This quarter I took 4 classes (damn, I can't believe I'm graduating):
Pricing Strategy: I've mentioned before that Dube is on steroids as he can talk non-stop for about 3 hours. Luckily, we also have someone in the class who loves to make random comments that may or may not relate to the class. JKip and I started to tally the times she spoke, and we had to segment the occasions into "raised hand and called upon," "raised hand, not called, and spoke anyway," and "just spoke." Good times. Her record is 13 times in the first half - she left after break, presumably because she lost her voice. Anyway, the class is decent and the learnings just scratch the surface. Since Dube speaks non-stop, he actually covers a very broad range of topics but doesn't get into any great detail. For people who are heading into Marketing, I can imagine this being a very good class to take. For me, however, I'd say learning how to do different pricing strategies is quite irrelevant besides the fact that I now know that I'm being screwed over when I buy stuff. Ah, the curse of knowledge.
Managing in Organizations: This might be one of the best classes I've taken at the GSB. Epley is no Dube, but he's still on steroids, evident from him waving his hands like crazy and jumping up and down during class. He uses a lot of classic experiments and in-class examples to make his points, so the points are easy to remember yet the effects are profound - all the biases, the ways to achieve productivity without changing much in personnel or capital, simple yet fundamental mistakes organizations make and how to correct them, etc etc. One important point: I'm not sure if the point of the class is to teach us to take advantage of the biases or correct our own. I think the former will have great benefits in management! Also, the problem with social psychology is that they make points by comparing the average, such as 80% of respondents performed better under ABC situations compared to 40% not under ABC. What about the 20% who didn't perform better? Do you account for those? Why don't they perform better?
Power and Influence: Menon won the Phoenix prize for excellence in teaching this year, so she's a proven professor. While she's not as excited as Dube and Epley, her enthusiasm is definitely unmatched - and that's saying a lot given the enthusiasm of all teachers at the GSB. She cares deeply about the class and about the students. I had shared some of my thoughts about Alan with her - she replied with passion and compassion, and I appreciated it very much. There are a lot to learn from the class, but most will not be useful in the first few years on my job. It will be something that I need to constantly remind myself of and keep developing MY power and influence. Great take aways, though somewhat disjointed, especially towards the end.
Strategy and Structure: Bothner has a certain style that not everybody appreciates. He's very stubburn and will only accept your answer if it matches his word by word; and he'll make you say it his way too. He also pokes fun at people as the class goes. I appreciated the antics... as long as it isn't me. There are a lot of frameworks used in the class that are sometimes quite obvious and sometimes quite irrelevant, yet some are fundamental to the understanding of a firm. My question is... without the HBS cases, are these frameworks that easily applied to companies? Know that HBS cases are altered so that all the pieces fit into these so-called frameworks. Is real life that easily dissected as well? Me think not. Anyway, the class is valuable and very useful for consultants.
All highly recommended. One of the best quarters I've ever had, even though I never studied hard (or maybe that contributes to it being the best)...
And now it's goodbye and graduate. It hasn't hit me yet.