Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they select a business school, but the educational experience itself 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 Robert A. Howell from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Robert Howell (“Financial Statement Interpretation and Analysis”) has been teaching for more than 40 years and is quite accomplished in the field of accounting and financial management, having served as chief financial officer of two publicly traded consumer product companies earlier in his career. In addition to teaching the “Financial Statement Interpretation and Analysis” course, Howell is the faculty advisor for the Tuck Investment Club. A recent graduate told mbaMission, “Everyone takes his class.” For one of the course’s major projects, which occurs near the end of the term, students work in teams to analyze a company and present their recommendation on whether to buy, hold or sell its stock. “Professor Howell has a sense of humor, and he told students that ‘it’s better to be directionally right and not precisely wrong,’” shared another alumnus.
A second year described Howell to mbaMission as “a character, and a really, really great professor,” adding, “His classes are very entertaining, and he is strongly opinionated. He makes even diagnosing financial statements fun; he operates on the assumption that these don’t tell you much unless you can unwind them, so it’s a very valuable class. I sometimes see him in the Tuck gym; he’s a really down-to-earth, approachable guy.” Another second-year student likewise spoke highly of Howell, saying, “He is a fantastic professor. The consummate practitioner-scholar, Professor Howell has an unsurpassed ability to simplify and explain complex financial concepts. More importantly, Professor Howell teaches a coherent investment philosophy regarding how to make investment decisions. I believe that the framework he provides will prove useful long into my career in finance. … [He] peppers his class discussions with pertinent anecdotes and examples underlying investment principles borne from his deep real-world experience and through his work teaching executives investment concepts.”
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