I did an Ambassador lunch today and met with some really cool prospective students (one flew out here from Japan!). They asked alot of the standard questions like what we like the most, what we'd change, etc. The discussion got me thinking about the past few months and how fast things have flown by. Since Ross is on a quarter system, the classes run 6-7 weeks, and we cover a TON of material in a short amount of time. The first term consisted of Microeconomics, Accounting, Statistics and Strategy. When I saw my class schedule before the term started, I remember thinking how much of a snoozer the class mix would be (seriously, Statistics, Econ and Accounting in the same term?!?). Well, I was wrong. Statistics was taught by probably the most energetic Stat professor the world has ever known. During my undergrad days, I took a probability course for my engineering major and a business statistics course for my minor. Back then, I remember consciously removing any and all sharp objects from my desk lest I doze off and impale myself on a hyper-sharpened pencil… This time was different. Prof. Ahn made it impossible to lose interest in his class. One day he polled my section to see who our favorite superhero was, and then he segued into a hilarious discussion on how to categorize superheroes. The data from the poll was later used to build a confidence interval for the proportion of MBA students who favor Batman. Kinda dorky, but we were all thoroughly engaged during the lecture.
My econ class was taught by Prof. Jan Svejnar who narrowly lost the 2008 Presidential election in the Czech Republic. He is a really interesting man (he’s got a Wikipedia page if you’re interested in learning more about him). He gave a funny story about his time at Princeton where he met John Nash of “A Beautiful Mind” fame (I won’t repeat it, but if you have him as your teacher, make sure he brings it up during the Game Theory lecture). I think what I liked most about that class was how he didn’t shy away from controversial topics. For example, our final exam had a question involving the economics of tort reform as a factor in reducing health care costs…not a universally accepted policy, but an interesting discussion when placed in economic context.
Finally, there’s Accounting. Going into the class, pretty much everyone was dreading 6 weeks of debits and credits. I mean seriously, is there a less sexy subject than accounting? (oh wait, I’m a former Computer Engineer…never mind) My teacher was Prof. Miller, a former Harvard professor brought over during our previous Dean’s tenure. Instead of the typical mechanical discussion of accounting, he taught us to focus strictly on economic reality. In six weeks, he taught us all how to think like an accountant. This was probably the most interesting class I have EVER taken. He limited lectures to less than an hour a class period. Instead, he spent most of the time pushing us to debate one another on controversial accounting decisions made by companies from Harvard Business School cases that he authored. The terms debits and credits were used in his first lecture and never again. Honestly, if undergrad schools taught accounting the same way, I’m pretty sure there’d be a surplus of accountants in our workforce.
So there you go. I can’t speak to the quality of teachers at other schools, but so far, I’ve been happy with my choice of attending Ross. My teachers this semester are equally engaging (I’ll tell you more later). In the meantime, good luck on applications!