Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on James VanHorne from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).
In an interview with mbaMission, a Stanford GSB alumnus described James VanHorne as an “old school professor,” because he addresses students formally, calling them “Mr./Ms./Mrs.” He is notorious for cold-calling students, and once he has selected a student to cold-call, he often focuses on that same student for the duration of the class. As a result, students tend to prepare for his class with vigor. The alumnus added, “He pushes and pushes to make you justify every excruciating detail of your decisions, and will force you to make a definite decision before continuing with the discussion.” VanHorne is the A.P. Giannini Professor of Banking and Finance, Emeritus, at the GSB and is a recipient of the school’s MBA Distinguished Teaching Award (1982, 1997) and Sloan Teaching Excellence Award (1997). During the spring semester of 2015, VanHorne returned to the GSB to teach the core course “Corporate Finance”—a full 50 years after he first taught finance at the school. In September 2018, he delivered a presentation titled “The GSB Then-and-Now,” on the evolution of the GSB curriculum throughout the decades, at the Class of 1968 reunion.
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