What I Learned From My MBA Professors

September 15, 2021
FT - Blog What I Learned Hero
Straight Talk From MBA Students: Why Specialize?

For a quality MBA program, one major asset is the faculty. In fact, it's an assumption that faculty members will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the classroom. They lead instruction, help students apply theory to real-world situations and help students fulfill their potential.

Of course, it's no different at a top-ranked institution like Baylor. Here are what six students and graduates had to say about the impact Baylor MBA faculty members had—and continue to have—on their professional and personal development.


Sarah Galante


Degree: MBA
Anticipated Graduation Date: December 2021

What has been your experience collaborating with and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty?

I have two degrees from two different universities and have never experienced this degree of collaboration and willingness to help. Baylor's faculty consistently reaches out to ensure we are on the right path—whether it be assisting with our class schedule/extracurriculars, checking in on us during our job search or setting us up for success in the classroom. The staff here is top-notch, and I believe the "big school/small feel" is evident in the way they have welcomed us to the program.

Is there a particular faculty member who's inspired you the most or who has had the most impact on your studies and career?

Dr. Erik Davidson, hands down. He teaches finance in such a way that has made me fall in love with the subject. With extensive experience in the finance realm that truly speaks for itself, I am always confident that I will walk away from class with practical, real-world advice. He is consistently available to discuss his vast knowledge of finance, the stock market or truly any other topic of interest. He even opens up his lectures in prayer, which leads to a joyful learning environment where all students feel cared for.

If you had to choose one lesson learned in that faculty member's classroom, what would it be?

I respect Dr. Davidson (or Dr. E.) for his faith-based approach to finance. Having some background working at an investment firm, I know firsthand the challenges that come with embracing one's biblical beliefs surrounding financial decision-making when working in the secular world. While I learned many useful/applicable finance formulas and "golden nuggets," as he likes to say, Dr. Davidson's character is what resonates with me and others in the student body.

How has this lesson impacted your personal and professional development?

I am often reminded of Dr. Davidson's Bible-based advice as I am making personal financial decisions or important calls at work. I also know he offers to write letters of recommendation for his students—yet another way he invests in us Baylor Bears.

In many ways, Dr. Davidson is a role model. I want to be as successful, but more importantly, as encouraging and inspiring as he is one day.


Faith Perez


Degree: MBA
Anticipated Graduation Date: December 2021

What has been your experience collaborating with and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty?

Generally speaking, I've had a good experience [with] the MBA faculty, especially as it pertains to learning in class, and then also serving as a graduate assistant. I am embarking on my second semester on the GBA [Graduate Business Association] board and look forward to collaborating with Chelsea [Derry, assistant director of Graduate Student Services] more this semester.

Is there a particular faculty member who's inspired you the most or who has had the most impact on your studies and career?

Yes, Dr. April Rowsey and Dr. Chris Meyer.

If you had to choose one lesson learned in these faculty members' classrooms, what would it be?

From Dr. Rowsey: When giving a presentation, if you are nervous, try and channel that nervous energy into excitement for sharing your knowledge or findings with those you're presenting to, and it will ease your nerves. From Dr. Meyer: When negotiating, always look for joint gain, and sometimes trading unequal value is the best way to come to an agreement.

How has this lesson impacted your personal and professional development?

For my summer internship with H-E-B[supermarket chain based in Texas], I was required to deliver a 10-minute presentation over my assigned project. At first, I was nervous, but then I leaned into what Doctor Rowsey had advised me in the past and then I truly was more excited than nervous to talk about my project to regional leaders.


Lanie Williams


Degrees: MBA/MSIS
Concentration: Business Analytics
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2022

What has been your experience collaborating with and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty?

When collaborating and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty, I have always been met with challenges, innovative thinking and the desire to coach their students into their careers. There is a strong desire among the faculty to pass on years of experience. They are professors because they want to use their expertise and their passions to help direct us to where we want to go.

Is there a particular faculty member who's inspired you the most or who has had the most impact on your studies and career?

Dr. Petter has been especially impactful in my studies and career, especially when discussing women in STEM. She has overcome so many obstacles in her career and inspires me to face challenges with perseverance and grace. In a one-on-one discussion about working as a female in a STEM field, Dr. Petter constantly encouraged knowing your worth and approaching situations with humility and grace. Her immense knowledge extends far beyond the classroom as she employs information technology an the effort to end human trafficking. She is simply an amazing and inspiring woman.

If you had to choose one lesson learned in that faculty member's classroom, what would it be?

I'm walking away from Dr. Petter's classroom with not only a greater understanding of just how greatly data impacts our world but with a greater understanding of the impact we can make when our passions intersect with our work. Dr. Petter's impact on the way data is used to fight human trafficking will be felt years down the road. She strives for excellence because she is passionate about her students, and she is passionate about ending human trafficking. I've been inspired by Dr. Petter to use the gifts I've been given to effect change.

How has this lesson impacted your personal and professional development?

This lesson has personally taught me about using my skillsets to advocate for others, in whatever capacity that might be. From a professional perspective, I'm inspired to strive for excellence, not for the achievements and the accolades, but because our work impacts those around us. In whatever I'm doing in my career, I hope to approach every day with an attitude of humility, a commitment to excellence and a passion to serve those around me.


Lyndsey Davis


Degrees: MBA/MSIS
Concentration: Cyber Security
Anticipated Graduation Date: December 2021

What has been your experience collaborating with and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty?

I have had a great experience collaborating and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty. The program size and format create an environment for a tightly knit group that allows for more personal and collaborative relationships to form. The faculty here truly care about your success in and out of the classroom.

Is there a particular faculty member who's inspired you the most or who has had the most impact on your studies and career?

All of the faculty members I have worked with have had positive impacts on my studies. One that stands out is Dr.Norman. Frankly, I was not looking forward to a strategic management class as someone is who studying more technical aspects of business. However, she created one of the most engaging and enjoyable courses. Her course allowed you to tie in lessons from other courses into the topics we were discussing. I was even able to see how one of the strategy topics was parallel to the actions of the business unit I interned with.

If you had to choose one lesson learned in that faculty member's classroom, what would it be?

A common theme that came up during most of our different topic discussions was how strategy and culture go hand-in-hand, which I think is key for future leaders and managers to understand.

How has this lesson impacted your personal and professional development?

One of my biggest takeaways from this course was that the discussions we had about strategy and different tactics for operations can be seen in all areas of business, from the top organization level down to the manager level. Even though I did not think I needed to know high-level strategy because I am more in the IS space, the lessons I learned about strategy can benefit me even as a manager of a small team, especially knowing that the culture created on that team will have a major impact on the implementation of strategic tactics and initiatives.


Abby Tisdale


Degree: MBA
Concentration: Marketing
Graduation Year: 2019

What was your experience like collaborating with and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty?

The faculty in Baylor's MBA program is always looking to prepare you for business in the real world. My experience collaborating with them mirrored this idea. They encouraged you to come prepared for all classes and office hours so you could have productive discussions and learn how to improve your work and/or further understand a concept. They expected professionalism and excellence but also held an open-door policy that made you feel welcome whenever you needed extra support on an assignment or to share exciting news about getting a job. They always worked with you rather than just telling you the answer, which encouraged growth and confidence in your ability to face real-world business challenges.

Is there a particular faculty member who's inspired you the most or who has had the most impact on your studies and career?

Honestly, all of the faculty members had a direct impact on my professional development and my success in my new role. If I had to pick someone specific, I was always grateful to go to Dr. Patsy Norman's class. As someone that studied business in my undergraduate degree, I was so focused on how to further my marketing career. Dr. Norman was inspiring because she showed you how to paint the bigger picture by requiring you to read a number of cases on different triumphs and failures in a wide array of industries. You realize how business cases can transcend the company they were originally based on and teach you how to make the best decision you can without all the facts.

If you had to choose one lesson learned in that faculty member's classroom, what would it be?

I appreciated the case-based nature of her class because it helped me understand how all the pieces fit together. A lesson I learned is that even though I work in digital experience and innovation, I can't just focus on how to be successful in my specific role or on a project. You have to know the key stakeholders in any business decision, take a wider view at what you're trying to accomplish and the subsequent impact, and lastly, be humble enough to understand that your recommendation might not be the best.

How has this lesson impacted your personal and professional development?

My team has recently have been working to redesign and re-platform our website. In this multi-year project, I will work with a variety of departments, encounter roadblocks and have to think resourcefully. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to look at business challenges with a wider lens. It teaches you how to approach different stakeholders and work as a team, how to ask good questions and ultimately how to evaluate your options even when you don't have all the facts.


Angus Walker


Degree: MBA
Concentration: Operations
Graduation Year: 2019

What was your experience like collaborating with and learning from Baylor's MBA faculty?

The Baylor MBA program offered countless opportunities to collaborate with and learn from professors both in and outside the classroom. The MBA faculty is extremely knowledgeable and welcomes additional conversation and discussion.

Is there a particular faculty member who's inspired you the most or who has had the most impact on your studies and career?

There are many faculty members who have played a role in my career, but Dr. Carlson has impacted my career the most. Dr. Carlson teaches Organizational Behavior and her coursework taught me many lessons on how to best manage indirectly and directly in the workplace.

If you had to choose one lesson learned in that faculty member's classroom, what would it be?

The most impactful lesson I learned from Dr. Carlson was that it is imperative for organizations to make employees feel genuinely valued and appreciated in order to acquire and keep top talent.

How has this lesson impacted your personal and professional development?

This lesson played a crucial role in my career when I was selected to work on a special project with the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen test. I found myself as a manufacturing supervisor managing 125+ workers who I had just met. I was even able to reach out to Dr. Carlson for advice on how to best manage these workers given the resources I had at my disposal.


What's Next

You can experience a world-class faculty and a top-ranked MBA to help you achieve your goals. Learn more about the full-time MBA at the Hankamer School of Business by exploring our detailed program page. Still not sure if an MBA fits your goals? Reach out for a one-on-one consultation with our admissions advisers. They can help you determine available options for your best path forward. Simply complete the form below and our team will contact you directly.

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