Favorite Professors Of Best & Brightest MBAs

Harry L. Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management at Booth

“Professor Harry Davis has been on Booth faculty since 1963. He has seen the university evolve, and has influenced generations of MBA students. His coursework focuses elements of psychology, sociology and business to move students through strong introspection and self-discovery. Exposure to Professor Davis’ material through orientation, leadership development, and second-year coursework provided an important compliment to my other tool-based quantitative classes. It’s easy to become entirely future-focused during the MBA.  He never let us forget how important it is to be present in the experience, focusing on personal growth and leadership development.”

Jonathan Osser, University of Chicago (Booth)

“My favorite MBA Professor is Dr. Sung Won Kim. The one thing I enjoy about the Illinois MBA program is the down-to-earth environment. Dr. Kim embodies that environment every day. While traveling to Hong Kong for a global consulting project, I found myself talking to Dr. Kim a lot about where he has traveled (which I’m sure is somewhere between 40 and 60 countries) and how these experiences have shaped him into the man he is today. Having seven other siblings and parents who never attended college, there weren’t many opportunities for me to travel internationally. Through our discussion, he painted a vivid picture of his experiences and the importance it plays in personal development. He encouraged me to go out and see the world, understand different cultures, and immerse myself in new environments. This continuous discussion helped as I strolled through Hong Kong. To this day, because of Dr. Kim, I already have set plans to go to Greece, the United Kingdom and Italy. Thanks Professor Kim!”

Brandon Byers, University of Illinois (Gies)

John Graham, who teaches Corporate Finance, engages with students both within and outside of the classroom. He creates a comfortable environment for students to ask questions as they work through difficult concepts. John works to connect classroom concepts with real-world situations, brings in industry speakers to share their experiences, and connects students with professionals who can act as mentors. He encouraged me to consider roles in finance, which wasn’t my intended path, after I took his class in my first year. He motivated my decision to continue taking courses in finance and accounting. Now, I’m graduating with a Corporate Finance concentration and am taking a role in corporate development.”

Paige Swofford, Duke University (Fuqua)

Purdue University’s Karthik Kannan

“My favorite MBA professor is Professor Karthik Kannan. His courses have forced me to think outside the single answer mindset that my engineering background has boxed me into, and beyond the standard frameworks we learn in our business classes. He constantly challenges his students to understand what’s at the core of every problem we’re trying to solve. This has allowed me to blend the critical thinking skills of an engineer while expanding my mind to understand business problems on a deeper level.”

Sheldon Anderson, Purdue University (Krannert)

Neta Moye. She is goals! Professor Moye teaches the core Leadership and Teamwork class for 1st year Smith MBAs. Neta truly wants every student to learn and teaches this course with passion. During my first year of business school, I participated in the Leading Fearlessly Program, which included day-long activities and challenged students to practice being leaders in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. She challenged me to learn more about myself and my leadership style and taught me how to adapt my leadership for different situations. I used to struggle with ambiguity, but because of Neta, I’ve grown to be a more adaptable leader. Beyond her teaching, she is also a great mentor. Neta is always willing to have conversations with students about their specific career goals and how to use their soft skills to influence change. Either through lending a leadership book from time to time – or providing a listening ear — she provides insight that gives Smith MBAs a sense of direction and support. Being able to learn from and talk to inspiring women like Professor Neta Moye is why I chose to come to Smith.”

Erin Moore, University of Maryland (Smith)

“Dr. Kenneth Lehn. His ability to breakdown complex concepts into simple terms is second nature to him. He is dedicated to his students and exhibits that by carving out time to meet with students individually. He also displays patience as he answers every question that is asked, not to matter how complex or simplistic the question may seem.”

Christopher Staten, University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

“It would have to be a tie between Bill Hall and Jeff Sinclair since they co-teach my favorite class, Turnaround Management, as well as oversee the case I am writing on the turnaround of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Bill and Jeff both bring decades of management experience to the classroom: Bill as the senior executive of five companies in his career as well as 15 board appointments and Jeff as a 30-year veteran of McKinsey and one of the senior partners involved in starting the operations practice there. Hearing their own war stories in tandem with the cases we study brings a new level of depth to our classroom conversations. They push us on our assumptions and remind us that every action has a reaction: How will your decision impact performance? What will the board think? What will your employees think? Going to their office hours to talk broadly about business strategy has been one of my favorite memories of business school and I plan to continue leveraging their expertise throughout my career.”

Kristen Steagall, University of Michigan (Ross)

University of Virginia’s Mary Margaret Frank

Mary Margaret Frank is somewhat of a legend at Darden for the enthusiasm that she brings to the classroom. She is an accounting professor, so I entered her class a bit intimidated and apathetic. Yet, her energy is infectious and she helped me understand how accounting fundamentals affect behavior. I’ve signed up for every course she teaches, from Impact Investing to Taxation (I never would have guessed that I’d willingly take a tax course). Outside of the classroom, she is just as dedicated to helping each student have the best Darden experience that they can. She will bend over backwards to help you succeed, but holds you to a high standard in return.”

Devin Underhill, University of Virginia (Darden)

Mark Bergen. He is the incomparably enthusiastic professor of Carlson’s pricing strategy course—one of the only full-semester pricing classes offered in MBA programs across the US. I attended his class as a prospective student. In that hour, I knew I’d go to Carlson. Professor Bergen’s matchup of pricing passion, exhaustive frameworks, and depth of expertise made each class feel like an edge-of-your-seat performance. Our semester culminated in a standing ovation for him and all he had done to prepare our class as Minnesota pricers.”

Ashley Ver Burg Soukup, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

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