course
ESG Investing

May 2019

Pr. Gashaw seems to be a very knowledgeable and extremely smart professor. A clear leader in the field of ESG investing. That said, he suffers from a flaw shared by other Professors at Columbia: being a genius in your field does not necessary mean you are a good Professor i.e. an individual who enjoys and is good at explaining and teaching academic concepts while at the same time providing guidance. As part of the ESG Investing seminar, Pr. Gashaw spent the vast majority of the course focusing on us learning about other literature that discusses ESG. However, given the economics seminar is a course aimed at teaching students how to construct their own econometric-based studies, it was really surprising Pr. Gashaw did not structure the class in such a way that it could teach us HOW to write a paper. It seems he assumed we had previous experience writing and/or researching papers. This was a grave mistake since all of us struggled to i. obtain data, ii. understand the methods used to analyze our hypothesis, iii. write a research paper and iv. run the regressions! I constantly heard Pr. Gashaw's feedback was incisive but plain and unfortunately not very informative. Additionally, the final presentations showed me a lot of people in the class were following wrong methods and/or using the wrong assumptions. Given that these were the basis of the whole analysis, it was surprising Pr. Gashaw brought up these concerns in the FINAL presentation and not a couple of months before. Not only was he unresponsive and his guidance was at times underwhelming, but as another student put it, we can't meet his expectations if he doesn't help us, given that we've never written a research paper like this before. This class has a lot of potential. It's the future! Unfortunately Pr. Gashaw's guidance and support was non-existent. If you are an individual who knows HOW to run complex regressions, take this class please! However, if your experience is limited to Econometrics I advise you avoid this class at all costs.

May 2019

Clearly incredibly incredibly smart; he is very passionate about ESG issues and is informed and very interesting to talk to about it. Amazingly blunt guy - sometimes in an offensive way (he would tear us all apart when we gave presentations) The class was very all over the place, but interesting content - definitely glad I took it. VERY unrealistic expectations on students. Never was timely with receiving feedback But - good guy. Sad that his class was bad because he had so much potential.

May 2019

I mean just the single shittiest professor I've had at columbia. Do not take his class, and I hope he isn't allowed to teach seminars moving forwards (short of a major change in his behavior). My main complaint is that he holds incredibly high expectations of us but provides very little if any support. A non-exhaustive list of things he's done in this class. - Didn't provide grades or any feedback whatsoever on a single assignment submitted all semester. - Told us that he will fail us and we will not graduate - Repeatedly requested drafts of our paper at regular intervals throughout the semester, under the premise that he would give us feedback prior to the final draft. I submitted many of these drafts but never received feedback. - The only feedback I ever got outside of office hours was when, the week before the final seminar paper (50% of our grade) was due, he told us to send him our papers on a monday and that he'd give us thoughts by friday. He sent me my paper back at 11:59pm on Friday (like a freshman submitting a last minute assignment, not a 50 year old professor), with 4 comments that were negative, unhelpful, and made clear that he hadn't read the paper at all. - Didn't teach at all past the first 3 classes, and just had all of us present in order to fill up class time. - Sent aggressive and mean emails whenever we told him something major went wrong with our papers. Signs emails off with "have a productive weekend." Did not take into account that A) we have our own lives outside of this class and B) this is our first time ever writing an economics paper. - Didn't know the deadline for us to submit our papers for seminar awards, such that not a single person in our class was considered for awards (despite some of my classmates having truly extraordinary papers). I want to be clear that this is not out of bitterness. I am one of the top performers in the class, and worked my ass off for this class, and I haven't gotten my final grade (or any grades back, for that matter). He's just an awful professor.