Favorite Professors Of The MBA Class Of 2022

“You need to bring a beginner’s mindset to business school.”

Embrace being a novice? Sounds cliché…but it beats wrestling with imposter syndrome. After all, most MBAs start out scanning the room, comparing themselves to classmates and pondering if they really belong. Add to that, they’re given little time to get up to speed on business fundamentals.

Drinking from a fire hose? For MBAs, the early months are more like having a house dropped on them!

Luckily, most business faculty remember when they started business school. As beginners, they too were disoriented at the start. Back then, the concepts were as complicated as they were contradictory. Like their students, their instincts failed them at first. Too often, they found themselves a step slow in recognizing relevance or how everything tied together. This shared experience is why professors recognize those same fears in MBAs: being embarrassed, falling behind, and washing out. And these memories motivate them to carefully examine how they teach and how each student responds.


Edi Soler, IESE Business School

Edi Soler understands the angst of being an MBA student better than most. A professor of accounting and management control at IESE Business School, Soler is also an IESE MBA – Class of 2009. This experience enabled him to relate to Katharina Klohe, a 2022 grad who took his Analysis of Business Problems course early on. Possessing little experience in business or consulting, Klohe wonder whether she had anything to contribute to her classmates. Over time, Soler provided Klohe with something that was as immeasurable as it was invaluable: confidence. In his “kind, funny, and approachable manner,” Soler revealed to Klohe how her critical thinking skills were transferrable to his subject (and any other in business). More than that, Klohe notes, Soler acted as a safety net who was always ready and available to bring out the best in his students.

“I remember the two assignments we had to write for this class – a total of 100 individual reports – for which he gave individual and specific feedback for each one,” Klohe reminisces. “Edi was also able to address the uncertainty and nervousness that is so common in the initial weeks of an MBA, providing an open ear whenever we needed to discuss what was going on. Edi is [also] humble about his exceptional abilities and successes. In one class, we had a very successful company join us to discuss a case based on their past challenges; it was only at the end did we find out about the crucial role Edi played in the success of the company. He is a role model for humility, service to others, and passion for his work.”

What makes a great business school professor? For one, they aren’t afraid to push their students. They may demand much, but they give back even more in return. That was the case for Clarence Lee, most recently an assistant professor at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He heavily influenced Branden Karnell, a spring grad, through tough love. While Lee challenged Karnell to always “think bigger” he also strengthened him through unwavering support and encouragement.


Suzanne Muchin, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

“He creates a safe environment to question and try new things while being a stalwart mentor along the way. Professor Lee is someone who truly took the time to see me and he’s made me believe that I could do more than I ever thought possible.”

The best professors also teach more than content. Some consciously train their students to better research, present, and analyze – the kinds of skills that seep into other classes…if not their careers. Others inspire their students to continue learning so they become more well-rounded and formidable professionals. In many cases, their courses demand the most difficult exercise of all: self-reflection.  Luke Elder, a spring Northwestern Kellogg grad, describes Suzanne Muchin as the “essence” of a favorite professor. In particular, he lauds Muchin’s ability to “push boundaries, speak her mind, and empower others to reach their full potential.” At the same time, he appreciates Muchin’s soft touch that guides students to find their style, voice, and identity.

“I had the pleasure of taking her section of Selling Yourself and Your Ideas this past fall,” Elder explains. “Interestingly, the class focused very little on selling and far more on introspection and understanding who you are professionally, personally, and as a leader. During the course, Professor Muchin helped students to build a cohesive personal brand, understand their goals and motivations, and ultimately maximize their ability to make an impact. Professor Muchin had a captivating way of getting you to ask yourself the “hard questions” and then pushing you to dig deeper. Her dedication to and genuine interest in helping us change the way we perceive and think was truly transformative and something I will be able to leverage for the rest of my life.”  


Great professors can take many forms: coaches, provocateurs, cheerleaders, and entertainers. At the University of Michigan’s Ross School, Dr. Marcus Collins can check each one of these boxes. He can make the unconventional familiar and the well-worn fresh. Collins meets students where they live, connecting his lessons to everyday experiences so they are all the more real and practical. He challenges assumptions while turning classes into can’t miss events that keep students guessing. In other words, Collins makes school fun. That was the experience for Alexia Sabogal, who had Colins for Marketing Core and Strategic Brand Management. And what an unforgettable ride these classes were – even for a self-described “marketing nerd” like Sabogal.

Dr. Marcus Collins, University of Michigan (Ross)

“Whether it was using pop culture and hip-hop references or bringing in speakers from brands and other schools at Michigan, I always left his class feeling energized – and that was hard to do for an 8 a.m. class! Prof. Collins encouraged us to think outside the box and taught me how everything we do and consume includes marketing. The strongest brands evolve and become more than a logo; they become an identity mark that grounds our cultural subscription, and we use them to express ourselves and the way we move through the world. I always felt enlightened after class. It was inspiring and exhilarating learning.”

…and memorable too. That’s the funny thing about great teachers: they often become the voices lodged in their students’ heads – the ones who urge caution or demand excellence. More often than not, their favorite maxims stay imprinted in graduates’ minds long after they leave campus. For Katie Winebarger, a 2022 grad from University of Virginia’s Darden School, that professor is Kinda Hachem. Her performance in the core Global Economies and Markets course spurred Winebarger to take Hachem’s Money and Banking elective. Here, she learned a simple question that exposes the underlying issues in nearly any challenge.

“Her favorite check on any theory, regulation, or new financial product is, “Imagine how this could go wrong. Now, how can it get worse?” Thanks to her, I am even more enthralled with the complexities and opportunities that exist within our global banking system.”

Every year, Poets&Quants asks its Best & Brightest MBA candidates to name their favorite professor and share what differentiated him or her from the rest. From their sacrifices made to their influence wielded, here are some of the professors who made a difference in the lives of the Class of 2022.

“Professor Doug Olsen teaches Customer Centric Research Analysis in a way that makes an otherwise tough class a pleasurable experience. Professor Olsen infuses his class with personal anecdotes and real-world use cases that not only help students understand the material better but also conquer any initial fears. He also leverages technology through pre-class videos that introduce concepts that he later expands on in class. Beyond that, Professor Olsen meets every student with a smile and support, especially during challenging times of the marketing research project that all students must complete to pass the class. At the same time, he holds us to high standards of performance for a good grade. Attending Professor Olsen’s class was always a pleasure, providing not only very helpful knowledge but also practical advice for success as a marketing professional.”
Chikezie Anachu, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Mark de Rond, Cambridge Judge

“Professor Mark de Rond is the instructor for our Management Praxis – Negotiation class. Mark studies people and organizations by living with them under similar conditions, often related to teams in challenging circumstances. He shared the experience from the previous fieldwork he has done, which includes observing the army surgeons at work in a military base in Afghanistan, the pedophile-hunting teams in the UK, and rowing unsupported the entire length of the Amazon River. Such a research approach inspires me on how to conduct due diligence on ventures. With the tremendous amount of secondary research information on the internet, we often forget how important it is to interact with customers, suppliers, and employees of a company, to obtain a deep understanding of the situation. Mark also handpicked a series of negotiation cases ranging from commercial negotiations to high-profile disputes to social issues, which provided a great opportunity for students from different backgrounds to exchange ideas, and, more importantly, to learn to appreciate the differences and cultivate empathy.”
Luvina Weilu Yao, Cambridge Judge

“My favorite professor at the University of Chicago has been professor Bradley Shapiro. He teaches marketing strategy and brings the topic to life with lectures packed with examples of good and bad marketing that align perfectly with the material. Professor Shapiro structures his class in a way that fosters conversation and participation while still driving toward the key takeaways of the day. The pairing of thoughtfully-crafted lectures and lively case discussions not only makes content memorable but also underscores why topics will continue to be important outside of the classroom.”
Brian Carlson, University of Chicago (Booth)

“My favorite professor at Goizueta is Dr. Jeffrey Rosensweig, or Dr. J. I initially took Dr. J’s Global Macroeconomic Perspectives class in the Spring of 2021. We explored how COVID had impacted various communities around the world, which made the class more tangible than other economics classes I’ve taken. I admire Dr. J’s intentionality in the way he expresses himself and his pure dedication to his students. He does a great job of showing the humanitarian side of economics by bringing in great speakers like José Cisnero, Treasurer for the City of San Francisco; Dr. Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust; and Goizueta alumni to discuss how business, via the economic policy, and society are intertwined. Dr. J’s support extends beyond the classroom, as he’s taken a huge role in the John R. Lewis Case Competition as well as Goizueta’s Black MBA Association. I’ve enjoyed spending time with Dr. J so much that this is my second semester TA’ing for his class – and my third time hearing the material!”
Breanna Spurley, Emory University (Goizueta)

Ella Bell Smith, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

“Professor Ella Bell Smith is my favorite professor because her courses made me focus on who I am as a person and how I want to show up as a leader. In Professor Bell’s class, I had to truly be introspective and identify how my experiences and uniqueness impact my leadership tactics and style. What I love most is Professor Bell helps you uncover these insights in, what some would say, an unconventional way. As an example, in one class, we watched The Lion King and then unpacked the leadership strengths and opportunities that we observed within the movie. I never thought I could learn so much about leadership from a Disney movie that I watched as a child. There was so much I took away from that lesson and I feel that is the true beauty of Professor Bell and the singularity she brings to the classroom.”
Andrew Hazel, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Professor Jeremy Ghez, Associate Professor of Economic Affairs, is an expert in French and American geopolitics. Jeremy not only was my teacher in macroeconomics, but also was the coordinator of my Sustainability and Disruptive Innovation major.

His impeccable teaching methods, along with his global vision and constant reassessment of the status quo truly helped each of us in the specialization to address the issues the world might face tomorrow while linking those challenges with the vision, mission, and daily business of companies. Thanks to Jeremy, I understood how companies can multiply the impact they have on the world, and what snowball effect they can provoke to address the issues our world is facing. I also feel more confident positioning as a force for change in my future company.”
Anna Pozniakoff, HEC Paris

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