At my Schulich MBA, my worldview has transformed. Who is responsible for this wonderful change? The Professors.
These Canadian Professors (of multiple national origins including Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, and many more) create an environment of purposeful and contextual dialogue, which changes the very method we employ while approaching problems. The best part is that they are all practitioners and have worked with or as executives of Industry giants, be it as a Corporate Debt restructuring Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers or being a consultant to Canada’s Telecom market leader. So, pragmatism and strategic thinking from an executive’s perspective are two things which pervade all our discussion. Lastly, they are super outgoing. Most Professors that have come to Schulich India campus have shown a lot of interest in spending time with the students and in no time go on first name basis and are quite welcoming to extend individual support.
Here are a few insights from the classes that I enjoyed the most:
1. Prof. Alexandra Campbell
Prof. Campbell teaches skills for Leadership. MBA starts with this course and apparently, it teaches how to THINK. Through her good humor and immense class engagement, I learned how to truly frame a problem and how this framing can lead to powerful solutions. I learned the discipline to the creative thinking process. It is with this discipline that innovative ideas can not only be generated but analytically screened. I believe, following this process gives me immense confidence when presenting my findings to decision-makers since the process helps me explore the core truths of the matter. Anyone can disagree with me, provided their paradigms but not ignore the truth I find. Thus, this course refined by Professor Alex’s approach has provided sound thinking tools that I believe will help me throughout my career.
2. Prof. Ashwin Joshi
While marketing tactics may change through geographies, for products, and for different target groups, the core principles stay the same. Prof. Joshi’s course was an enlightenment for me. He boils the large amounts of literature on marketing down to few core principles. Then he teaches it in a manner that it stays with you forever. I mean every word out of this Prof’s mouth is a bullet point. He then makes you apply it to different contexts, cultures, and industry. By the time his course finishes, you will find yourself looking at every piece of communication and analyzing it from a marketing perspective. This can happen to you when looking at newspapers, billboards, app notifications, behind the packages and ads above the mall urinals. You will backward track market strategy of any given company by just looking at the marketing stimuli and try to predict the future strategic moves the company could be making.
Prof. Joshi is the most approachable Professor I’ve ever met. If you have crazy ideas (or even normal ones) just walk up to him (or take an appointment). He will not just lend you his full attention but his support, where he can. He seems to love to interact with students. This love seems to be reciprocated by students as they huddle around him whenever he shows up at the India campus after he concluded his course here.
3. Prof. Theodore Peridis
He is Greek. He is the Director of the MBA in India program, a man juggling many very important offices at Schulich. He taught us the strategic management course and he has been with the School for like forever (about 30 years). He can be found smiling at students and engaging with them about any concerns we request him to address. He has conducted multiple case competition workshops and a workshop on behavioral interviews.
Inside the classroom, however, he gives honest feedback, which in no way is sugar-coated. Ironically, the brutal feedback has forced me to question a lot of habits to approaching and solving problems. He once said in the class, “I am preparing you for the real world and this is last safe place you won’t be judged. So, learn the most you can”. And truly so, I have an entrepreneurial background and had I learned what I learned in his class, I would have done a better job. His course is mainly about truly understanding the business environment and positioning yourself in that business environment while strategizing for success.
4. Prof. Linda Thorne
Accounting is cut and dry and it can get boring. Believe me, I studied Accounting for 5 years pre-MBA and worked at a Big Four audit firm. However, I enjoyed Prof. Thorne’s Accounting class. How so? Because everything she teaches is through a strategic lens. What did the owners/executive think when they would have treated an accounting number in a specific format as opposed to another possible format? It is impossible to be in her class and not be engaged. She is quite charismatic, humorous and most importantly, passionate, both about the subject and imparting her knowledge.
5. Prof. Atipol Supapol
He just started teaching us managerial economics and I am loving his class. These concepts of economics, which pervade marketing, strategy, and finance are brought to life in specific and actionable detail. He has been the country head of a Thai bank and a Director at PWC. He smiles often and effortlessly answers all our questions as the whole class, intrigued by the subject matter, barks a zillion question at him.
If you want to read more about these Professors, their credentials and research areas to align your interests, please visit the Schulich website.