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2018 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Indraneel Chakraborty, University of Miami Business School

Indraneel Chakraborty

Assistant Professor 

University of Miami Business School

University of Miami Business School’s Indraneel Chakraborty is a professor of finance who brings credibility to the classroom from prior professional experience on Wall Street and his work as an award-winning researcher in his field. As a teacher, he has designed two new work-relevant classes stemming from his experience as a financial professional. Student evaluations for these classes hover around 4.8 out of five points and they’ve been known to have helped students secure jobs at top investment banks. Chakraborty’s expertise and research interests center on financial intermediation, corporate finance, and household finance for which he’s received “best paper” awards, grants, and media mentions in business press such as the Economist, Financial Times, and Reuters.

Age:  38

At current institution since what year? 2015

Education: PhD, Finance, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2010

List of courses you currently teach: Financial Institutions, Alternative Investments

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS A PROFESSOR

“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…” I met some inspiring professors while working on Wall Street.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? The main question that I investigate is how financing from banks/VCs/PEs affects firms and the economy. The purpose of this research agenda is to reduce financial frictions in the economy for better capital allocation. A recent working paper uncovers an unintended consequence of the Quantitative Easing program in U.S.: while it increased mortgage lending by $77.5 billion, it also crowded-out $21 billion of commercial and industrial lending.

“If I weren’t a business school professor…” I would definitely be an engineer.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I try to combine my research and my past Wall Street experience to create work relevant classes. I try to continuously improve the material with new information and better presentation.

“One word that describes my first time teaching” :

Exhilarating!

As a b-school professor, what motivates you?

I want to see my students do well in their jobs in the short term and the long run. That is why, I try my best to provide them as much information as possible.

Professor you most admire and why:

I admire many professors. If I was forced to choose one, I will say Franklin Allen, who has made classic contributions to finance and economics research, is phenomenal in teaching, and great with students overall. I was lucky to have him my one of advisors at Wharton.

STUDENTS

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

I love it that I can discuss current matters affecting the finance industry with students. Further, when we apply our knowledge together to address the questions, it is a rewarding experience.

What is most challenging?

The lectures where immediate application is not possible sometimes require additional motivation.

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student:  

Diligent

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student:   

Absent  

What is the most impressive thing one of your students has done?  

Many have made me proud in many ways already, the best students have obtained great jobs and come back to campus to help the next batch follow their path.

What is the least favorite thing one has done?  

I like everything they do.

What does a student need to do to get an A in your class?  

My classes require a lot of hard work. There is a lot of material to cover and they have to apply the knowledge effortlessly to new questions.

“When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as …”  

Fair

“But I would describe myself as …”

Also fair

Fill in the blank:

“If my students can continue succeeding in a changing finance industry, then I’ve done my job as their professor.”

LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Fun fact about yourself:

I wrote code for my own video games in 8th grade.

What are your hobbies?

Soccer

How will you spend your summer?

Research and academic conferences

Favorite place to vacation:

The Florida Keys

Favorite book:

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?

Star Trek, every Trekkie will know why!

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist:

Classical piano

Bucket list item #1:

Skydiving

THOUGHTS OF REFLECTION

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

A recent paper received the Marshall Blume Award in Financial Research (first prize) from the Wharton School.

What is your most memorable moment as a professor?

Moments when students get an important concept are rewarding.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…”

Internships and even more experiences that prepare them for their jobs.

“And much less of this…”  

Exams

In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what? Please explain. Retaining young talent. As technology is changing, the new generation of employees maybe even more mobile across companies. Retaining the best of new employees is crucial for a firm’s long term success.

Looking ahead 10 years from now, describe what “success” would like for you:

Success will be to see successful students come back to campus and discuss their experiences with the new students.

Students say…

“I took three class from him and think he is a great professor. What I look for in a great professor is their stories of real world experience. He always had a story to tell and tied it to the lesson of the lecture. That is what made every lesson great and fun to listen too. All my classmates in my master’s program agree that he is a great professor.”

“I had two classes with Dr. Chakraborty and I have never been as excited to come to class than I did with his. His ability to teach incredibly difficult topics by explaining them through his practical work as a trader or by creating analogies to everyday life was nothing short of amazing. He cared for each student, took every question as a challenge and answered them in ways I have never thought before. I sat in his class in a state of reverence. Myself and another student had dinner with him and his wife at the end of the year as a thank you for everything he taught us and as we exchanged good-byes, I was able to safely say that he is one of my role models.”

“I found him to be uniquely capable of capturing my attention and helping me learn confidently. For example, he gave great application of subject material to real life situations which made the class very interesting. An important aspect of Professor Chakraborty’s interactions with students is his availability to answer questions and going out of his way and taking the time to help us. Just an overall nice guy that always seems happy.”

DON’T MISS: THE WORLD’S 40 BEST BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSORS UNDER THE AGE OF 40