Prof. Yvonne de Grandbois teaches Innovative Research and Capstone at MBU at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has extensive managerial experience in three UN specialised agencies in Geneva, namely the International Trade Centre, the International Labour Office, and the World Health Organisation. At the World Health Organisation (WHO) she ran a global program for scientific, technical and medical information for WHO headquarters in Geneva, the six WHO Regional Offices and WHO country offices worldwide, directing the Library and Information Networks for Knowledge. Before joining MBU, she taught at the Haute Ecole de Gestion in Geneva.
Prof. de Grandbois has been a speaker at conferences around the globe. Her recent publications include articles in Business Information Review, and Library Review, and she has a book in publication on service science. She is also an independent consultant in various fields, including workshops on writing for business, training trainers, and communications.
Why did you decide to become a professor?
I was invited to teach in a Geneva School of Business Administration when I had completed my mandate in an international organisation where I headed a global programme in information and knowledge networks. This was both a pleasure and an honour, and a lovely surprise. I had had a lot of teaching experience in Canada as well as training experience in the international sector, so it was a natural step. When I was also invited to give courses at MBU, I accepted with pleasure. So one could say that teaching found me when I was not looking.
What is the most difficult part of being a professor?
I can’t think of one. You have to love to learn, and then communicate a subject that you consider important and for which you have passion. Seeing the transformation in students is a real bonus.
What do you mostly like in this profession?
I love to learn, and each course, each class brings forth new realisations. Then there is the interaction with the students, followed by the relationships with other professors and the people running things. I love being part of a school such as MBU.
When you are teaching, and the vibe is with you, and the students and the professor are on the same wavelength — this is good.
Aside from teaching, what is your professional background?
I have degrees in Information Sciences and Educational Psychology. As stated above, a large part of my career was in management in the international world, mainly the International Trade Centre, the International Labour Office, and the World Health Organisation.
What are the advantages of teaching at MBU?
It is a small-ish school, you have direct contact with each student, you get to know their stories and they teach you so much. The staff of the school are smart, friendly and fun — this is such an advantage for the professors! The other professors are all people you would like to see more of — as we are usually saying hello on the run. Our faculty meetings are great. Montreux has got to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet — and just going there is a total experience. The school is architecturally magnificent — combining its royal history with modern utilities — a work of art.
When you think of your student years, and your professors at university, do you compare yourself to your profs?
No — really not. So many classes in huge theatres where the prof was a speck on the horizon — everything MBU is not.
Do you believe you are a good teacher?
Yes I do – I give it all I have got. But you should ask the students!
How do you deal with bad students?
I cannot say I have met any “bad” students.