Favorite MBA Professors Of The Class of 2020

MIT Sloan’s Gita Rao

“My favorite professor is Gita Rao. She is a trailblazer in finance. She started her own financial consultancy firm and now mentors dozens of students at Sloan who are interested in social impact investing. As someone who is passionate about social impact, I turned to her last year for professional advice. She was encouraging and connected me to many professionals in the field. Through her Finance Research Practicum, I had the opportunity to evaluate the social impact of a Boston-based private equity firm’s investments. The academic experience opened many doors for me in the social impact space. I am grateful for her mentorship.”
Celi Khanyile-Lynch, MIT (Sloan)

“My favorite MBA professor is Keith Chen, who teaches Anderson’s Technology Analytics class. The class, in-and-of-itself, is centered around two topics: diving deep into game theory as it applies to tech strategy and learning how to iteratively run data-science experiments within organizations to optimize end outcomes.

Not only was the subject matter of the class extremely interesting and thought-provoking, but Professor Chen’s command of the space, his eloquence, and his sheer brilliance made every minute of every class enjoyable and rewarding. Every class began with a 30-minute review of current news in technology. Regardless of the topic being discussed, he was able to distill and analyze the core strategy behind the move down to the nth degree. It was like watching someone play 4D chess while we’re struggling with checkers. I left every class so inspired by him, his knowledge-base, and his thirst to learn more.”
Ajey Kaushal, UCLA (Anderson)

“While I enjoyed all of my marketing and healthcare classes, I enjoyed Dr. Emile Pilafidis’ Consulting Projects class so much I took it twice. The class and professor provided two learning opportunities to support the strategic decision-makers of Experian PLC and Edwards Lifesciences, where we learned how to manage a client relationship and explored creative ways to gather actionable competitive intelligence. Dr. Emile is a fantastic speaker, does a great job teaching how to be client-centric, and offers after-hours help to ensure we’re successful with these difficult assignments.”
Will Phelps, UC Irvine (Merage)

Craig Snow, a senior lecturer, teaches Management Writing and Writing Style. Throughout school and work, I didn’t feel confident about my writing. After taking Management Writing and Writing Style with Professor Snow, however, I became more at ease with writing. I learned how to deliver a compelling message. Professor Snow was able to accomplish this transformation through his dedication, creative teaching methods, and high standards and expectations. Professor Snow holds the most office hours and tutorials of any professor I know, dedicating his time to help students on an individual basis. Professor Snow’s guidelines on grammar and punctuation made grammar easy; his course not only teaches students how to write but also how to think critically.
Kevin Shen, Cornell University (Johnson)

University of North Carolina’s Camelia Kuhnen

Camelia Kuhnen was one of my favorites among many favorite professors at Kenan-Flagler. I want to highlight Cami here because she teaches the Introductory Financial Theory course to all first-year students. Having no finance background, yet wanting to pursue banking, I am lucky to have had a professor who laid the foundation of my financial education so solidly. To be honest, I was intimidated by Cami when I was in her class. She clearly has a brilliant mind and she pushed us to understand the material at her level. I greatly appreciate educators like her because it shows the professor believes their students have the capability to master the material despite its difficulty. I was lucky enough to work as Cami’s TA this year, and it was then I came to understand her intensity as an educator. She cares so incredibly much about providing the best education to her students. She held herself to as high of standards as she held us, and thus, everyone was given the best possible chance to succeed.”
Melissa Sieffert, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

“Since I have self-denial tendencies, I would say that Jordi Quoidbach, who taught Negotiation, changed my views for the better. He effectively translated research and theories into easy-to-follow guidelines that were very useful. Our first-class exercise on getting ten no’s (i.e., rejections) made me realize: first, I would never really know the answer until I asked; second, asking does not equate to selfishness but NOT asking could lead to sub-optimal outcomes since other people may not attach the same value to the things that I consider valuable; and finally, the more rejections I get, the better I will become at handling them (which is important for budding entrepreneurs like me). To think, that was only the first class. He designed our sessions to be really exciting and loaded with enlightening insights.”
Michelle Rojo, ESADE

“Outside of being a huge advocate and champion of advancing women in business, Professor Joe Holt is a renowned ethics expert and has written articles for several national publications. He also genuinely cares about his students, their futures, and the future of the Notre Dame program. All of that gravitas owes to the fact he’s functioned as a whole team of professionals throughout his career: Jesuit priest, Harvard law graduate, Notre Dame professor…the list continues.”
Emily Clark, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

“My favorite professor at Booth is Joao Granja, who taught me Financial Accounting. Before Booth, I hated accounting and was almost scared of having a mandatory course on it. But Professor Granja’s sincerity and amazing teaching style made me fall in love with accounting. I looked forward to his class every week and even started appreciating the nuances of the subject. He is my favorite professor because he turned something I dreaded into an interesting intellectual pursuit, and in the process taught me that I can learn any subject if I approach it with the right mindset.”
Richa Goyat, University of Chicago (Booth)

INSEAD’s Stefan Thau

“Thus far, I am most enjoying Organizational Behavior taught by Professor Stefan Thau. He has structured the course so that each class usually includes a group activity that puts us in a situation where we experience various organizational behavior concepts such as team conflicts and negotiation. This method of experiential learning has been effective as we are developing leadership skills and practicing how to solve “people problems” we will encounter at work. After each class, the professor sends us a summary email that captures the main takeaways from the recent class and shares additional resources that help us to deepen our understanding of the topics covered.”
Jiwon Kang, INSEAD

“This is like asking to decide who your favorite parent is! I was deeply impressed by the caliber of the faculty. They are top-notch, able to teach at any business school.

I think one of the strategic advantages of the Mays MBA program is Dr. Janet Marcantonio. She is the Professor of Leadership. She doesn’t teach from the front, except on occasion, but instead provides personal attention to each student throughout the program. In addition to the constant digital connection, she meets with every student in pairs, twice throughout the program, and walks them through the three different personality assessments each student takes to flag key leadership strengths and challenges, as well as professional pursuits that will be most satisfying. She then is a voice throughout the program who identifies the root cause of group conflict by showing people the tension points of their personalities, and helpful remedies.

In short, she is a Ph.D. professor, with an MBA herself, who acts as a personal guide to each student to help them understand who they are, provide the vocabulary needed to be able to express who they are to others and to cultivate the self-awareness needed to be an effective leader. Like a potter at the wheel, she helps guide the tremendous amount of learning that occurs throughout the program to ensure that students are formed into better versions of themselves.”
Travis Black, Texas A&M (Mays)

“My favorite MBA professor is Professor Philip Braun, who teaches a capital markets class, along with the Asset Management Practicum. Having little finance experience, Professor Braun started from the basics and built the class from there, making sure no student was left behind.

In general, Kellogg classes have the “no question is too small” mantra and Professor Braun embodied that approach. Additionally, he made class practical and engaging, allowing us to analyze our own portfolios to better approach our personal finances. Even skilled personal investing students walked away with key theoretical and practical lessons. He excelled at teaching to every level despite the heterogeneous class background.”
Amar Dixit, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

University of Miami’s Fabrizio Ferri

Fabrizio Ferri. Financial Reporting and Analysis was my first class on my first day of business school. For me, the first day was full of nervousness and anxiety. Returning to school after years in the workplace represented such a major commitment and change that it was easy to wonder if I had made the right decision. Professor Ferri presented his course material with such enthusiasm and credibility that I immediately felt at ease, and confident that I had made the correct decision to pursue an MBA. Each class was thoroughly stimulating, and I found myself consistently motivated to prepare for and participate in each class. Professor Ferri orchestrates his classes in a manner that encourages the consideration of all opinions, while seamlessly integrating the more technical, mechanical elements of the coursework into the discussion. Having such a strong professor so early in the MBA program truly motivated me to excel throughout the rest of the degree.

Outside of the classroom, Professor Ferri is extremely approachable, helpful, and friendly. He’s a truly nice guy, and I feel very lucky to have had him as a professor.”
Kevin Crosby, University Of Miami (Herbert)

Keith Hennessey. I took two of Keith’s classes last year – Open Road and Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism – and both made a major impact on me. Open Road catalyzed my interest in driverless cars and motivated me to spend my summer at Aurora, a driverless car startup. Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism gave me space to reflect on topics much bigger than any individual career – namely the critical importance and evolving nature of our foundational institutions and principles. Most importantly, Keith is an expert in his field and cares deeply for his students. Few can match his enthusiasm, commitment, and true “love of the game”
Tim Brown, Stanford GSB

Sarah Kaplan and her course on strategic change have been one of my favorite experiences at Rotman. Professor Kaplan has the ability to captivate us all in her lectures while also teaching highly useful frameworks. In particular, she teaches a framework that can be a diagnostic tool in identifying the tradeoffs between various strategic decisions. It is always easy to use hindsight to identify what the correct action was a leader should have taken, but making those decisions in real-time is much more complicated. Using the tools Professor Kaplan taught us in her class, I feel so much more prepared to lead with confidence and understand the tradeoffs I am choosing between every step of the way.”
Jessica Shannon, University of Toronto (Rotman)

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