Favorite MBA Professors Of The Class Of 2021

Mohamed El-Erian, Wharton School

Dr. Mohamed El-Erian teaches a module on international relations and global crises in the 21st century. He was behind the scenes with world leaders as they debated the best course of action during the ’08 global financial crisis, European debt crisis, and Brexit. Getting his take on the events provided me with a different perspective on “sudden stops” and black swan events. Apart from being a captivating lecturer, he does an amazing job trying to remember every student by name. For someone of his caliber, it really shows the care he puts into his teaching. It’s the combination of his brilliance and passion for teaching that makes him stand out from my other professors.
Teddy Shih, Wharton School

“My favorite professor was Michael Wall, our professor of practice in marketing and entrepreneurship and the director of our marketing platform. I jumped at every opportunity to take his classes and appreciated how he pushed my thinking as a marketer, particularly as it relates to product design and innovation and digital marketing. Michael is not only an outstanding professor but also a great mentor. I will never forget reaching out to Michael the day my original internship offer was rescinded due to the pandemic. Michael stopped at nothing to help me pivot and strategize next steps. Without Michael’s guidance and support, I wouldn’t have been able to successfully land a new internship so quickly. It’s a great privilege to know that I will always have Michael in my corner as a trusted advisor as my career advances.”
Kendra Kelly, Washington University (Olin).

Laura Maguire, IE Business School

“My favorite MBA professor is Laura Maguire, our professor of Leading People and Change. What I love about Laura is that she does not just teach you about the course material, she teaches you about life lessons. As an experienced manager and a pacesetting leader, I thought that I had already mastered leading people and change. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Laura’s teaching style is beyond case study readings – she asks engaging questions that really put you into the shoes of leaders when they solve complex people challenges. My favorite class was when we discussed the Wolfgang Keller case. Keller is a charismatic senior leader of an organization and he has had concerns about the impersonal management style of his VP (Brodsky). Laura asked for volunteers to improvise as Keller and Brodsky for a scene when Keller was giving Brodsky his second-year performance review. I volunteered as Brodsky who is the total opposite of me in life, both in personality and leadership styles. It was such a humbling experience. Not only was I able to better my communications techniques, but I also became more aware of cultural differences in communications.

Through Laura’s leading people and change course, I reached the understanding that sometimes it’s harder to be kind than smart – but that it’s worth it.”
Ocean Eric Niu, IE Business School

“Although I was initially afraid of him, Professor John Doggett was my favorite MBA professor (and only one of two professors that I took multiple classes with) because he knows everything about everything, holds students accountable, and challenges us to be well-rounded leaders.

Doggett’s classes are case format with a group project where we support a company of our choosing with a problem relevant to the course subject. He refreshes the courses he teaches every semester with new relevant cases and does not shy away from hot controversial topics.

He also has a knack for cold calling students who haven’t prepared the case for the day, therefore forcing us to keep up with the work and prioritize his class, resulting in more vibrant class discussions. While cold calling intimidates some, it simulates the real world and I feel more prepared to sit in an executive meeting. I will always be prepared with an opinion and appropriate back-up to defend it but bring an open mind to hear other perspectives.

Doggett challenges us because he genuinely cares and loves what he does. A decorated lawyer turned entrepreneur, he makes his students feel empowered, intelligent, and ready to conquer the world’s biggest problems.”
Chelsea Martell Evans, University of Texas (McCombs)

Darden Professor Lalin Anik

A superstar in the classroom, Darden Professor Lalin Anik poses for a photo with MBA students in her core marketing class

Lalin Anik was awarded 2020 Professor of the Year for a reason. And while she truly is a force in the classroom, she is just as impressive outside of it. From accompanying me to intramural basketball during the first week of class to delivering a sincere and public apology after mistakenly accusing a classmate of not doing his homework, Lalin is insanely dedicated to her students’ well-being and serves as a strong role model, especially for women in business. Her balance of vulnerability and warmth with rigor and fierceness is a truly unique one. She is a teacher in all senses of the word, and I’m grateful to be one of her students.”
Amanda Wiggans, University of Virginia (Darden)

Susan Carter teaches the elective class on Private Capital & Impact Investing, and she is a fantastic example of an industry expert who is giving back to students through her experiences and knowledge. Her dedication to learning from the students is admirable, and she is always adapting her class to what students are interested in. I took her class right after the pandemic forced all of our classes online, and she was by far the best at adapting to a new style of teaching, adding innovative and interactive elements that made a three-hour Zoom session fly by. She broadened my eyes to the world of investing beyond venture capital, and I am hopeful she will continue to be a mentor in years to come.”
Jenn Burka, Yale School of Management

“My favorite MBA professor was Don Hambrick, whom I had for the Strategy & Implementation course. Being both an academic and a consultant, Hambrick would speak about his experiences with Fortune 500 companies and the personal relationships he had with CEOs. He provided us throughout the class with nuanced industry insight that he garnered first-hand. The course was also not a typical strategy course. instead of focusing on strategy development, it was focused entirely on strategy implementation. Hambrick would provide us with the frameworks he used with his clients and have us develop the ideal implementation plan given a pre-identified strategy. As a result of this exercise, I learned so much about the nuances of executing a strategy. We worked on many cases from which he consulted on, and it was amazing to understand how our ideas stacked up to real-life decisions.”  Andrew J. Marshall, Penn State University (Smeal)

“My favorite professor is my accounting professor Brian Miller. Coming into the Kelley MBA program, I was most nervous about quant methods and accounting so much so that I tried to get a jump start on them before arriving (which in hindsight is very laughable). Brian Miller — or BPM as I call him — not only relieved my stress about taking the first year required subject, but provided additional study sessions. He made sure I not only understood the material but mastered it. He poured his heart into every class which echoes the passion he has for education and knowing his students. Because of BPM, not only did I take the required accounting classes, but have gone on to take two more upper-level accounting classes simply because he made me love the subject.”
Justin M. Speller, Indiana University (Kelley)

Katherine Casey, Stanford Graduate School of Business

“[It would be] Katherine Casey, Professor of Strategies Beyond Markets: Developing Economies.

First, at a professional level, her work and achievements are impressive and inspiring. “Her research explores the interactions between economic and political forces in developing countries, with particular interest in the role of information in enhancing political accountability and the influence of foreign aid on economic development.” Most of her research focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa. After taking her class, I feel better equipped to manage political risk in the face of uncertain and discretionary regulatory environments as a businesswoman and actor in the development of Peru. I found her experience and lessons very relatable to my long-term aspirations in the developing world.

Second, she was particularly resilient in the face of Covid-19, rapidly adapting to a changed teaching environment as early as in March 2020. Her positive and optimistic predisposition not only made her approachable but also enabled me to learn amidst an uncertain and rapidly deteriorating public health crisis.”
Bianca Pinasco, Stanford Graduate School of Business

“My most memorable professor throughout my MBA journey was my Sustainable Business professor, Joe Holt. Professor Holt’s kindness, passion, and enthusiasm have made me a more decisive and inclusive leader. He continually encourages his students to think outside the box and view the world of business with a social justice lens. He has inspired me to push the boundaries often, persevere through the struggles, and work tirelessly to stand up for what is right and just. From our classroom debates on how to create societal impact to our class field trip visiting an organization that prides itself on its environmental advocacy, I have learned a lot from Professor Holt.”
Molly Lawrence, Notre Dame University (Mendoza)

“Like most competitive programs, Smith has numerous exceptional faculty members, all of whom are invested in our success as students. My favorite professors, however, have been those who sparked my curiosity about a subject I expected to dislike. Dr. Margrét Bjarnadóttir transformed Data Mining – a required course at Smith – from a course I dreaded into one I was excited to learn.

Dr. Bjarnadóttir commanded our classroom with a quiet confidence and a clear passion for the subject. She often shared her own data analytics experience with topics ranging from healthcare to the gender pay gap. I loved the way Dr. Bjarnadóttir could seamlessly connect abstract concepts to digestible business applications. She structured the course with students top-of-mind and clearly articulated how to succeed. In every lecture, Dr. Bjarnadóttir made complex theories and new models approachable. Most importantly, the foundation I gained from Dr. Bjarnadóttir’s course allowed me to enroll in future quantitative classes – like Market Forecasting and Advanced Analytics – with the confidence that I would succeed.”
Virginia Pierrie, University of Maryland (Smith)

“My favorite Professor is Ravi Mantena, MBA Faculty Director. Professor Mantena taught me two of my favorite courses at Simon. The first was Business Modeling, a subject that equipped me with the ability to take on unstructured problems and then, generate useful insights. The second was Products and Platforms, a course where I explored a mix of concepts from economics, strategy, and technology to understand challenges related to product management. The bright and practical teaching style from Professor Mantena helped me and my classmates to open our minds to new business concepts and frameworks that were extremely useful during our summer internships. I will also be forever grateful to Professor Mantena for all his advice and for providing invaluable guidance before my summer internship. As someone who was just pivoting into tech, his wise words and empathetic listening to all my questions were key to my preparation to hit the ground running on my internship at Microsoft.”
Gabriela Pacheco, University of Rochester (Simon)

Yaniv Konchitchki, U.C. Berkeley (Haas)

“My favorite professor at Haas is Yaniv Konchitchki who teaches accounting. His passion and love for his students is simply unmatched. Every class commenced with a resounding cheer of “This is Accounting!!!” While corporate financial analysis and reporting may cause some eyes to gloss over, Yaniv’s unique ability to dissect the traditional jargon while applying concepts to real time and emerging corporate failures made this an exceptional class. Additionally, his breadth of knowledge beyond accounting is astounding. If you come to Haas, take Yaniv!”
Olaséni Bello, UC Berkeley (Haas)

Kristin Forbes is my favorite professor at Sloan. She has a track record of public service that I deeply respect, including at the White House, the Bank of England, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She has a trove of interesting personal anecdotes, which makes her one of the most enjoyable lecturers I have ever had. She also brings an engaging sense of humor and humility to her classes. Professor Forbes makes you work in her class – you cannot take any days off!

I was in her Global Economic Challenges and Opportunities class last spring at the onset of COVID and she quickly readapted the syllabus to focus exclusively on central banks’ responses to the pandemic. It equipped me with a monetary policy toolkit through which to analyze the rapidly changing situation.”
Ryan Bash, MIT (Sloan)

Maureen O’Hara is my favorite MBA professor. She brings her tremendous industry and research knowledge to her courses. In her Financial Markets and Institutions course, I learned about financial markets’ structures and functions. The topics and discussions covered financial systems around the world, and she created such an engaging environment that students felt encouraged to share their experiences and opinions. I learned so much from her expertise and the discussions she facilitated. Professor O’Hara cares deeply about her students and always makes herself available after the class. I am thankful for my one-on-one conversations with her about financial markets and my career path.
Heidi Xu, Cornell University (Johnson)

“My favorite professor at Ross is Professor Gautam Kaul. In addition to being a professor of finance at Ross, Professor Kaul (or “G” as he’s affectionately called by fund members) is also the fearless faculty advisor of both the International Investment Fund and the Social Venture Fund. Professor Kaul’s commitment to the investment funds highlights his passion for real-world, action-based learning and the power of business to have a positive impact in our world. I will always remember lessons such as “Finance is the most amazing human invention – second only to love” or “Finance allows us to value everything – except love”. At the same time, I will fondly remember G’s encouragement that ‘everyone can do finance’ and that the best way to lead a team through the complexities of starting a new venture is to treat everyone like family, have plenty of jokes at the ready, and keep a ‘can-do’ attitude.”
Jonathan Rodriguez, University of Michigan (Ross)

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