2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Anastassia Fedyk, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Congrats to Anastassia Fedyk of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business for being named a 2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor.

Anastassia Fedyk

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

“Anastassia Fedyk has been the best Professor of my Executive MBA program. The students truly love her because they feel how deeply she cares about their growth by always transforming even what might seem like less appealing subjects into life-learning experiences. She has been at the forefront of the Haas School of Business community leadership in mobilizing the support of her native Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. As a co-founder of the Economists for Ukraine together with other researchers, she advised on economic and financial policies to help restore and rebuild Ukraine as well as raised significant aid and grants for the Ukrainian scholars.” Oleksandr Krotenko

Anastassia Fedyk, 34, is an assistant professor of finance at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Her research lies at the intersection of behavioral finance and innovation, employing big data techniques to better understand such important and timely topics as how artificial intelligence affects modern firms. Her research has been published in top journals such as the Journal of Finance and Journal of Financial Economics and garnered numerous awards, including a Rising Scholar Award from the Review of Asset Pricing Studies and five best-paper awards. She has received multiple research grants, including the prestigious National Science Foundation grant, and is frequently invited for media interviews at outlets such as BBC, Deutsche Welle, SF Chronicle, Forbes, and Barron’s.

In her teaching, she has been recognized for taking the lead on bringing more sustainability content into the core finance curriculum. When she is not teaching or doing research, Fedyk co-leads the group Economists for Ukraine, which informs policy on sanctions against Russia, spearheads plans for the reconstruction of Ukraine, supports Ukraine’s education sector, and organizes humanitarian aid on the ground.

Prior to pursuing her academic career, Fedyk spent a few years working at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. 


At current institution since what year? 2018


  • Ph.D. in Business Economics, Harvard University
  • B.A. in Mathematics, Princeton University

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Introduction to Finance


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I grew up with two business school professors for parents, so it was probably always meant to be. As a child, I would cut out paper money for my Lego people and circulate it through a mini-economy replete with stores and a casino. I tried a stint in portfolio management at Goldman Sachs, but I learned that I work best when I’m not constrained in what and how I can research and can run with my curiosity. An academic job studying finance has been a perfect fit.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My most active research agenda right now looks at the effect of artificial intelligence (AI) on firms and workers. What I find is that investing in AI has benefited firms – increasing their sales growth and market share – especially for large firms. 

Perhaps the most surprising discovery in my research is that AI has not replaced workers, at least in most sectors. In fact, AI-investing firms hire more workers, especially in roles such as product managers. Why is this? Because the main effect of commercial AI in its first decade (since 2010) has been innovating new products, rather than streamlining processes or increasing the productivity of existing production. AI-investing firms are able to produce more and gain market share by experimenting faster, creating more products, offering more diverse products, and tailoring their products better to their customers’ tastes. My co-authors and I are excited to explore how this evolves in the coming years, with ever-increasing advances in commercial AI tools.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would probably be a lawyer or an entrepreneur. One of the things I enjoy most about my work is making logical deductions from evidence – and that’s what I try to teach to my students: a framework for evaluating decisions, and a healthy dose of debate within that framework. I can see some similarities to the legal profession there. The other thing I like about being a business school professor is the entrepreneurial nature of it: choosing to research what I am most passionate about and incorporating it into my teaching. But as a kid I wanted to be a theater producer, so who knows, maybe there is an alternative universe with an artistic career too.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? There is no such thing as a wrong or unwelcome question in my class. I entertain every idea and answer every question, and if something is not clear, I explain it again in a different way. I try to take the same philosophy to my parenting, although the idea of all-questions-accepted takes on a whole other meaning with a four-year-old.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Invigorating

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: How very collaborative this job is. On the surface, being an academic can seem insular. And indeed the work is very autonomous. But it’s also highly collaborative: interacting with students, working with co-authors on research, and presenting our work at conferences and seminars. I think the isolation of the Covid pandemic really brought this point home: that one of the best parts of the job is all the stimulating interactions!

Professor I most admire and why: I’ve had the privilege to study with many excellent professors in college and graduate school and to work with wonderful colleagues. So choosing one is difficult, but if I had to pick, it would be the professor who taught my very first economics class, right here at UC Berkeley: Matthew Rabin. Even though I came in vastly underqualified (I was a high schooler), his teaching was so clear and accessible, that it made me fall in love with the subject (game theory) and with Professor Rabin’s area of research – behavioral economics, in which I’m still focusing my research to this day.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? There is a lot of diverse expertise in the classroom. The students come from different backgrounds, and everyone has knowledge and skills in their own areas. This makes the class fun and vibrant, and I enjoy learning from my students as much as teaching them.

What is most challenging? Getting students comfortable with complexity and uncertainty. 

In a word, describe your favorite type of student: Engaged

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

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… understanding. Finance is a difficult subject, the hardest in the core curriculum, but I try to put my students at ease with fair and compassionate grading that rewards their diverse strengths.


What are your hobbies? I love the outdoors, which is great in California. My husband and I go hiking with our son twice every week, and I am fond of swimming for exercise.

I also enjoy oil painting and salsa dancing, although, between teaching, research, Russia’s war against Ukraine, and a preschooler, there hasn’t been as much time for that lately.

How will you spend your summer? Summer tends to be full of travel for me—both work and fun. Many academic conferences get scheduled in the summer when most of us are not teaching. I’ll spend July in Europe, at conferences and visiting extended family. And in August, I look forward to going to Australia for the first time, to give a few seminars in Melbourne. In between, I’ll be doing much more mundane things: catching up on research.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Hawaii. I fell in love with Kauai on a college graduation trip with my family, and then the Big Island a few years later.

Favorite book(s): Mykola Gogol was an early favorite, especially “Dead Souls.”

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? These days we watch almost exclusively Disney. It’s a fun way to unwind with the four-year-old at the end of a long workday.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Classical for relaxing and jazz (e.g., swing or Latin-influenced like Pink Martini) for dancing.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… interdisciplinary programs. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and new emerging skills play a crucial role (e.g., data science in recent years). Business schools can keep abreast of these changes through collaboration and joint programs, for example with engineering departments and schools of medicine and public health.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… stimulating innovation. One of the things I enjoy most about being an academic is the freedom to explore the things that interest me, without having to stay within narrowly prescribed constraints. This is something that I found missing in industry: it was difficult to be creative and innovative within a strict hierarchical structure and lots of short-term constraints. I think giving employees the latitude to really explore and own the creative process would benefit both firms and workers.

I’m grateful for… my wonderful family, a job I love, and getting to live in what might be the best place on Earth. I am also grateful for my Ukrainian heritage; over the last year and a half, I have been incredibly proud to come from such a beautiful and resilient place.



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