McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Foster School of Business | Mr. Automotive Research Engineer
GRE 328, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tech Startup Guy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Nigerian Investment Banker
GMAT 720, GPA 3.57
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. French In Japan
GMAT 720, GPA 14,3/20 (French Scale), (=Roughly 3.7/4.0)
Tuck | Mr. Army Consultant
GMAT 460, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. Investment Banker Turned Startup Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96
Wharton | Mr. Chemical Engineering Dad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.50
Wharton | Mr. Ignacio
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Psychology & Marketing
GMAT 700, GPA 68%
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Mechanical Engineer & Blood Bank NGO
GMAT 480, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Mr. Investor & Operator (2+2)
GMAT 720, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. AC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.5
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Athlete-Engineer To Sales
GMAT 720, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. Competition Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Pipeline Engineer To Consulting
GMAT 750, GPA 3.76
Tuck | Mr. Aspiring Management Consultant
GRE 331, GPA 3.36
Stanford GSB | Mr. Certain Engineering Financial Analyst
GMAT 700, GPA 2.52
Columbia | Mr. Electrical Engineering
GRE 326, GPA 7.7
Tepper | Ms. Coding Tech Leader
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12

Poets&Quants’ Best 40-Under-40 Business School Professors Of 2021

Stella Pachidi of the Cambridge Judge Business School is a 2021 Best 40 Under 40 Professor. Courtesy photo


As can be imagined on a list this global, the professors have very different upbringings and backgrounds. Columbia’s Matz, for example, grew up in Germany and had not lived in the U.S. until taking her job in New York. While it took Matz a little longer to realize academia was her path, Cambridge Judge Business School’s Stella Pachidi knew she wanted to become a professor from a young age.

“I was still a kid,” Pachidi says of when she first wanted to become a professor. “I loved reading stories about academic life and dreamed of becoming an academic myself one day.” As an undergrad, Pachidi says she was inspired most by the professors that went beyond the classroom and had an impact on the personal development of students.

The same goes for Naim Bugra Ozel, who is an associate professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas and is now serving as a visiting professor at The Wharton School. “I grew up in a family of accountants and bankers, and I have always been intrigued by little details that make big differences. So it seems only natural that I gravitated towards being a business school professor,” Ozel says, noting his father started calling him “the professor” in the fifth grade.


Others come from generations of college professors. Brad Greenwood of George Mason University watched his grandfather as a professor from a young age. Likewise, Jasmine Hu, who is an associate professor of management at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business is a third-generation college professor. Even still, when she was younger, she didn’t plan on becoming a professor and went into management consulting after college. But she couldn’t escape the familial pull for too long.

“When I participated in consulting projects, I was always intrigued by the theory behind the practices and the generalizability of companies’ experiences,” Hu says. “When I started my master’s program and got involved in research projects, I found myself fascinated by doing research and disseminating knowledge. Then, I applied to doctoral programs in organizational behavior, received my Ph.D., and started my career as a business school faculty member at the University of Notre Dame in 2012.”

Chia-Jung Tsay of University College London is a 2021 Best 40 Under 40 Professor. Courtesy photo


Many of these exceptionally talented professors excel in areas outside academia. Chia-Jung Tsay, who is an associate professor at the University London College School of Management, is a trained performance pianist. Tsay decided to become a business school professor “after a detour into medicine,” she says. “During my years in medical school, I often skipped class to spend more hours practicing piano.” Tsay found Shoshana Dobrow, who was a professional bassoonist and a business school professor. “Her example and guidance allowed me to understand more concretely what a dual career in academia and music could entail. I love and cite her work to this day,” Tsay says.

Tsay now focuses some of her research on judgments of performance. “I have found that professional musicians are able to reliably select the actual winners of live classical music competitions based on silent video recordings, but they are not able to identify the winners based on sound recordings or recordings with both video and sound,” she says. “This points to powerful vision-biased preferences on selection processes, even at the highest levels of performance. My co-authors and I have elaborated on the meaning of this effect across domains – including for judgments of entrepreneurial pitch competitions and group performance, and in service operations in the food industry.”

David Rand of MIT’s Sloan School of Management is a “punk rocker” turned Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professor. Courtesy photo

David Rand, the Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, is a self-described punk rocker. “I took a very circuitous route to get here, and never imagined that I would wind up as a business school professor,” Rand says. “I started as a punk rocker, then became a computational biologist, then a behavioral economist, and then a cognitive psychologist.”

Rand’s musical evolution is fascinating — and well-documented on his music page. It ranges from his punk/hardcore band in the early 2000s, which Rand describes as “Loud noise that I used to make with my best friends” to ukelele covers of the punk band Rancid while on paternity leave with his twins.

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