2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Aidin Namin, Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration

Congrats to Aidin Namin of Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

Aidin Namin

Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration

Dr Namin is my favorite professor I have ever had. He really cares about his students and is very passionate about marketing. There are a lot of group activities every class but it’s great because you get to apply what you learn in those activities. He keeps all the students engaged during all 3 hours of lectures and there isn’t a dull moment in class and honestly I wish I could take more classes in the MBA program with Dr. Namin again.” – Mohammed Almutairi

Aidin Namin, 39, is an associate professor of marketing Analytics at the Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration. He developed and taught the first-ever marketing study abroad program in the college.

He is a modeler by training and passion. Applying quantitative and econometrics techniques, his research interests are marketing and data analytics in the areas of retailing and digital marketing. 

He has received several grants, research awards, and teaching awards including the Excellence in Research Award from the President of Loyola Marymount University, recognition as a Thought Leader in Retailing Research, and the Paul R. Lawrence Award from the Case Research Foundation. He’s also the winner of three Best Paper Awards in Marketing Analytics and Big Data, a research award from Western Decision Sciences Institute, multiple outstanding reviewer recognitions, and the competitive AMS-AFM research grant from the Academy of Marketing Science. 

He has also been the recipient of the national AMA Teaching Award, considered the most prestigious teaching award in the field of Marketing; the ACME Teaching Innovation Award, and the Teacher of the Year award from UT Dallas. 

He is co-chair for the leading academic retailing foundation, the American Collegiate Retailing Association (ACRA) 2023 conference. He is currently serving on the Editorial Board of two journals and as a reviewer for many others. Before starting the PhD program, he worked in the industry as a data analyst and market researcher for several years.

BACKGROUND

At current institution since what year? 2017

Education: 

  • Ph.D., Marketing Analytics, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • MBA, Sharif University of Technology
  • B.Sc., Industrial Engineering, Sharif University of Technology

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Managing Markets and Customer Relationships

TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… My path toward becoming a business professor was in a way atypical. I finished my undergraduate degree in engineering, worked for a few years, and then started my MBA. With high passion in math, during my MBA studies, I became very interested in applications of quantitative techniques and analytics in solving business problems, specifically in the marketing domain. I feel blessed that I was admitted to one of the very few marketing analytics Ph.D. programs in the country. I feel fortunate that I can share my knowledge and training in marketing analytics with business students. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I use data analytics and quantitative models to study consumer choice in the areas of retailing and digital marketing. Like most researchers, I like all my research projects. In one of my most research studies—published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing—my co-authors and I provide first-hand empirical evidence that using social media in promoting crowdfunding donation campaigns can lead to slacktivism resulting in fewer donations and more social media flurry. Since many online charity campaign managers tend to use social media in promoting their good cause—which is mostly due to the virtually cost-free nature of using social media as a promotional tool—we believe that this result is important in gauging the effectiveness of raising awareness about these campaigns in the online world. 

If I weren’t a business school professor…  I would probably be a physician. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? Prior to my Ph.D. studies, I was trained as an engineer. I think the fact that I bring in engineering-based models and quantitative techniques to class and combine them with topics covered in business courses provides hands-on learning that enhances the student experience. I feel this has been helpful as analytics techniques have been core to all courses that I teach, and most business schools are moving in the direction of increasing the “quantitative flavor” of their curriculum.   

One word that describes my first time teaching: From my lens: excited. From students’ lens: perhaps curious—since there was no publicly available teaching record of me when I first started teaching so students couldn’t really do their “research” on the professor! 

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: I feel my doctoral advisor did an amazing job in explaining to me what I should (or should not!) be expecting if I chose the career of being a business professor. Thanks to him, I frankly can’t think of any “surprises” that I have faced in this role.  

Professor I most admire and why: I have had the fortune of meeting many great professors. There is certainly more than one professor that I admire. But if I must choose one, I will go with my Ph.D. advisor Prof. Brian Ratchford. I think Brian truly is a unique person. He is not only a fantastic researcher and a superb teacher, but he is also a one-of-a-kind human being. He is talented in conveying complicated topics in a way that feels so easy to understand and comprehend. He never stops doing research and has this gift of inspiring others to do their best.

TEACHING MBA STUDENTS

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? That most MBA students return to school with some years of work experience. I think that adds a nice flavor to the class and makes conversations and case study discussions more engaging and fruitful. 

What is most challenging? MBA courses are typically evening classes, where students come to school after a full day of work and another full day of work the following day. Understandably, this can sometimes make them feel tired, especially towards the end of the semester. I do my best to keep the class live and active throughout the semester. 

In a word, describe your favorite type of student:  Motivated. 

In a word, describe your least favorite type of student: Grade-focused. 

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Transparent. 

LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

What are your hobbies? Cooking, gardening, and running. I spend a major part of my free time with plants and fruit trees in the backyard. I also enjoy trying new cooking recipes from different cultures that I find on the Internet. I cannot say I have always been successful with either gardening or cooking, but as a “student for life” I try to practice and improve. 

How will you spend your summer? I typically travel abroad, and I also teach a graduate capstone class during the summer.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Italy, particularly Venice. 

Favorite book(s): Victor Hugo’s masterpiece: Les Misérables. Even though the story takes place in a different society and certainly at a different time, I think the story remains relevant to our time. I feel one of the major “lessons learned” from this book is the importance of DEI in the modern world. 

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? To date, my favorite movie is A Beautiful Mind. A winner of multiple Academy Awards, it tells the story of a famous mathematician: John Nash. I like the movie because in my research I use game theory, hence, I utilize the Nash Equilibrium to study the market. I find it fascinating to learn about the extraordinary life of the individual who made such an ever-lasting impact on this field. 

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I am a fan of classical music. I listen to various classical pieces; my favorite piece, however, is The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss. I find this piece to be very soothing and relaxing. Whenever I feel stuck on a data analysis project, I put the analytics software aside, close my eyes, and listen to it. I feel this piece purifies my thoughts and opens my mind to new thoughts and solutions about my research approach. It has worked well for me in the past on many research projects. 

THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Classes would take place at large company campuses. Students would immediately put into practice what they’ve learned in their classes to improve the company’s business processes. I think this will be a win-win situation for the company and for the students. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… working even closer with educational institutions.  Most of the time it is us, the faculty, who reach out to companies to inquire about the skills they expect students to have so that we can include them in our courses. While companies might do the same time-to-time, it would be nice to improve the level of this collaboration. I think this is especially important for MBA students, as they typically take leadership roles in companies. 

I’m grateful for … everything in my life. For my loving and supportive family. For my amazing friends. For having the job that I truly love. For my wonderful students. For my professional colleagues and peers. 

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE 2023 ROSTER OF THE WORLD’S BEST 40-UNDER-40 MBA PROFESSORS

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