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Harvard | Mr. French In Japan
GMAT 720, GPA 14,3/20 (French Scale), Top 10%
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Ex-MBB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Mr. Energy Saver
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Harvard | Mr. Healthcare IT
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Chicago Booth | Mr. Sustainable Minimalist
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NYU Stern | Ms. Indian PC
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Mr. Non-Profit Researcher
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Harvard | Mr. Government Entrepreneur
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Kellogg | Mr. Another Strategy Consultant
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Harvard | Mr. Med Device Manufacturing
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Columbia | Mr. Consultant Transitioning To Family Venture
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Berkeley Haas | Ms. Want To Make An Impact
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Columbia | Mr. Pharmacy District Manager
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Ross | Mr. Military To Corporate
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Kellogg | Mr. Tech Consultant
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Aspiring Unicorn Founder
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UCLA Anderson | Mr. Renewable Energy Sales Manager
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Darden | Ms. Structural Design Engineer
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Wharton | Mr. Indian Financial Engineer
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Mobility Nut
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2021 Best 40-Under-40: Brad Greenwood, George Mason University

Brad Greenwood is a 2021 Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professor. Courtesy photo

Brad Greenwood

Associate Professor

George Mason University

Brad Greenwood is an award-winning professor of Information Systems at George Mason University where he teaches Advanced Analytics in the full-time MBA program. A highly productive researcher, Greenwood has more than 1,500 Google Scholar citations. In addition to that impact on academia, we were impressed by the nominations we received on his behalf and his ability to have an impact on current and former students.

His research has been covered widely by basically any and every major — and plenty of regional and local — media outlets.

“I do a lot of macro policy work, which is fun because I like the topics and I can talk about them to my non-academic friends,” Greenwood says. “Things like, when Uber comes to town, how does it affect drinking or drunk driving or employee migration. But I think the most important stuff has been an arc of papers with people like Seth Carnahan, Laura Huang, Kartik Ganju, and others on gender and racial biases. I feel like those are special papers.”

Two of the unique things we appreciate specifically about Greenwood: his grandfather was also a college professor and he’s currently a law student at George Mason. So he should really know how to relate to students … since he also is one.

Current age: 38

At current institution since what year? 2019

Education:

  • Ph.D. – University of Maryland
  • MBA – University of Notre Dame
  • MIT – Virginia Tech
  • BS – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • I am also currently a graduate student at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School

List of MBA courses you currently teach:

  • MBA 739 – Advanced Analytics

TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… My grandfather was on the faculty at Rensselaer, so academia was always in the back of my mind. But during undergrad I had a professor named Mark Nelson. He had this incredible passion for teaching and it seemed like every class there was something new that clicked, like the world made a little more sense. He also hired me as an RA, which got me thinking about research as a career. Things really took off when I started doing research during my MBA with Corey Angst at Notre Dame, though. The first thing we worked on got accepted at POM and I thought, this was a lot of fun. He then introduced me to Ritu Agarwal at Maryland, who was his advisor, and the rest was history. What he didn’t tell me that I’d be cursing his name when I was dying in econometrics not months later, but I can’t thank Corey enough for pushing me down this road.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?

I do a lot of macro policy work, which is fun because I like the topics and I can talk about them to my non-academic friends. Things like, when Uber comes to town, how does it affect drinking or drunk driving or employee migration. But I think the most important stuff has been an arc of papers with people like Seth Carnahan, Laura Huang, Kartik Ganju, and others on gender and racial biases. I feel like those are special papers.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I’d be in a lot of trouble.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?

There are no right answers, but there appears to be an infinite supply of poorly reasoned answers. A lot of students struggle with the totality of the ambiguity but it’s where I feel most at home. I am rarely happier in lecture than when a student asks a seemingly obvious question and we dissect it for five minutes because the answer is, “it depends.”

One word that describes my first time teaching: Dumpster-fire. I thought my Dead Poet’s Society moment was going to come on day one. It did not.

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: The market is efficient in the long term.

Professor I most admire and why: I don’t think it’s possible to just say one. There are too many role models to emulate. Anand Gopal and Ritu Agarwal are the most intellectually curious people I know, and literally saved me. Gord Burtch is the most thoughtful empiricist have ever met. Gedas Adomavicius is the academic I hope I can be when I grow up. Rajshree is an intellectual tour de force. Bill Rand and Dave Anderson are the academics who have truly figured it all out and know what they want to do. Jeff and Hilal… I could list people whom I wish I could emulate for hours…

TEACHING MBA STUDENTS

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

No class is the same, but in most classes, there is a new and novel hypothetical or puzzle to figure out. Seeing what we are talking about snap into place in a student’s mind. And the light turn on as we discuss the problem. Watching things click into place, that’s the best.

What is most challenging?

I love it. Some students loathe it. Undergrad drills students on “who, what, where, when” questions which can be answered objectively. But the world doesn’t work like that. Interesting questions don’t have objectively correct answers. Getting students to let go and accept, or even embrace, the “it depends” universe can be a real challenge.

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Thoughtful

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Solipsistic

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… I don’t think that kind of language is appropriate for this sort of publication.

LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

What are your hobbies?

Law School seems to have sucked up all hobby time, but I bought a bicycle and a Peloton years ago. It’s a great way to mull on research ideas without distraction. To counteract any calorie deficit that might ensue I have also dabbled in amateur bartending.

How will you spend your summer?

So many papers! So little time! But with the pandemic (hopefully) winding down I’m hoping to spend as much time as possible seeing friends and eating inside their houses.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Grand Targhee, Wyoming

Favorite book(s): The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?

  • Predator is the greatest film ever made. Infinite rewatchability.
  • We’re in a golden age of television. Altered Carbon and Umbrella Academy were both fantastic. The Wire is probably my favorite show ever. The more things change; the more things stay the same.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why?

Music that you can play loud in the car with the windows down while shouting the lyrics at the top of your lungs. If you don’t get disapproving looks, you aren’t doing it right. Everything from Bruce Springsteen to the Gaslight Anthem. The pandemic has had me on a heavy Mountain Goats / Menzingers / Laura Jane Grace rotation.

THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Integration with other scholarly disciplines. Not just in the individual colleges but across them. The lack of collaboration between business, law, and public policy leaves so much intellectual money on the table. It offers a real opportunity to push thought forward in a host of ways. I hope we can erode these silos.

In my opinion, companies, and organizations today need to do a better job at… Thinking long term. Everything from diversity and inclusion to investments in core competencies and basic science are investments in the future. Investments in the future are important. Too many organizations forget that.

I’m grateful for… My wife, who tolerates my many idiosyncrasies for reasons passing understanding, and my daughter, who is my favorite person.

Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say:

“I am delighted to nominate Dr. Brad Greenwood as a candidate for P&Q‘s Best 40-Under-40. He is a leader in conducting relevant research and spanning boundaries to have an impact on practice. Greenwood was the first professor to demonstrate the mortality benefits of race and gender concordance for patients; that political ideology can harm the progression of female workers in law firms; and the relationship between ridesharing services and drunk driving. His high-impact research has been featured more than 400 times in the likes of NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Today Show. He has infused his research into practical application for his more than 1,250 students, maintaining consistently high ratings for a decade. He uses innovative techniques to engage students and is known for his ability to incorporate experiential learning throughout the course. Greenwood truly delivers business education for a better world.”

“Professor Greenwood is an engaging, dynamic teacher. His unique style created a fun, no pressure environment while teaching complex subject matter. Mr. Greenwood used prompts for the students to ask questions about subject matter and ensured each student had a chance to speak every class. The teaching style kept students interested and encouraged honest dialogue. Finally, Mr. Greenwood was able to take the complex, often boring subject matter, and explain and teach it in a way that ensured student success.”

“It is my great pleasure to nominate my colleague Brad Greenwood for the “40 under 40” distinction. It is, unfortunately, true that oftentimes in academia being a great scholar and a great teacher are often viewed as two mutually exclusive events. Brad proves that this misconception is utterly wrong. I am sure you can read about his scholarly accomplishments from his CV, or very likely you have read about his high-impact research through the press. However, what you may not know is that Brad is also very accomplished in the classroom. His approach in teaching MBA students embodies Socratic principles. He is a no-nonsense, rigorous, highly respected, and well-liked instructor. He has a unique ability to seemingly fuse humor and discipline. Furthermore, as a colleague and despite his numerous accomplishments he is always down to earth willing to support, encourage, and explore research to new frontiers.”

“Professor Greenwood is an engaging, dynamic teacher. His unique style created a fun, no pressure environment while teaching complex subject matter. Mr. Greenwood used prompts for the students to ask questions about subject matter and ensured each student had a chance to speak every class. The teaching style kept students interested and encouraged honest dialogue. Finally, Mr. Greenwood was able to take the complex, often boring subject matter, and explain and teach it in a way that ensured student success.”

“Greenwood is a highly prolific researcher who in his short career as an academic has published many papers on topics of consequence such as racial bias, societal impact of technology, and healthcare. His research has appeared in many media outlets. He is one of the youngest professors to win best paper awards in multiple conferences and journals. He has had a remarkable impact on undergraduate students in their first course on the impact and use of technology in business and society.”

DON’T MISS: POETS&QUANTS’ WORLD’S BEST 40-UNDER-40 BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSORS OF 2021