Michael Koerner ’49 Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance
Teaching at MIT Sloan since: 2001
I cherish the emphasis on cutting edge research and the fact that we're encouraged to bring it right into the classroom. I also love the collegial nature of the MIT Sloan faculty, which extends beyond specific departments, e.g., I am working with people from many different fields such as economics, strategy and management science. I also value the strong ties to other parts of MIT, such as the economics department.
One of my favorite things about teaching at MIT Sloan is the diversity and high quality of students. They are eager to learn new things, they think independently and they're willing to tackle difficult issues. By that I don't mean “mathematical” problems, but rather that they are eager to think through complex issues even in cases where research has not been able to find “cookbook solutions.”
I teach a class on entrepreneurial finance at MIT Sloan, so I naturally deal with many students (from within MIT Sloan and from the broader MIT community) who are very creative and are in the midst of starting new companies. In fact, for the last three years the winners of the $50K competition were all taking my class. This is particularly fun since the competition is decided during the semester when I teach, so their fellow students and I can follow the competition in class.
MIT Sloan is a very collegial and friendly place, which for me helps to overcome some of the tension that's a natural part of an intense work environment like this. In my experience the competitiveness and inevitable tenure pressure are never directed against colleagues, but are channeled to make people work together and create better work.
I also feel very good about the fact that as part of MIT, Sloan was one of the first if not THE first top-tier school to acknowledge the added pressures that women and minority faculty face in such an environment and is working to address these issues.