Interview with Jasmijn Bol, Associate Professor of Accounting

Background:

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Professor Jasmijn Bol always knew she wanted to go into business. While working on her master’s thesis at Maastricht University, Professor Bol discovered that she enjoyed the research that was involved in her master thesis so she decided to pursue a PhD at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. During her time at IESE, Professor Bol had the opportunity to spend a visiting year in the United States at the Wharton School of Business. Knowing that the research opportunities in the United States were stronger than in most European countries, Professor Bol applied to the top business schools in her area of expertise and ended up accepting a job at the University of Illinois. After spending five years at the University of Illinois, Professor Bol thought about going back to Europe in hopes of a change of scenery but was soon approached by Ira Solomon, current Freemans School Dean, who had been her former boss and head of the accounting department at the University of Illinois. After hearing that Professor Bol was in search of something new, Dean Solomon jumped at the opportunity and invited Professor Bol to come to Tulane to give a talk and visit New Orleans. Visiting NOLA for the first time, Professor Bol quickly fell in love with the city and decided to take a job as a Professor at Tulane.

Why did you decide to focus your career on accounting?

I guess I didn’t really decide to focus on accounting. I was a business student with a major in finance and accountancy. When I had to write a master’s thesis, I wrote about incentive systems. That became my topic and it was later when I realized that it was an accounting topic. So essentially, I chose the topic first and then the area of study. What I really like about my research topic is that there are three major research theories: psychology, sociology, and economics that I rely on for my research. I like the fact that I often take and compare multiple perspectives so I’m not just relying on psychology only but I am basing my work off of all three. I feel that it gives me a better understanding on how humans act.

What does your research focus on?

My research is about subjectivity in compensation contracting.

Do you still find teaching as rewarding as when you first began your career?

Yes. I think that I will always find it rewarding because you always have a new group of students. I change the materials I teach so I am not doing the same thing every semester. I make enough changes so that it doesn’t feel like I am just repeating myself. Especially because what I teach is so close to my research, I tend to talk about my most recent work so hopefully I won’t be talking about the same paper in 5 years because that would indicate that my research has not developed.

What do you think is the hardest thing about being a teacher?

My biggest challenge in teaching would be to teach at the right level and the right speed so that all of the students are engaged. So if I go too fast and the material is too hard, I am going to lose the lower tail of the group but if I am going too slow and the material is too easy, I am going to bore the upper tail. My goal is to make sure that everyone is engaged.

What is your favorite thing about NOLA?

You get to wear wigs.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Are you involved in any organizations?

I really like to play tennis. I am also the ambassador of a group called InterNations, which is for people from all over the world that live in New Orleans and like to connect with other expats. But it is not just for expats. It is also for Americans who think of the world as a diverse place and want to hang out with people from all over. We organize drinks every month at a different bar and we have about 80-100 people coming. It has been great because I have met a lot of people and made some good friends through this group. It is nice to have friends from all over the world and learn about their experiences and different cultures and we meet each over drinks, which helps.