Professor Bonneau

International Business Administration

Can you describe your pathway to AUP?

I am a long-time Francophile, and at the age of 40 I began studying the French language in earnest.  My dream was to retire in France. In 2008, by sheer coincidence, the Dean at my then university (Rowan University in New Jersey) was participating in a Middle States accreditation visit in Abu Dhabi, where he met President Celeste Schenck (then Provost at AUP) and learned that AUP was about to advertise for a department head in business. I interviewed for the job that July and started at AUP that fall.

How do your professional experiences influence the way that you teach and vice versa?

I worked for several years prior to (and during) my graduate studies, so I bring more than just theory to the classroom. For example, I worked at a small business, where I performed virtually all the office financial tasks (e.g., bookkeeper, receptionist, billing clerk, etc.), which allowed me to understand financial accounting at a practical level. All of my work experience was pre-1984, meaning “manual” so I can also appreciate how computers and spreadsheets have completely transformed the work environment.

What facet(s) of accounting do you personally find the most fascinating?

My PhD is actually in Computer Information Systems. However, AUP is a small school so business faculty need to teach outside their specialty. During my time here, I have taught Business Information Systems and Financial Accounting. Although the preparation to teach outside one’s own discipline is immense, it’s also rewarding because you can bring a different perspective. I think the students also benefit, because AUP’s business faculty can relate to multiple disciplines rather than being ultra-specialized, like the professors you would find in a typical business school.

How does AUP’s approach to teaching business management differ from other universities that offer a business major? 

Our business major is housed within a liberal arts institution so the number of required courses is much fewer than it would be in a university with a business school. However, business schools generally have three-credit courses, whereas we offer four-credit courses, which allow us to go much deeper into the course material and encourage students to think more critically about each topic. Success in business is based on one’s ability to think and problem-solve, not on the number of discrete classes taken.

How do the classes you teach fit into this? 

I believe that any student who has taken my Financial Accounting or Business Information Systems class will tell you that to succeed in those courses they must work very hard and acquire a deep understanding of the material. I pride myself on ensuring that students in my class will have really taken control of their learning and managed to exceed each course’s learning goals.

Can you tell us about current and/or future collaborations between yourself and your students?

This semester I am supervising a Management Information Systems major in her Senior Project. For AUP’s Orientation to run smoothly, many different departments must work together and complete their tasks on time so that each subsequent activity can be accomplished on schedule. This student is documenting this complex process within a database, then designing reports that provide each employee with a schedule of due dates, and enable managers to keep on top of all departmental assignments.

What kinds of positions do IBA students tend to hold after graduation?

A quick look at my contacts on LinkedIn show that recent IBA alumni hold the following positions:

  • Research Analyst
  • Business Support Analyst
  • Investment Banking Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Director General
  • Web Developer/Integrator
  • Business Development Manager
  • Client Manager
  • Account Manager
  • International Manager
  • Consultant

Several entrepreneurial alumni have also created new businesses. For example, one has created a website for horse enthusiasts and another has created a new line of cosmetics.

What is the question that I should have asked you that I haven’t asked you already?

I came to AUP because I wanted to live in France, but I love working at AUP because of the students. They are wonderfully diverse, incredibly polite, and sophisticated (perhaps they also tend to be well-travelled). Getting to know them as students and advisees is extremely rewarding for me.