The Legendary Faculty of Smith

Hello Colleagues & Friends, 

The first year of our Smith MBA degree is almost complete. My last article consisted of my Top 5 favorite things at Smith and if you remember, I listed the people as #1. The collective talent of our class stems from different professional backgrounds, nationalities, and levels of experience. However, our faculty is a gem that I constantly catch rays of business enlightenment of through the prism of the Smith MBA program. The pedagogical approach that Smith (and maybe all b-school’s) takes is the integration of all our various subjects. 

You can connect concepts from every class and apply them to your career, or, to strengthen your deliverables in another. For example, analyzing data and interpreting statistics in Dr. Lele’s Data Models & Decisions class can prove useful in finding betas and standard deviation in our Financial Management or Capital Markets classes. Using Porter’s five forces from Strategic Management is a great way to set up an industry analysis before delivering a recommendation to an incumbent or newly entering firm in our Corporate Financial Strategy or Strategic & Transformational IT class.  

Our professors are beyond mastery in their given field and they take the time to train our Smith MBA’s up to a managerial, strategic, and technical level that will add value in our internships and full-time jobs after school. 

Legendary Faculty Moments

Dr.  Shreevardhan Lele hosted Math Camp this summer in order to give students a primer on our quantitative subjects. One student asked a question and Dr. Lele responded by writing binary code on the whiteboard. I knew then that the right questions could unlock answers that a mere mortal like myself could go home gain deeper understanding. 



Dr. Joe Bailey has an uncanny ability of using originally designed games in excel to drive home concepts of markets, competition, and game theory. He stood on a desk once, which I interpreted as Smith MBA’s having the power to think outside the box and command presence in important moments. Knowledge and Gravitas is key. 




Dr. Rebecca Hann took students through the entire process of bookkeeping to financial statement analysis. We analyzed the financial impact of acquisitions by large market cap firms that made great or sub par deals. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn during our class, which we discussed at length using concepts we just learned. 




Sarah Kroncke is a Smith MBA Alumna, former Investment Banker, and now steward of two RH Smith student managed endowment funds. She always gives at least 5 to 6 levels of analysis when a student asks questions about the interconnectedness of economy, policy, industry and individual companies. After showing us 6 tabs and 80+ rows of financial analysis in excel on Apple, she said, “Am I right or am I wrong? Believe it or not, these are the things that I ponder at night.”




There are many more magical moments I reflect upon that I wish to share with you in person. I encourage you to appreciate the opportunity we have to connect with our faculty and spread the word to external parties. I hope some of our faculty’s’ fearlessness rubs off on me as much as students rub our own fearless testudo’s nose.  



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