Favorite MBA Professors Of The Class of 2020

University of Texas’ Kristie Loescher

Kristie Loescher, MPH, DBA, SHRM-SCP, is my favorite professor. Her background is impressive and not just because of all the letters behind her name. I took her Healthcare Business Ecosystem class last spring and, for each class, she brought in real-world examples and guest speakers from her professional contacts developed as a Director of Operations at a large medical center. More than that, she was a fierce advocate and connector, introducing me to faculty across campus to support our Health Innovation Fellows’ efforts and even served as a judge for our case competition. She represents what makes McCombs faculty so great – their accessibility and dedication to students.”
Taylor Dilbeck, University of Texas (McCombs)

“My favorite professor so far has been Peter Conti-Brown, who taught my Business Ethics class. He did a great job facilitating a discussion across several important ethical issues that we may face in our careers. He also helped us further develop our ability to properly analyze and make decisions when faced with ethical challenges. Outside of the weekly class lectures, he made himself available to students for topics both related and unrelated to the class. Finally, he really invested in building relationships with each student, learning the name and background of each of his students. All that diligent effort led to a very engaging, productive learning environment.”
Eric Hilton, Wharton School

This is an impossible question to answer. Darden has the top Educational Experience ranking for a reason – our professors are world-class educators and (more importantly) world-class people. Someone whom I think embodies the essence of this day-in and day-out is First Year Core Marketing professor Kim Whitler. Kim brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom that can only be described as “electric” when we deep-dive as a class into conversations about empathy, the consumer mindset, and the dynamism of marketing in business. What has had the most impact on me is Kim’s unwavering passion and dedication to her students both inside and outside the classroom – she has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, challenged the way I think about the world, and she supported me through the peaks and valleys of life and the MBA experience. I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from and have been led by you, Kim Whitler – thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Chloe Stegeman, University of Virginia (Darden)

“My favorite Ross professor is Itay Kama. Itay pulled off the miracle of the century: two times per week, he captivated 80 students at 8 am for two uninterrupted hours on the topic of…accounting. Itay is equally charismatic as he is focused; he makes course content entertaining as well as educational. One day, Itay, in an effort to ensure every student understood debits and credits, drew a T account on the back of his finely-ironed white-collared shirt so that every time he turned his back to us and faced the whiteboard, the entire class was reminded that debits belonged on the left and credits on the right. It was brilliant. One student even got a temporary tattoo of a T account in his honor. This is the type of passion present at Ross—among professors and students alike—and Itay represents the best of this quality.”
Christopher Lee Owen, University of Michigan (Ross)

Matt Billett, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

Matt Billett. Prior to starting at Kelley, I had no plans of pursuing a major in finance, but Professor Billet changed that. In his CORE finance class, he presented the role finance plays in society and demystified the discipline beyond anything I had ever encountered. He showed great enthusiasm and made the class very engaging. In addition to the hundreds of problems sets he provided to help the class master the concepts, he was also very approachable and supportive. I proceeded to take more finance classes beyond this one and post-MBA I am going into a finance role in the management rotation program at the IU Health, a journey that started with that first finance class with Matt Billet. In my opinion, that is the most essential role of an educator, showing students their potential, and inspiring them to take on new challenges.”
Kofi Barko, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“My favorite professor at Krannert was Dr. Benjamin Dunford. His Change Management course was one of the most insightful and immediately applicable courses I have ever taken, and his relaxed but thoughtful demeanor was something so unique to him. Outside of the classroom, he also coached me on managing change within several student organizations in Krannert to help build consistency from year-to-year. On a broader scale, he genuinely listens to student feedback making updates to his courses at the end of every module to continuously improve himself and demonstrate change management in action. Additionally, with academic affiliations to the Department of Psychological Sciences and Center for Healthcare Engineering, he brings unique ideas and examples to all the courses he teaches. This is evident in his receiving rave reviews from many of my classmates and being recognized with our school’s distinguished teaching award several times.”
Randall Niffenegger, Purdue University (Krannert)

“Professor Doug Schuler taught me Business-Government Relations and International Trade and Business Strategy. Not only is he the most dynamic professor we have at the business school (he has been known for getting up on tables, jumping around, and even doing manicures in class to make a point about regulating services), but he teaches us that business should not and cannot work isolated from politics and the external world. Having a Master of Public Policy from Harvard, Professor Schuler has created a bridge between the business and public policy worlds and has reinforced my passion for International Mergers and Acquisitions. Furthermore, he continues to teach us that all of our business actions have consequences, and as business leaders, we must have a conscious of the positive and negative effects of our strategies.”
Norma Torres Mendoza, Rice University (Jones)

Don Hambrick, who taught us strategy and implementation, was one of my favorite professors. Having worked for two giant organizations (Army and Bayer) I had always wondered why the rate of success for organizational changes was so small. Professor Hambrick’s course changed how I viewed leading organizational change and I learned the intricacies of strategy and implementation with the set of tools that he gave us. Working through cases of leading change and utilizing the tools to create transformation was exciting yet challenging at the same time. However, it finally helped me answer all the questions I had about change and leading change under my purview. His course provided answers to the questions on- why organizations do what they do.”
Farheen Ahmed, Penn State (Smeal)

Yale SOM’s Mushfiq Mobarak

“On the day of my interview with the Yale School of Management, Professor Mushfiq Mobarak took the time, with little notice, to speak to me about my passion for development economics and how I could use a business school degree to pursue this passion. Professor Mobarak is a luminary in the field, and the fact that he would take time on a Friday night to speak to a potential student spoke measures to me as I was considering my future. Over the course of my time at Yale School of Management, I have had the opportunity to work with Professor Mobarak on a randomized controlled trial he is leading in Sierra Leone, including visiting the country multiple times. His insights, trust, and guidance have significantly helped me pivot my experience from consulting towards my passion of poverty alleviation using data and evidence.”
Tony Senanayake, Yale SOM

Rocio Bonet, who teaches Leading People and Teams, is an excellent professor with incredible knowledge and experience in the field. Coming from an analytical background, I had low expectations as to what I could learn from the class. However, Professor Bonet proved otherwise. She does an excellent job showing how every decision that an organization or team makes regarding its people can have a large impact on the company’s performance. There are a lot of factors that translate into a particular company’s culture: its relationship with employees, its ability to attract and retain people, and its overall efficiency. She has taught us the importance of taking those factors into consideration when making decisions and the tools that we can use to shape them. I am impressed by the enormous effort Professor Bonet puts into class preparation and then the energy she displays during it. It makes all the difference to me and my fellow classmates.”
Mark Vaisberg Hirschhaut, IE Business School

“Negotiation Theory and Practice with Professor Erica Dawson was an exceptional class. Shortly after college, I naively told a car salesman that his asking price was a “great deal” and wrote a check two minutes later. He was dumbfounded! With age and experience, I became increasingly savvy. But I needed this class. Erica, as she is known by her students, is brilliant, entertaining, and professional. She teaches the art, science, and psychology of negotiation, instilling in us the understanding that there is no harm in asking for something if you have a reason. She empowered us to engage in professional, mutually beneficial negotiations. Already, I have put theory into practice using skills she taught and will take them with me into conference calls, meetings, boardrooms, and car dealerships in the future.”
Wallace Gundy, University of Rochester (Simon)

“My favorite professor is Molly Turner. She’s truly gifted at facilitating meaningful discussions in her class, Tech and the City. She encourages students to debate and explore the grey areas of current emerging tech innovation and pushes us to think of technology solutions not as operating in a silo, but as part of a larger system. She challenges students to put a critical lens on startups and big tech innovations and reveal their broader market and social implications. She’s developing a wave of more civic-minded entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial civil servants, and critical consumers.”
Danielle Mayorga, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)

Boston College’s Nailya Ordabayeva

“One professor who stuck out to me was Professor Nailya Ordabayeva, my Customer Research and Marketing professor. Originally from Kazakhstan, Professor Ordabayeva got her BS from Turkey and Ph.D. from INSEAD, but her passion for teaching and for her students far exceeds her impeccable academic record. She is always immediately ready to help us with any questions, in and out of the classroom. She provided me with great insight on conducting the right research on how to capture and retain new patients for our dental practice and what customers are looking for in our field.

Additionally, I’ve never had such an animated professor, walking around every inch of the room, waving her hands and body in excitement, and neither have I had a professor as caring. Because our class was at night, she was worried many of us were hungry and made sure to bring in delicious snacks every day. Once, when she heard that many students were sick, she brought in a variety of herbal teas for everyone!”
Anam Kaleem, Boston College (Carroll)

“I’ve been fortunate to have many outstanding professors at Mendoza, but the one who stands out is Seth Berry, who teaches Advanced Statistical Inference and Unstructured Data Analytics. As the course titles suggest, the topics covered in Seth’s classes can be highly complex and challenging, but Seth combines an obvious passion for teaching with a unique collection of data sets (world powerlifting records, country music lyrics, WWE earnings calls, et al.) to meet students where they are in their learning. Further, his dedication to students extends beyond the classroom. He has developed lesson plans for our Business Analytics Club and has helped me with personal research projects on several occasions. Seth is among the many professors who have made my experience at Mendoza incredibly fulfilling.”
Peter Zanca, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

“Rice has so many amazing professors who each are unique and individually should draw students to the institution. However, if I were forced to pick one I would say Brian Akins. He is completely not what you would expect. My first impression was that he was another Plain Jane professor. OH BUDDY, I WAS WRONG! I knew he was different when I saw him in Jesus sandals listening to heavy metal after deadlifting 500lbs. On a more serious note, I came from an engineering background, so I was obviously nervous about accounting. His teaching style brought humor and humility, but most importantly he made a concerted effort to build his students up. If you ever had any questions, he would literally stop everything to ensure you learned the concept. I do mean stop everything. A teaching session could manifest itself in the middle of a hallway on his way home.”
Dominic Smith, Rice University (Jones)




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