2018 Top 50 Undergraduate Professors: Connie Wanberg, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Connie Wanberg

Professor and Industrial Relations Faculty Excellence Chair

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

To say Carlson School of Management professor Connie Wanberg is a highly published expert in topics related to unemployment, job search, and careers would be an understatement. Her achievements include over 10,000 research citations on Google Scholar. Accolades include being one of the most influential management scholars who received their degree since 1991 — according to metrics gathered by the Academy of Management — and being named the 2017 recipient of the Academy of Management’s International HRM Scholarly Research Award for the most significant article on international human resource management. When she’s not immersed in award-winning research, Wanberg aims to develop innovative leaders in the human resources field. She keeps class materials relevant by using an array of guest speakers, reading on current events, and the latest research.

Age: 52

Education: PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Iowa State University, 1988

At current institution since: 1996

List of courses you currently teach: Honors Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations; Human Resources and Industrial Relations Capstone; Ph.D. Seminar in Human Resources and Industrial Relations

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Getting the job I have now

“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…” I got asked to apply for the job I am now in!

“One word that describes my first time teaching…” Exciting!

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? Extraversion. Along with three of my colleagues, I recently completed an extensive synthesis of the relationship between Extraversion and work relevant outcomes. Our paper delineates how and to what extent Extraversion is an advantage in education, job application, on the job, and throughout the career/lifespan, and when it is a disadvantage. The big discovery-Extraversion provides a more pervasive advantage across these domains than we’ve ever known before.

What is your most memorable moment as a professor? There are many of these moments.  One time I had a class that couldn’t stop asking questions. I loved that class! Or, I have appreciated when students have taken the time to write to me after a semester is over to let me know how much they enjoyed the class.

“If I weren’t a business school professor, I would be…” A small business owner.

Name of the professor you most admire and why: Rand Park, a colleague of mine at the Carlson School of Management. His attitude and reputation inspire me.  

What do you enjoy most about teaching undergraduate business students? They are smart, eager to learn, and I want to prepare them for the workforce.  

What’s the biggest challenge? All of the administrative details that go into teaching, such as preparing a good Canvas site for the course.

Since you’ve been teaching, how have students changed over the years? Attention spans are shorter and there is a higher desire for discussion.  

What does a student need to do to get an A in your class? Show me they know the material

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

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious!

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Complainer

“If my students can be better prepared for the work world after my class, then I’ve done my job as their professor.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am a distance cyclist

What are your hobbies?  Cycling, hiking, walking my dog, travel, coffee shops, new restaurants

How did you spend your summer? Work, family, cycling, some travel

Favorite place to vacation: Somewhere new

Favorite book: I know this much is true by Wally Lamb

Favorite movie and/or television show: Enjoy many a Netflix series

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: Perhaps Creedence Clearwater Rival

Bucket list item #1: Traveling internationally for a whole summer, it would be even better if my kids could be along (they are age 22 and 17)

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…” focus on critical thinking

“And much less of this…” large classes

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