Professor Profiles: Sharon Oster, Yale School of Management

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school to attend, but the educational experience itself is what 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 profile Sharon Oster from the Yale School of Management.

A second-year student we interviewed at the Yale School of Management (SOM) remarked that Sharon Oster (“Competitive Strategy”) “loves teaching almost more than [she loved] being dean!” Oster is the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and has taught “Basics of Economics,” part of the first-year core—for a while giving everyone, as one second year told mbaMission, “a chance to get cold-called by their dean!” Oster’s expertise lies in economics and nonprofit management. She is the author of several widely used business school textbooks, including Modern Competitive Analysis (Oxford University Press, third edition, 1999), and has co-authored introductory economics texts such as Principles of Microeconomics (with Karl E. Case and Ray C. Fair; Prentice Hall, tenth edition, 2011) and Principles of Economics (with Karl E. Case and Ray C. Fair; Prentice Hall, tenth edition, 2011). In addition, Oster is an expert in nonprofit management. Her text Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations: Theory and Cases (Oxford University Press, 1995) is used in the SOM course “Non-Profit Management,” which a second year described to mbaMission as “always heavily oversubscribed.”

Oster came to the SOM from Yale University in 1982 and was the first woman to receive tenure in 1983. She was also the first recipient of the Yale SOM Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988, which she received a second time in 2008. Oster’s tenure as dean began in 2008 with the unexpected departure of previous dean Joel M. Podolny. When announcing the appointment of Ted Snyder as the SOM’s incoming dean, Yale University President Richard Levin praised Oster, saying, “Sharon stepped up without hesitation to the dean’s role last year when my unexpected call came. She has served the SOM community with a steady hand and unwavering commitment, and I am truly grateful she has agreed to stay on as dean until Ted Snyder’s arrival in 2011.”

For more information about the Yale SOM and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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