The Haas “Student Always” principle resonates strongly with Faculty Mentor and Instructor, Frank Schultz. “Each time I teach it’s a learning opportunity for me” shares Frank. “I get to learn about new, exciting places, companies, technologies, and I get the opportunity to work with new students. Every team, every project is so different.”
This is Frank’s 7th year of being a Faculty Mentor for the Full-Time MBA IBD program and he has been the Evening-Weekend MBA IBD instructor since its inception in 2012. As an IBD instructor, Frank loves that he gets to keep one foot in academia and one foot in the business world. “With IBD I get to apply the theories I am teaching in class to the real world and see what is changing in the business world on a global level.”
Frank wants his students to adopt this same methodology of applying the skills they are learning in the classroom to real-world situations. “This is where the rubber meets the road”, says Frank, “These are real organizations with real situations that need to be solved. This is valuable work and I want my students to see the value they are giving to their clients and getting from the class.”
To get the full experience, Frank stresses to his students that before they try and “solve” anything, they need to first build a relationship with their client. He realizes this can be tough, but by slowing down and asking more questions, students can really get at the true root of the problem. “I want my students to walk away from this saying it is the best experience that they had as an MBA.”
Frank has been teaching at Berkeley-Haas since 2005 when he left Michigan State University and followed his wife, former Haas COO, Jennifer Chizuk, to Berkeley. He has taught Executive Leadership, Competitive Strategy, and International Seminars in Brazil and China in addition to spring and summer IBD. His teaching has consistently placed him in Haas Club Six for outstanding teaching. Frank says the role of IBD Faculty Mentor is very different. He regularly works on balancing the different roles he has to play as a mentor, supporter, instructor, and grader.
Frank admits, “I am always trying to figure out the nature of the relationship. Sometimes I need to be more hands off and other times I need to offer more support to my students. I want them to learn for themselves but I also have to be task driven. Each team dynamic is different and each person reacts to my approach differently. Relative to teaching my other classes, I have to feel comfortable with having less control over the process. There is no determined journey and as we teach our IBD students’ to be flexible, I, too, have to be flexible with the uncertainty.” He also jokes that a good Faculty Mentor has to be available to be on calls at all hours, especially very early and very late.
One of the perks of teaching international courses is traveling abroad. Frank’s favorite city is Rio de Janeiro because he loves the beautiful scenery, happy people, caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail made from lime, sugar, and cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice), and picanha, a popular Brazilian cut of beef. When asked if he had any travel advice, Frank laughed and said, “Travel business class.”