Hadi Mansour traveled to the United States at the age of 16, where he pursued an undergraduate education in accounting and finance at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics from 2004 to 2009. Mansour uses the business acumen he gained at CSUF to benefit the next generation of young people living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he is a business studies and economics teacher at the Abu Dhabi International School, teaching at the secondary level.
Familiar with diversity through his studies at Cal State Fullerton, Mansour is equipped to teach students from more than 70 nations who attend the school of more than 4,000 students in the heart of the UAE’s wealthiest emirate. The school specializes in educating the children of expatriates from around the world who live in the region due to business or government roles.
“This level of diversity allows teachers to take a more global perspective, using many countries and cultures as reference points,” says Mansour. “Although it is my job to educate and inform, I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from my students.”
Mansour has found that teaching business enables him to delve deeper into the historic roots of some of the differences in beliefs, values and norms of the varied cultures his students come from.
Hadi Mansour’s Journey
Teaching may be Mansour’s career, but it was a passion that developed after trying other roles in the financial sector.
“I did not get into the profession as much as I fell into it,” he says. “A few years in banking and finance taught me the different between theoretical and practical finance. I preferred the former, and teaching offered me a profession much more in line with my personality and overall life goals.”
Mansour’s journey began in Lebanon; his mother is Eritrean, and his father is Lebanese. As a child in the early 1990s, he moved with his family to the UAE.
When Mansour came to the U.S. for the first time at age 16, it was a major adjustment, but his education at Cal State Fullerton, pursued between 2004 and 2009, provided stability and personal development.
“I would not call it a culture shock, but I would be remiss if I did not admit that the move was intimidating,” says Mansour. “However, CSUF provided me the greatest opportunity to socialize and expand my horizons. Although my studies focused on finance, my exposure to courses in the social sciences, including history and philosophy, gave me the motivation to become an avid reader to appreciate the wealth of information from the past that can easily be accessed and applied in the present.”
After his graduation, Mansour would return to the UAE, first serving as a business and economics teacher for SABIS, a global educational network in 20 countries across five continents. In that role, the young educator would travel extensively (he’s visited 34 countries to date). He would later hold teaching roles with Al Najah Private School and ADNOC Schools in the UAE. Mansour began his current position with Abu Dhabi International School in August 2016.
Mansour is also earning a graduate degree in educational leadership and administration from The British University in Dubai, where he is currently writing his dissertation.
“I wish to move upwards in education and play a greater leadership role, with the aim of contributing to the development of teaching and learning practices as well as curriculum development that is more in line with the ever-growing demands of the future,” he says. “I also intend on earning a doctoral degree in the social sciences, probably in philosophy.”