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MBA Professors To Look Out For | 2020

The world’s top business schools name the MBA professors they want to you know about

Business schools couldn't function without their professors. Not only do they teach and mentor future business leaders, they are also at the cutting-edge of research in finance, management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and more.

Professors matter for rankings too. In the Financial Times' Global MBA rankings, 10% of a school' s rank is  based on the research output of their faculty. 

Entrepreneurship professors can be excellent MBA startup mentors, a CSR professor might inspire you to take on green initiatives, or a strategy professor could leave you with new tools for tackling your business problems.

In other words, MBA professors have a huge effect on your business school experience, and you should look into a school's professors when choosing where to apply. 

To showcase the impact professors can have on their students—and the world at large—we asked the world's top schools to nominate a professor they want you to know about:


Read on or skip to a b-school of interest by clicking one of the links below:

Cambridge Judge

CEIBS

Darden School of Business

ESADE

Harvard Business School

Indian School of Business

INSEAD

Kellogg School of Management

MIT Sloan

National University of Singapore

NYU Stern

Oxford Saïd

Yale School of Management

From this list of nominees, we have named our top professors for green leadership and tackling inequality, as well as the BusinessBecause MBA professor of 2020. You can identify our winners by the orange sticker on their photo.


Cambridge Judge

Thomas Roulet


Lydia Price, MBA professor at CEIBS


Age: 34

Teaches: Organisational Analysis, Organisation Theory, Organisational Behavior, Leadership. Deputy Director of MBA program.

Industry background: I worked in debt capital markets in London and then at the OECD before starting my academic career.

Current research: I'm currently finalising a book on the "Power of Being Divisive", focusing on how individuals and organisations are purposefully controversial to attract attention and position themselves. 

Look out for the book at the end of next year! Broadly, my work revolves around the role of social evaluations (how do we perceive others?) and their impact on positive change.

Favorite thing about being a business school professor:

I love that every day is different—whether it is about meeting executives, students, journalists or conducting research. Every aspect is extremely rewarding. 

We have a privileged position in society and some room to influence modern organisations and the future generations of managers.

Advice you would give your past self:

If I were to tell me that I would be a tenured faculty at the University of Cambridge I would probably not have believed it. I feel incredibly lucky I got a chance to teach, research and be part of such an institution.

Biggest challenge:

My family or my friends often joke that academics have an easy life and do not need to work a lot. Despite our flexible work-life, there is a of energy going into everything we do, and research at the highest level requires a huge commitment. I work a lot more than when I was a banker but I'm really passionate about what I do.

Advice for students:

When trying to publish papers in top outlets, we quickly learn the power of persistence and resilience to failure. We often do not see the progress we made—there are learning curves but also a tipping point beyond which something clicks, and the failure is turned into a success.


CEIBS

Lydia Price


Lydia Price, MBA professor at CEIBS

Teaches: Sustainability and Responsible Leadership-Marketing Strategy and Principles

Industry background: Marketing Research; Retailing

Current research: Sustainable Business Strategy

Favorite thing about being a business school professor:

My favourite thing  is dynamism. The business world reinvents itself every decade and even more so here in China. For example,when I was doing my PhD research, we were still thinking about permanent  beliefs that influence the way people shop. 

That is not the centre of discussions anymore. The discussions have now moved to Consumer Decision Making, Experiences, and Digital Marketing  Influences. Through  this  dynamism, I am able to always move in a new direction, which I really like. In the span of my career, I have made three major shifts, from marketing to sustainability to digital China. 

Advice you would give your past self:

I have been pretty happy with the way my career has  gone. But for  the  budding professors out there, I’d tell them to stay open-minded. I do see people get rigidly focused on a narrow topic and ignore new trends, especially because of the publishing demands. 

I would just advise people to start with a big challenge that they find interesting and not be afraid of being the first one to tackle it.

Biggest challenge:

As a professor it is really hard to manage your time. You have to put a lot of blinders onto make sure your career is going where you want it to go and you have to be unrepentant about that. People sometimes over-commit, they do too much and burn out. 

You just have to make decisions that work for you and go forward without agonising over it.

Advice for students:

Don’t forget the fundamentals. As managers you will not only have to make decisions,  but also get others on board with your decisions. 

For that you need to be a good communicator and be able to back it up with facts and data. In the end it all comes down to knowing who your customer is, what your value proposition is, how you are positioning yourself relative to them and what your advantage is.


Lydia Price, MBA professor at CEIBS


Darden School of Business

Gaurav Chiplunkar


Lydia Price, MBA professor at CEIBS


Age: 32

Teaches: Global Economics and Markets

Industry background: Currently a professor in the Global Economies and Markets group at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Prior to Darden, earned a PhD in Economics from Yale University.

Current research: My current research interests are in examining the economic consequences of technological change and adoption. In particular, there are three broad research areas that I am working on: the impact of digitization on poverty alleviation, barriers faced by women entrepreneurs, and the impact of online job search portals.

Favorite thing about being a business school professor:

Darden draws a pool of extremely talented students who come from diverse backgrounds and hence bring diverse experiences, ideas and insights to the classroom.

For me, my favorite part of being a professor is to be able to facilitate exchanges between students on a variety of topics and in the process, interact and learn from their insights.

Biggest challenge:

A diverse groups of students also brings a diverse set of challenges. Each student is unique in their background, experience,...

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