was the most demanding professor I have ever had. Even with a very strong background in Finance, I learned something every day in his class. Even people with little to no technical background still learned in his class. He cares about his students and has a knack for maximizing their potential.”

– Tyler Lorenz, Texas A&M, Mays Business School

Act As Role Models

Georgetown's Catherine Tinsley

Georgetown’s Catherine Tinsley

“Professor Tony Rucci.  Professor Rucci is a true example of outstanding success in the business world.  However, what I admire even more about him is his humbleness and caring personality.  When I think about my future life and career, I hope that I can give back as much as he has and still remain as humble, family-focused and level-headed as I progress through my career.”

Sarah Sublett, Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

“Professor Catherine Tinsley’s research enriches her leadership and negotiations courses, leveraging the most recent findings industry-wide. She has helped me learn how I can become a motivating, visionary leader by establishing a leadership style characterized by authenticity and embracing my own unique sources of power.”

–  Devon Weiss, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

Jack McDonald. Professor McDonald taught his 48th year at the GSB this year. Not only does he teach us about investing and what it means to be a great investor, his class inspires us to be better human beings who live with integrity and ensure that giving our word means something. I also felt more inspired than ever to start my own investment fund one day. Most people don’t think of finance as entrepreneurial, but Professor McDonald and his speakers (many past students of his) showed us otherwise.”

– Sarah Wang, Stanford Graduate School of Business


Northwestern's Mitchell Petersen

Northwestern’s Mitchell Petersen

“There are many great professors at Kellogg, but one of my favorites is Professor Victoria Medvec, the Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management & Organizations and Executive Director of the Center for Executive Women. I had the opportunity to take Professor Medvec for three classes, including her extremely popular Negotiations class and the newly launched Women’s Leadership Seminar. She is dynamic, incredibly knowledgeable in her areas of expertise, and passionate about developing women as business leaders. I left her classes more savvy about group decision making and networking, more strategic about achieving long-term career success as a woman, and certainly with better negotiating skills.”

– Blair Pircon, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

Mitchell Petersen made a tremendous impact on my professional and personal development. Professor Petersen’s open door policy has encouraged me to seek out consistent feedback on my projects, business ideas and academic questions. He also serves as a strong positive role model through his commitment to intellectual curiosity, hard work and community. I believe both of these professors will continue to serve as trusted mentors throughout my career.”

– Rebecca Sholiton, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management


Go Above And Beyond

MIT's Don Sull

MIT’s Don Sull

Dr. Don Sull is the man. I took his Competitive Strategy class my first semester at b-school and learned a ton; the wide array of cases, well-facilitated discussions, and meaningful frameworks really caught me up to speed on business vernacular and situations, and taught me to transition my thinking from military tactics to business strategy. Since then, he has very willingly worked with my co-founders and I to brainstorm strategy for our startup. I greatly appreciate Don’s sense of humor, constant willingness to help, humble attitude, and ability to tell people when they are wrong.”

– Brian Kirk, MIT, Sloan School of Management

Jan Heide. I came into the MBA program specializing in Brand Management even though I had never taken a marketing class before. Professor Heide is a charismatic and engaging professor who is invested in every student. Not only does he know everyone’s first name by the first class, he chooses a diverse set of cases from an even more diverse set of industries. He challenged me to think about the iron industry and challenged my classmates to think about marketing within the nonprofit sector. He stays connected with his students after the semester, whether it is diving into arctic waters during the polar plunge, or keeping an open door for career advice.”

– Angie Peltzer, University of Wisconsin Business School

Charlie Goetz – he is an energetic professor that cares about the development of his students. He takes an active role in many students’ business ventures and provides guidance for anyone who reaches out for help.”

– Lauren McGlory, Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Wharton's Kartik Hosanagar

Wharton’s Kartik Hosanagar

“Professor Kartik Hosanagar — It is no surprise that he was named one of Poets&Quants’ top 40 business school professors under 40. In the classroom, he is an incredibly engaging teacher who helps students dive into and better understand the complexities of the technology industry ecosystem. Outside the classroom, he is one of the most humble and most selfless people I have had the chance to interact with. From helping me think through startup ideas to providing advice on career plans to helping with speaker outreach for the Wharton India Economic Forum, Professor Hosanagar has always been someone I can count upon at Wharton, and for this reason, he is by far my favorite professor at the school.”

– Vikram Arumilli, Wharton School

“My favorite professor is Susan Riffe, who teaches the introductory accounting class in the graduate program. I had the honor to be her student for an accounting class. As I started my MBA, I was very nervous about taking technical classes in a new language especially because I knew that accounting has never been my strength. However, she was able not only to help me understand the subject but also make me love it. She had outstanding ways to lecture that made the class very easy to understand, even for students who have never done business before. Moreover, I could feel the passion she had for her class, which reminded me of my passion for marketing. It also reinforced the career that I would like to pursue later in my life to get my PhD in marketing, and become a professor in the future. Combined with the papers and research she has done in the subject, this made me admire Professor Susan Riffe and look up to her. Another criterion was her accessibility: she had office hours for all of us, but she was ready to go beyond that by responding quickly to the emails and have “an open door” policy for all of us when we needed any answers for her course.”

Ihsane Aziz, Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business

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