Favorite Professors Of The MBA Class Of 2019

Yale SOM’s David Bach

“My MBA favorite professor was David Bach. I remember the welcome speech he gave during orientation, its message being that “Yale is yours” (spoiler alert for the Class of 2021 and beyond…) and that we had better take advantage of all of Yale’s resources because they only exist for us. I had wanted to take a class with him ever since that day. He has a unique ability to facilitate a multi-sided and multi-layered conversation that makes us question our assumptions, confront our biases, and acknowledge the complexities in the geopolitical landscape. I left his Nonmarket Strategy class each session with a much more nuanced understanding of the challenges companies face and the ways I might respond to the myriad of business challenges I will eventually face.”
Nate Silver, Yale SOM

Professor Scott Abrams has been my favorite MBA professor. He was one of two professors for my first-year global consulting project called PRIME. As a Marshall MBA himself, he uses his knowledge of our culture and values to make classes informative, engaging, and fun. On our trip to Seoul, South Korea, and Beijing, China, he made sure our excited bunch of MBAs interacted with a variety of business leaders to expand our networks and cultural awareness. I enjoyed his teaching style so much that this semester I am taking another class with him, Financial Analysis & Valuation. I do not have a finance background, but as any good consultant will tell you, knowing the impact of any recommendation on growth and shareholder value is paramount. Through his accessible, engaging, and well-structured teaching style, I have been able to overcome my self-perception as “not a finance person.” In each class, we learn anecdotes and examples from 3-5 companies, which makes the class immediately relevant to our professional lives.”
Jasmine Hagans, USC (Marshall)

“My favorite professor is Rangaraj (Ranga) Ramanujam. Ranga’s Managerial and Organizational Effectiveness course provides students with an understanding of what it requires to be effective in an organizational context. The course takes students on a journey learning how to manage themselves, manage people, and manage outside the organization. Managerial capabilities developed in the course include acting with strategic intent, maintaining a realistic awareness of self and situations, exercising power and influence, and building and maintaining networks within an organization. Ranga’s research is grounded in organizational errors, reliability, and operational failures. He utilizes his areas of expertise to chair Owen’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, a role he serves with tremendous thoughtfulness and intention.”
Nile Imani Marshall, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Wharton’s Asuka Nakahara

Asuka Nakahara (Real Estate Development). This class was hands-down the most practical, beneficial, and enjoyable course of my MBA – and classmates not pursuing real estate careers would also agree. Every week, within the span of three hours, Professor Nakahara would first facilitate a case discussion on an actual real estate deal, then bring in a guest speaker who worked on the deal to comment from his or her perspective, and finally would end the course with 10-15 minutes of “life advice” covering topics ranging from making first impressions to choosing a life partner. Not only does Professor Nakahara effectively make use of every single minute of class, he also assigns highly realistic weekly assignments (either a 1-page memo or 6-page deck with a go/no-go analysis on the week’s real estate deal), which effectively prepare for the on-the-job demands of future employers.”
Jibran Khan, Wharton School

“My favorite professor is Prof. Ravi Mantena. I really enjoyed his very methodical approach to teaching the subject (Business Modeling) and the logic was always well-explained. He has helped me think and analyze business problems from various angles in a systematic way. He constantly challenged me to think about ambiguous business problems in unconventional ways and quantifying and modeling them. The lessons I learned in class have been very useful in my professional life.”
Sree Madakkavil, University of Rochester (Simon)

“My favorite MBA course was Food Innovation Studio (FIS) with Professor Will Rosenzweig. He was amazing and taught me the importance of systems thinking when working in the food industry—everything is truly connected. While many of my classes taught me the very important mechanics of business, FIS has helped me think about the impact that a food business has, including the way that the food is grown, transported and processed; the people who support the system; and how food is marketed and sold.”
Victoria Williams-Ononye, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)

Jay Wellman, Finance. Professor Wellman’s core finance class was one of the highlights of my MBA experience. His ability to not only break down complex problems but convey advanced conceptual finance material straightforwardly made him a fantastic professor. His use of supplemental media (videos, lightboard reviews, tutorials) gave students further assistance for difficult coursework. Professor Wellman’s positive, upbeat demeanor, and his passion to make sure students understand the nuances of the topic, whether they were finance or non-finance focused, made his class comprehensively well-liked.”
Neethi Johnson, Ohio State (Fisher)

University of North Carolina’s Brad Staats

“I’ve been fortunate to have many fabulous professors and mentors at UNC Kenan-Flagler, but forced to choose, it would have to be Brad Staats. He is one-of-a-kind and I am fortunate to have taken his Operations, Data Analytics and Decision Making, and Challenges of Healthcare courses. Three main things that make Brad phenomenal are the following: 1) He’s an awesome teacher. He engages students, does a tremendous job explaining concepts and theories, and is even known to jump on desks from time to time. 2) He’s a visionary. Brad has been instrumental in the launch of the Center for the Business of Health at UNC Kenan-Flagler. He is re-imagining what the “destination for the business of health” looks like and helping lead the team that will make this vision a reality. Moreover, he is involving students as key stakeholders in further developing and executing this vision. 3) Brad truly cares about his students. He is one of the busiest people I know, yet Brad is always willing to carve out time to help any student by offering guidance, providing opportunities to be involved in exciting projects, and/or connecting them to individuals in his network. Never did I think I’d receive such support from a professor in business school in both the academic and professional growth realms.”
Taylor Henning, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

“As I had work in consulting and industry for a combined seven years, I have had a fair amount of exposure to the business world. I was still blown away by Professor Tima Bansal’s Sustainability & Strategy course. Coming to business school, I was not expecting that Ivey would invest so much to instill in us a great sense of sustainability and ethical business practice. Professor Tima was so adept at blending her teaching into our ‘normal’ courses and cases, showing us a different light and perspective to think about business decisions. Coming out of her case discussions, I believe sustainability and ethics are more than just raising our hands and saying we would do something ethically. Instead, I feel that my moral compass was enforced to stay for good.”
William Nguyen, Western Ontario (Ivey)

“My favorite professor at Scheller is Atalay Atasu. He teaches Supply Chain Modeling and has a unique ability to take such a quantitative, complicated subject and distill it into a small number of core principles that can be applied to any supply chain problem you are trying to solve. His research into sustainable operations management, circular economy, and extended producer responsibility are also fascinating and align very closely with my own personal interests and passion for sustainability!”
Steven Murchison, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

University of Miami’s Tallys Yunes

“My favorite MBA Professor is Dr. Tallys Yunes. He’s a family man from Brazil. He enjoys playing with his little girl, traveling, and he loves being a professor. Dr. Yunes is my favorite because he makes Management Science exciting and fun to learn. His class is difficult and challenging, yet he’s willing to go over it until the class understands it. I enjoy that he embraces the challenge of teaching and he challenges MBA students to raise their level of thinking. But he also takes the time to get to know the students and designs projects and blogs about ways to improve things in Miami and on campus using his lessons. From the first day, it was obvious that he goes the extra mile for us and he continues that enthusiasm far beyond his class and duties.

This year alone, he has also set aside time every week to have lunch with the students and talk about life, academic concerns, and our passions. Dr. Yunes took on an extra role as a student-faculty liaison because he truly cares about our school and the success of the students. That’s what makes him my favorite. Being a leader in the MBA community I have also got to know Dr. Yunes on a deeper level. He is a very charismatic, generous, intelligent, and he enjoys a good soccer match. Most of all, Dr. Tallys Yunes is kind-hearted. After visiting with students, his first question is often, “How can I help?”. I believe that graciousness is the true mark of being a great person as well as a great professor.”
Geoffrey Rowan, University of Miami

Who was your favorite professor in business school? Tell us about him or her in the comments below.

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