John Bibeau, a CPA with over 25 years of experience in accounting, knows how to analyze costs and benefits. So when he was considering where to begin his college education, he saw that Moraine Valley Community College offered a good “bang for the buck.”
“It had a very good reputation and a very good price point. It allowed me to obtain college credit without the major expense of going away,” Bibeau said. He also appreciated the partnership the college had with many four-year institutions that ensured they accepted students as a junior if they completed an associate degree at Moraine Valley.
Since Bibeau initially was undecided on his degree, staying close to home seemed like a good idea. He enjoyed the small class sizes and availability of his instructors.
“They were business professionals in the field, so they could share real-life examples. And when you had questions, you could go directly to the teacher. You weren’t going to an assistant or somebody else. You had a direct line to the instructor who was teaching you,” he said.
While at Moraine Valley, he decided to pursue accounting. After earning his associate degree, he went to Illinois State University, and after graduating, went to work for a small public accounting firm, but he quickly realized he needed to be with a bigger company. He then joined a firm – Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador, Co., Ltd. – where one of his former Moraine Valley instructors, Edward Mulcahy, was a partner. Bibeau worked for that firm for over 20 years, until it merged and became known as Mueller & Co., LLP. Bibeau currently serves as one of Mueller’s partners, and his specialty areas include construction, manufacturing, distribution and local service providers.
His position gives him the opportunity to work with a wide variety of business owners.
“I get to see their unique styles and how they run their companies. I bring a certain expertise to what they’re trying to do because I can see it from several different angles and provide advice because I’ve seen a similar situation,” Bibeau said.
In addition to working hard at Mueller, Bibeau volunteers in several civic organizations because he believes it is important to support the community.
“It’s a good feeling when you’re with a group of like-minded people who also want to give back. In doing so, you also obtain friendships that are going to last for a long time,” he said.
Bibeau feels Moraine Valley is a great place to start a college education.
“I think the courses are robust enough that when you move to the next level, you’re adequately prepared. It provided me with a real college feel, locally.”