Why I applied for the PhD in Accounting program at the University of Waterloo

Get an opportunity to learn through experience along with academics

photo of Shumiao W., PhD, AccountingMy name is Shumiao. I’m a first year PhD student in Accounting. I did my undergrad and master’s at the University of Waterloo and spent the next five years working as an auditor at Deloitte. I loved my job, but I was a bona fide workaholic living out of a suitcase 100 days a year and racking up enough Via Rail points to comp two round trip sleeper class tickets to Vancouver. Then COVID hit and suddenly I had a whole lot more time to reflect on my life. I was so tired! I didn’t really recognize myself anymore and was doing things more out of habit than enjoyment. So, I left my job, broke up with my boyfriend, moved apartments, read one chapter of a self-help book, and returned to the University of Waterloo to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a doctor.

And honestly, it’s going much better than expected. I entered the PhD program with fears about being too old, mathematically challenged, socially awkward, etc. Now, after completing most of my first term, I’ve realized none of that will preclude me from getting a PhD. I just have to keep waking up every day wanting one. This experience has given me the opportunity to challenge myself in new ways and brought a sense of purpose back into my life.

I also can’t recommend the University of Waterloo’s accounting programs enough (having done most of them). The faculty at the university are exceptionally nice and have incredibly diverse research interests. The program is unique as it exposes you to a variety of research methodologies/subtopics and you don’t have to know what field of accounting research you want to go in when you apply. You will get research assistant experience right from the first term as well as an opportunity for teaching experience (which will be extremely helpful when you’re applying to jobs) in the later years. If you are thinking about applying, you should go ahead and apply! Then we can hang out together.


 

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