In Columbia Business School, Yiran Kang feels like she has found her institutional match. During her work as an auditor and financial analyst, Kang became interested in understanding how accounting impacts firm decisions, shapes company economics, and how the resulting fundamentals influence accounting choices.
“A PhD in accounting not only equips me with scientific tools but also allows me to take a step back to look at the fascinating questions I observed and confronted in work but did not have the luxury to explore,” Kang says.
She chose CBS for its strong accounting faculty and NYC location, which allows faculty to constantly combine academia with practice and help to solve real-world problems. “Accounting, as a social science, benefits from constant interactions with practice,” Kang says. “This also matches my experience transferring from practice to academia.”
Today, Kang is exploring topics related to corporate governance and firms’ financial reporting choices, and is interested how to gain more insights into a firm’s internal operation efficiency from external financial reports. Her favorite courses so far are accounting seminars in which professor introduce students to a wide variety of historical accounting research and approaches. “You get a general picture of how accounting research evolves through time and appreciate the collective effort of researchers in advancing our understanding,” Kang says.
In the future, Kang plans to continue with her current research projects and later expand to other accounting topics, hopefully in collaboration with Columbia faculty. “One of the advantages of being at CBS is that the research expertise of the faculty members is extremely wide and covers almost all areas in the literature,” Kang says. “I believe those interactions will help me to become a mature accounting researcher.”
As Kang moves deeper into her studies, she feels that the dynamic, supportive CBS environment, including the resources offered through the PhD office and individual faculty members, will also play a key role in reaching her goals.
“There are forums, events, seminars, and talks happening on an almost daily basis in Uris Hall to facilitate networking and communication with fellow students, colleagues, industry leaders, and renowned scholars,” Kang says. “CBS is one of the most welcoming and collegial communities I have ever worked or studied in. It encourages independent study efforts while ensuring that guidance and assistance is always available for students.”