Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand, but the educational experience at business school is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Saras D. Sarasvathy from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Saras D. Sarasvathy (“Entrepreneurial Thinking”) wrote her dissertation at Carnegie Mellon on entrepreneurial expertise and has parlayed that into a specialization in the area of “effectuation,” which examines the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. Her book Effectuation: Effects of Entrepreneurial Expertise examines the way entrepreneurs think. In January 2008, Sarasvathy was the keynote speaker for the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference in San Antonio, Texas. Earlier, in September 2007, Fortune Small Business magazine named Sarasvathy one of 18 top professors in the field of entrepreneurship. Students we interviewed feel that Sarasvathy, who has been an associate professor at Darden since 2004, is one of the up-and-coming scholars of entrepreneurship in the world. One alumnus described her to mbaMission as “very encouraging, supportive. She allows people to share ideas rather than looking for the right answer.” Another alumnus told us that he found himself in her “Starting New Ventures” class by mistake; he had lingered too long in the classroom after his previous class had ended and was still there when Sarasvathy’s class began. He was so impressed by her teaching that he added her course to his schedule, even though he was already overloaded. He found even at that first lesson that she “challenged conventional beliefs,” and he was “impressed at her insights and the way that she articulated basic assumptions to bring out the less obvious, deeper levels.”
For more information about Darden and 13 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.