Being a 2nd year rules...

March 6, 2007

When I got into SOM as a first year in 2005, I was looking forward to my second year when I would be taking elective classes with a particular focus on my core area of interest. So being at the threshold of graduation, I would like to let you guys know which classes you should take when you are second year SOM students: 1) Private Equity Investing - the class is all about private equity business and is taught by Michael Schmertzler, CEO of Credit Suisse Private Equity in the Americas. The professor has excellent industry (both banking and PE) expertise and his teaching methodology is based on real life business cases. The amazing part is that he was the manager on all of those cases so at the end of class discussions he would tell us what the real outcomes were. The class is highly demanding since it involves reading over 300 pages and putting together comprehensive economic models every week. However endless the frustration that students face while preparing for each class, they regard the class as very practical and relevant to the work outside the academia world. 2) Strategic Leadership across Sectors - one of the major characteristics of this class is its professor, Jeff Sonnenfeld. Professor Sonnenfeld taught at HBS for over 10 years before teaching at SOM and is specializing in the area of corporate governance. I get the feeling that he has personally met and interacted with every major CEO in the world. Practically every Friday morning he appears on CNBC for a few hours and provides commentary on CEO performances as well as risks that they may face as a result of actions or decisions they make. One other reason I like his class is attributed to the unique structure of lectures. During the first half of the class he engages students in discussing a few important points from each class reading while having guest speakers in class (usually 3-4 people, at least). Then in the second half of each class, guest speakers provide their insights and comments on class discussions and/or other issues. Since speakers are present during the full three hours they are fully aware of the context and background of issues in discussions. And that makes their participation very interesting. In most other classes, speakers make a speech and then leave, or they arrive when students’ discussions are over. So Sonnenfeld's class takes care of that problem. 3) Leading A Global Firm - I wrote about this class in my previous post titled "Major CEO's Flooding Yale SOM." An absolute "must-take class" if you want to hear interesting stories and insights into successful leadership of global companies from CEOs of Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Pfizer, Campbell Soup, Alcan, KPMG, and many others.


About the author

Farid Dadashev