academics

It’s been a month since the last post and there are a few topics I would love to share. First off: 1st year academics at the GSB

gsb campus

Below is my subjective list of the ‘top 5 classes’ that I’ve taken this year.  Of course this is not a representative list and to be honest, in the winter quarter (i think half-way through it) i made the decision to not prioritize academics during the first 10 months here. I guess time will show if it was a smart choice.

anyways, the top 5:

5. OSM w/Dan Iancu: base excel modelling class with the nicest (right after Anne Beyer) prof on earth. a very effective ‘class in the computer lab’ model with little theory and a lot of practice, practice, practice. quite work-heavy (of course depending on your level of expertise) but very rewarding. OSM should be turned into a full quarter class.

4. Managerial Finance w/ Francisco Perez-Gonzalez: finance 101 taught in a fun and digestible manner. prof that is genuinely interested in students’ understanding of the material and goes that extra mile. this year he received mixed mid-term feedback – IMHO unfairly.

3. Fail Faster (d.school class): had 5 sessions to date, but so far i feel it is a spot-on class on dealing with stress and tough decisions. introduces very practical tools on how to face  failure and supports them with good data/academic research. on top we have a lot of fun exercises (like MJ’s Thriller  dance routine lesson:D)

2. Org. Behavior: Frank ‘Dr. Mambo Jumbo’ Flynn’s personality makes this class a treat. feel good class primarily (or entirely) focused on understanding how organizations ‘behave’ through the lenses of heuristics, behavioral psychology etc. great gateway/lead to everything else that follows (although prof. Flynn sets the bar too high for some other profs. to reach:D)

1. Product Launch: by far the best 3hrs i spend every week in class this spring. why? very applicable takeaways illustrated by relevant cases, prof. Levav with his edgy humor and very little fluff…+probably my professional bias:)

There were a few more that I enjoyed: Econ with Andy Skrzypacz or (surprisingly) HRM with David Kreps…but overall I have mixed feelings about how to assess the ROI on GSB’s 1st year academics. I understand all the reasons why everyone needs to go through the foundation courses and why they comprise a lion’s share of the 1st year’s curriculum – but I feel there’s a room for improvement. I think this is also an effect of VERY HIGH expectations I had before coming to the GSB and disproportionately high level of electives that are just impossible to get if you are an MBA1.

Having said that, I’m optimistic about the 2nd year here…and soooooooooooo much looking forward to it.  Also, good news for the class of 2016 is that the GSB seems to be very open to feedback (or at least paints that picture) and so each year they seem to introduce changes that improve the learning experience.

Best, M.

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