Favorite MBA Professors Of The Class of 2020

Northwestern Kellogg’s Kent Grayson

“Coming into Kellogg, I had no experience in marketing. To be frank, it was challenging for me to understand the applicability of it towards my full-time employment goals. Professor Kent Grayson really changed my perspective on the entire field of marketing through the Marketing Management course I took with him.

Professor Grayson went the extra mile, learning each student’s professional background and incorporating it into the classroom discussion, elevating the level of analysis we reached throughout the lecture. He showed us how to take a data-driven approach to marketing by reinforcing the need to truly understand your customer segment, conversion goals, and marketing budget. I don’t think I could have had a better introduction to what marketing truly is at its core without him.”
Niina Al-Hassan, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

“I have had many fantastic professors at Kelley. But one of my favorites is Professor Tom Gregory, who taught Decision Support Modeling on Data Visualization. Tom has a unique approach and sensitivity to teach students how to use data visualization to tell stories. He teaches the importance of colors, forms, lines, images, contexts, movements, data cleaning, among other forms of “soft analysis” to sustain the message you want to share. With Tom, it is not only about the hard skills on data usage and application, but also delivering your communication.”
Daniel Bernardes, Indiana University (Kelley)

Afshin Mehrpouya, my Ethics Professor. He has a wealth of experience professionally ranging from being a medical doctor and accountant, not to mention holding a Ph.D. and personally having lived in the Middle East and Europe. He brought this experience into the classroom and really encouraged us to do the same. He encouraged us to share personal stories and wasn’t afraid to bring up topics that would otherwise be uncomfortable. It not only got me to think about various issues more deeply and from the lens of people with backgrounds different from mine, but also made me more comfortable addressing serious topics with my classmates.”
Omonefe (Nefe) Etomi, HEC Paris

“Professor Laurence Ales from Global Economics was definitively somebody who marked my experience during my MBA and helped me set some goals regarding my future. During the class, he kept everyone engaged. The way he encouraged discussion and answered questions left you eager to keep investigating the topic. This curiosity was my main motivation to wake up Mondays and Wednesdays early in the morning. I learned in that moment that passion is one of the main drivers to success. I don’t know if he is passionate about economics or teaching, I sincerely think both, but it definitively gave a rebirth to my intentions to become a teacher someday. It’s the only time I stood up from my chair for final applause in a classroom.”
Jerry Richter, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

U.C.-Berkeley’s Veselina Dinova

“My favorite MBA professor is Veselina Dinova. I took Veselina’s class on Financial Information Analysis. She genuinely loves teaching. Her enthusiasm, warmth, and humor made what I thought was a daunting topic all the more relatable. Outside the classroom, Veselina was by far the most responsive professor. She went the extra mile to answer questions, give feedback quickly, and meet with us for any extra tutoring we needed.”
Geena Haney, UC Berkeley (Haas)

“We have incredible professors at London Business School but, if I have to choose one, I would go for Simona Botti, our Brand Management professor. She lives for what she teaches. When a professor has such a passion for the content of his or her courses, we see the magic in class and Simona is a great magician. She managed to engage with every single student in the class. She gave us frameworks to think about brand management that I am still using. I recommend her course to every single student that goes to LBS.”
Francisco Milán, London Business School

“My CREATE-X professor Nishant Dass is the type of educator who refuses to stop teaching until he is 100% positive you have mastered the concept. You cannot trick him to move on to another topic. He can see the understanding, or lack thereof, in your eyes. The guy is a finance and start-up guru, and his only mission is to pass his knowledge on to the Scheller MBAs. Being in his CREATE-X course, where I can dedicate the entire semester to developing my business idea, has been the pinnacle of my MBA experience. I now have my own personal business genie who I can forever call upon for mentorship and guidance.”
Diana Nichols, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Professor Charles Hadlock was my favorite MBA instructor. His zeal for the subject of Finance is invigorating. Furthermore, he does a great job at presenting challenging problems at a beginner’s pace. He is always cognizant of the room and creates an environment where students feel comfortable asking for him additional help or to redo a problem. Lastly, he made Finance feel relevant to our lives. He would bring in current business news articles affecting our everyday lives and explain the financial thought process being played out. I learned a lot in his class.”
Jamari Brooks, Michigan State (Broad)

NYU Stern’s Dolly Chugh

Dolly Chugh has been my favorite professor, and I’ve taken both her Leadership in Organizations and Managerial Skills classes. While I thought business school would be all “hard skills” classes, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to hone my interpersonal skills and focus on the kind of leader I hope to be. Her interactive classes are inclusive of many learning styles, and I also loved reading her book, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. Each class session leaves me energized and excited to implement a new workplace management tool.”
Rebecca Dewey, New York University (Stern)

Mike Taylor, my core Marketing professor, is a standout among many wonderful professors at Ivey. He exemplifies what an amazing professor should be. He is passionate about the learning experiences of his students, and his experience and skill in the Ivey case-method were clear from the start. He’s engaging, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. Most of all, he’s truly invested in the success of his students. Mike teaches with exuberance and wanted to share his deep knowledge, bringing a sense of excitement to all the cases he taught. He challenges students to push beyond their limits, to test boundaries, and explore new ideas. This was inspiring and helped us develop critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success throughout the program. 

What really makes Mike my favorite is his ability to keep everything in perspective — Success is not measured by the type of job you land upon graduation, but by the relationships that you form, the support that you give and receive, and the strong friendships that will be a constant support system throughout your life and career. These thoughts guided my experiences through every aspect of my time at Ivey.”
Alexandra Krolak, Western University (Ivey)

“During the MBA I was fortunate to have had two courses with Professor Giovanni Valentini: Competitive Strategy in the first year and Managing Corporate Growth in the second. I really enjoyed his approach to teaching: taking focused learnings from a case, while summarizing and tying each one back to the broader takeaways from the course. I will never forget “Strategy is how you plan to create and capture value” (Phase 2 Gnomes!).

Besides his teaching method, his humor, passion for the subject, and contagious energy kept students engaged in class. If by chance someone drifted off, the occasional cold call kept everyone on their toes. Professor Valentini is incredibly dedicated to his students. While working on our course project, I admired how approachable he was, taking as much time as needed to provide support, ideas, and detailed feedback – all while fostering development and continuous improvement. On a personal level, as a caring teacher and exemplary Italian, Giovanni recommended a fantastic pizza place in Zurich to make sure I was well-fed during my summer internship!”
Connie Melgarejo, IESE Business School

University of Michigan’s Ravi Anupindi

Ravi Anupindi is an incredible professor. Ravi has transformed the sustainable supply chain landscape at Ross and beyond. I have worked with Ravi on several projects and he always brings wonderful and thought-provoking insights to a project. He has a knack for finding blind spots and helping students empathize with different perspectives. He really believes in the triple bottom line and his own empathy and mixed with his creativity, makes him effective at finding sustainable solutions to the complicated moving parts of international supply chains.”
Madeleine Carnemark, University of Michigan (Ross)

Evan Rawley – Rawley’s Industry Analysis class is a classic, case-based strategy course. His consulting background allows him to take the data in a case, make some smart assumptions, and build workable models. He does a fantastic job navigating class discussion and weaving together student questions and comments to build to insightful points.”
Amy Hromatka, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

David Lei, Associate Professor, Strategy Department – David Lei is a very intelligent, scholarly, and global-minded instructor. I took his Global Strategy course earlier this year, and I have never met a person as knowledgeable about international business as Lei. He could spend an hour discussing the history of the Swiss watch industry dating back to the 14th century. I never knew I would be interested in the Swiss watch industry until Lei captivated us with his knowledge about this old, traditional European industry. Lei is also a lively, colorful character. Instead of calling me by my first name, he nicknamed me “McKesson” due to my future employment with the company. Every Monday evening for the next six weeks, Lei would greet me with a huge smile and shout, “McKesson! Great to see you this evening! Looking forward to hearing your great insights!”

Lei’s kindness and excitement for my participation and contributions to the class fostered more stimulating learning. At times I would ask challenging questions regarding U.S. and China trade relations, the U.S. role in geopolitics, Brexit and its aftermath, the future of emerging markets (especially in African countries like Nigeria), and other crucial global business topics. Lei also ignited our thinking about the coronavirus pandemic and how it will affect Chinese relations with the rest of the world. I plan to take additional strategy courses with Lei before I graduate, and I am excited about what he has in store for his students.”
Raynelle Anwukah, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

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