University of Oregon
Numbers don't always reveal the whole story behind accounting phenomena, so variables in human behavior are what inspired Seungmin Chee to study accounting at the doctoral level.
While working as a CPA at Arthur Andersen, Chee saw how auditors do better when they understand the business environment and what motivates management, before they analyze financial statements. This prompted her interest in exploring how accounting standards might be redesigned to affect optimal disclosure policies.
Classes like Game Theory and Contract Theory equip Chee with a model of how people interact strategically, and then allow her "to apply these models to research on compensation, earnings management, and disclosure." Chee has also gleaned insights through interdisciplinary work. "We have the flexibility to choose among excellent courses in departments across campus," she says. "The economics coursework, in particular, provides a strong foundation in classical theory as well as exposure to the latest ideas and innovations."
Chee has found that others at Haas also work from a people-focused perspective, noting that "the faculty respects and encourages students' ideas and autonomy." She credits her fellow students for helping her achieve what she calls a "soft landing" into the challenging program. "The environment ensures collaborative spirit that creates friends as well as colleagues."