2017 Top 40 Undergraduate Professors: Yakov Bart, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Yakov Bart

Assistant Professor of Marketing and Joseph G. Riesman Research Professor

Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

As if it weren’t enough to have his digital marketing research published in leading marketing and management journals or funded with multiple research awards and grants, Yakov Bart supplements it with a teaching style that undergraduate students consistently rave about. Students report that he is deliberate in the material he delivers, carefully orchestrating an experiential learning experience that one student described as “action packed.”

What students appreciate most about Bart’s courses is the real-world relevance. Whether it’s case studies or hands-on use of the latest digital marketing tools, students say you can always count on it being about real situations that are readily applicable to any present-day digital marketing environment.

Bart’s performance in the classroom is also acknowledged by colleagues. Faculty peers say his classes are all about engaging students and, apart from confidently and skillfully leading the case discussions, Professor Bart knows each student’s name and is full of humor.

To round out his impressive bio, pedagogical materials developed by this top professor have been widely used by academic institutions around the world, including an award-winning bestseller case study and a digital textbook on social media marketing.

Age: 39

At current institution since: 2015

Education: PhD in Business Administration (Marketing), Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; SM in Operations Research, MIT; Diploma in Mathematics, Moscow State University

List of courses currently teaching: Marketing Management, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Fun fact about yourself: One of my first jobs (back in the 1990s) was choreographing nightclub shows in Moscow

“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…” I started working as a graduate assistant for MIT professor Glen Urban on several research projects – that was way more fun than anything I’d done before that.

“If I weren’t a business school professor…” I would probably be a rocket scientist in Russia, or a quant on Wall Street.

“One word that describes my first time teaching…”  Insane

What do you enjoy most about teaching undergraduate business students? I enjoy their creativity and openness to new ideas.

What is the biggest challenge that comes with teaching undergraduate business students? I often find undergraduate students to be quite naïve and idealistic about how business works.

What is the most impressive thing one of your undergraduate students has done? One of my former students was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar.

What is the least favorite thing one has done? Plagiarizing

What does a student need to do to get an A in your class? Demonstrate creativity and tenacity

“When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as …” Fair

“But I would describe myself as …” Fair

What are your hobbies? Reading

How did you spend your summer? Working on research projects

Favorite place to vacation: Japan

Favorite books: “Between Silk and Cyanide” and “Monday Starts on Saturday”

Favorite movie: “Blazing Saddles”

Favorite television show: “Fry and Laurie”

Favorite type of music / favorite artist: “Okean Elzy”

Bucket list item #1: Tierra Del Fuego

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Being named Joseph G. Riesman Research Professor

What is your most memorable moment as a professor? Presenting my research at World Knowledge Forum

Professor you most admire and why: There are many, but first of all these are my advisers in graduate schools at Berkeley and MIT: Ganesh Iyer and Glen Urban.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My research is primarily focused on the marketing implications of new and emerging digital technologies. In terms of traditional measure of research impact, my early work on understanding drivers and consequences of online consumer trust has probably had the most impact to date and has been cited over 1,200 times. I believe my current work on communication and persuasion in the context of highly targeted digital advertising, where my co-author Pedro Gardete and I show that the most personalized ads may not be very effective because consumers are worried about being exploited, can have profound implications for how firms approach collecting data about their customers and public policy regulations around privacy.

Twitter handle: @yakovbart

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…” Experiential learning. We’ve already accomplished much in this direction at Northeastern, but there’s still much remaining potential to achieve tighter integration between the classroom and workplace experiences.

“And much less of this…” Emphasis on grading

Students say:

“For two semesters, Yakov Bart was the keynote speaker of my academic life. His lectures were seamlessly executed, action-packed and alive with anecdotes, interviews, real-time whiteboard diagrams, and extensive Q&A from both himself and the audience. From class time to assignments, I often felt as if was at a marketing retreat or working for a start-up, as Yakov was always encouraging practical, applicable, and technology driven thought and action. After two semesters with Yakov and two internships to put his teachings into action, I can confidently say that I feel capable and empowered to take on the marketing world and its evolutions to come. I will continue to cite him as one of my greatest career inspirations.”

“The class I took with him, Marketing Management, was one of the best classes I have taken during my time at Northeastern University. Instead of sticking to traditional lectures, Professor Bart’s class was case based, relying on discussion. Never before have I had the chance to get so passionate in a class. He asked students to not only brainstorm innovative solutions, but have them defend and argue for their beliefs, made the class not only educational, but exciting. I learned that having an idea is not enough – you need to be able to defend it, and explain the why behind it. In Professor Bart’s class I learned how to respectfully stick up for my beliefs, giving me confidence that helps not only with my current job, but in my life as a whole.”

“Professor Bart is dedicated to his practice and his students. His passion for all things marketing is evident in his teaching as well as contagious to his students. He generously brings his experience from work and research to enrich lectures and cases in addition to the relevant class work he assigns. I felt challenged to think differently and encouraged to speak up in professor Bart’s class. He fostered a safe , mature, and intellectual learning environment that was a unique in an undergraduate classroom.”

“Yakov is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable professor that fully embodied the experiential learning mantra of Northeastern. He went above and beyond the curriculum, showing us the actual tools marketers use. Yakov inspired an entrepreneurial spirit in our class, encouraging us to partner with real companies for our final project. Not only did I come out of the class fully understanding the material, but I came out with real experience. Additionally, he is the only teacher I had who cared that we left the class with something we could put on our resumes, so he required that we get certified in a digital marketing technique to give us a leg up.”



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