The Top Executive MBAs Name Their Favorite Professors

Cornell's Justin Johnson

Cornell’s Justin Johnson


“There are so many outstanding professors at Cornell, but if I had to pick just one I’d choose my Business Strategy professor, Justin Johnson. Every time he stood up to teach, I was inspired. I wanted to be him! His entire body and soul speaks when he teaches, and he magically brings out the best in his students. In his classes, I couldn’t help but become excited about the topic, no matter what it was. You couldn’t show up to his class unprepared because he would walk around the room as he introduced a subject with that deep powerful pitch of his voice, and look you directly in the eye. After circulating the room, he would lock eyes and say, “Veronica give me a summary in no less than 5 minutes on the XYZ case and break down the case into Porter’s Five Forces. Go!” You couldn’t hide, yet you didn’t want to. In order to prepare for his class, a group of us would get together to analyze a case, consider the economic or socio-political background that could have influenced the decisions made, and then break down the information into Porter’s Five Forces. We stayed up to all hours, going back and forth discussing the case so that we could be ready when Justin Johnson would mercilessly call on us. I became a better presenter myself because of him.”  – Veronica Carrera / Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Make Learning Fun

“I loved our Statistics professor, Rohit Deo. He actually made learning about Statistics fun. He did a great job of bringing in real-life examples of how statistics are used in the sources you encounter often as a business professional, such as analysis of the numbers and statements in financial publications and dissecting the data behind survey results to better understand the validity of the conclusions. We learned the methodologies but also how to apply them. It was very practical.” – Shanise R. Anderson / New York University, Stern School of Business

“My favorite professor is C.J. Skender, who guided us through managerial accounting. Prof. Skender turned a usually monotonous subject into an engaging encounter with witty anecdotes and a unique teaching style. He cares about his students and the material he is trying to get across – which is evident in his approach to the class.” – Abhi Mehrotra, University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School 

Michigan's David Wright

Michigan’s David Wright

“This is an impossible question because it is like asking a child if he loves his mother or father more. Each faculty member I have encountered here has been defined by their genuine interest in the student’s development and desire to find a way to share their infectious enthusiasm for their subject. They each give something different that is equally valued. In terms of pure entertainment though, no one can top Dr. David Wright. My goal is to get this man to do a series of stand-up nights where he explains accounting through his personal stories. He has written books, but just like all amazing comedians the man feeds off the energy of the audience. He was better than most of the shows I have seen on Broadway!” – Gregory Fortner / University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Don Vanderwalle, associate professor of Management and Organizations, is my favorite professor because his passion for Organizational Behavior was evident in every class session. He always found a way to keep our class engaged and excited.  Most importantly, he prepared me to be a better leader in the workplace.  I am very grateful.  – Freddie Barela / Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business


“In my opinion, Frederik Schlingemann, professor of Financial Management, is the perfect example of the level of expertise and quality that Pitt expects from Executive MBA professors. Professor Schlingemann recognized the varying levels of experience that the class had in financial management. He took his time to explain complicated topics and ensured the entire class was on the same page before proceeding on. He accommodated our hectic schedules by extending his office hours and holding late-night review sessions.”   – Jackie Dawson / University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business

IMD's Leif Sjoblom

IMD’s Leif Sjoblom


“I like Professor Leif Sjoblom, who taught us Finance at IMD during the Program for Executive Development (PED) module. I think the professor allows a certain quotient of imaginative response to financial decisions allowing more practical ideas to surface and be brainstormed in the class. I like the way he puts himself into a position of dealing and responding to unexpected questions, linking numbers to decisions the business has taken and analyzing strategic reasons for it. I found it fulfilling and rewarding to be part of his class.” – Satakarni Makkapati / IMD Business School

“My favorite professor was Dr. Goutam Challagalla, Marketing and Consumer Behavior. He was my favorite professor because not only of the interesting case studies that he chose for us, but also for the way he facilitated his classroom discussion. At times he was playing two roles: professor and conductor. — Kevin M. Smith / Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business

Michigan State's Ranjani Krishnan

Michigan State’s Ranjani Krishnan

Care About Students

“I enjoyed studying under Dr. Ranjani Krishnan. Her connection and concern for us as students was clear from day one. As an example, she learned and memorized all of our names and company positions prior to the first class. And throughout the program, even after her class had completed, she remained engaged and continued to offer insight if desired in our professional experiences and positions.”  – Lars E. Carlson / Michigan State University, Broad College of Business

“This is a tough one for me as I have many favorite professors, but having to choose one, I would select Dr. Thomas Eppel, Professor at UC-Irvine Business School [and visiting associate professor of management  at Krannert], who taught my Risk Management class for the MBA program. I would actually use several of my Professors as examples of the following traits, but he displayed them all and greatly – those being – he was obviously a master of his craft and knew his subject well. He was able to inspire us to think differently, to think about issues in a way we maybe hadn’t before. It was obvious he was passionate not only about his subject matter, but about sharing his knowledge and helping others with it. He displayed genuine concern for us, the students – striving to ensure we were engaged by making lectures and material interesting and relevant to our lives, and he engaged with us to make sure we were learning and had understanding of what he was presenting. These are not only important traits to being a great teacher, they make him a great human being as well, which is why I selected him as my favorite professor.” – Stacey Mueller, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management

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