Beyond the Syllabus: Students Talk Courses at Booth

students in class

When Booth students talk about their favorite MBA classes, you start to understand why there is so much to be gained from the MBA program with the greatest academic flexibility. In having the freedom to choose a curriculum that will excite just as much as challenge, our students uncover new ways to achieve their professional and personal goals. They are learning from top researchers and practitioners in their fields—faculty who introduce students to the latest findings and evidence-based solutions, in real time. That type of elevated engagement creates an essential experience for becoming leaders who think critically and see past conventional direction, not just in the here and now, but throughout the entirety of their careers.

Below, Booth students tell us about some of their favorite courses and the impact on their ability to challenge the status quo going forward.

New Product Development Lab
The New Product Development Lab with Art Middlebrooks was hands-down my favorite class. Not only is it an experiential course where you and your team can make an impact on your client, it's also extremely fun and informative. Professor Middlebrooks brings so much experience to the table and shares these critical product innovation lessons during lectures, enabling us to apply these insights outside the classroom with the client project. - Lisa Twu, current student


International Corporate Finance 
I took International Corporate Finance with Professor Raghuram Rajan. He has served in his career as both the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund. His case discussions would go so deeply into the art of decision making when you have such policy uncertainty. To hear from someone who's lived through that on a day to day basis was something that really opened my eyes into when push comes to shove, how do you actually make those decisions? – Venkat Raman

Private Equity & Venture Capital Lab
In the Private Equity & Venture Capital Lab, Chris McGowan did a great job of sharing really unique, insider tips and stories that you really can’t get anywhere else, and I had the opportunity to intern for a venture capital fund for 10 weeks as part of the course. As someone trying to transition into a career in private equity, this was an incredible course and frankly one of the reasons I came to Booth in the first place. - Connor Martin, current student


Managing in Organizations
During my first year, my favorite class was Managing in Organizations with Professor Ann McGill. It is largely based in behavioral psychology related to getting your team members to perform at their best. Professor McGill's extensive knowledge of the research done in the field made for a great learning experience. She does an amazing job clearly tying the research to what it means for our careers - how we can motivate employees, assess performance, and get our message across as managers. Each class session was filled with surprising insights that I will confidently rely on throughout my career. - Patrick Sedden, current student

Marketing Strategy
My favorite class was Marketing Strategy with Professor Sanjay Dhar - one of the most engaging professors at Booth.  His class puts your critical thinking and strategic analysis skills to the test. The cases in his class rarely have an obvious answer and I always entered the class with curiosity (and a little anxiety) to see if my study group's conclusion and supporting arguments had legs to stand-on. Professor Dhar is not afraid to tell you when your analysis is half-baked. But he only has the best intentions for all students with an open door policy for questions about marketing and career advice. The class is tough and you need to live and breathe the cases, but the confidence you walk away with is totally worth it. - Taylor Carson, current student


The Firm and the Non-Market Environment
The Firm and the Non-Market Environment with Marianne Bertrand is a must-take class at Booth.  She is incredibly engaging, and packs so much material into each and every class.  She runs amazing discussions - challenging different points of view, encouraging debate, relating the case experiences to current real world scenarios. The class material is relevant regardless of what industry you are going into.  I came out of each class feeling like I had multiple key takeaways that were both interesting and incredibly relevant. - Kathleen Davis, current student

Scaling Social Innovation Search Lab
My favorite class was Scaling Social Innovation Search Lab with Christina Hachikian because it allowed me to work on very challenging social topics. I worked with a great team of other Booth students to conduct a scan of violence reduction innovations nationally and to ultimately create and pitch a business plan to localize one of those advances. Through this class I spoke with many leaders in the area of violence reduction in cities, which ultimately led me to my internship for the summer. - Maura Welch, current student


New Venture Strategy
New Venture Strategy was my favorite class - HANDS DOWN! Professor Schrager (or Schrager San - ask him about his work in Japan) is incredible. His candid approach, which can feel abrupt at first and then probing, is amazing at getting the best out of each student. He pushes you to think outside the box and his stories are always entertaining. - Disha Malik, current student

Competitive Strategy
I took Competitive Strategy with Thomas Wollman about how to assess competitive advantages of companies and to identify how they sustain those advantages. Professor Wollman brings an energy to the room that is contagious. He uses applicable real world examples – companies that most of us use every day. You can tell he's excited about the research, about the study, about the subject itself. That permeates throughout the classroom and creates a spectacular learning environment for everyone. – Roland Cole


What Professor Ram Shivakumar does best is that he truly teaches – in every sense of the term. A remarkably insightful person, he artfully ties students’ professional backgrounds to specific class material like a well-choreographed performance and everyone answers at least one question during the class. I had taken quite a few economics classes before Booth, but none like his Microeconomics course. - Arthur Colby, current student


Hear more about the classes our students decide to take in our previous blog about choosing courses to meet your goals.