This year, UBC Sauder welcomes five new lecturers and tenure-track faculty to the school. In the third of this series, we introduce you to Alina McGuinness, Lecturer, Diploma in Accounting Program, UBC Sauder School of Business.
At UBC Sauder, faculty members are more than just ‘professors.’ They conduct impactful research that is changing how society views the world while also inspiring students to pursue their academic passions and become the thoughtful, values-driven leaders the business world needs. This year, UBC Sauder welcomes five new lecturers and tenure-track faculty to the school. In the third of this series, we introduce you to Alina McGuinness, full-time Lecturer, Diploma in Accounting Program, UBC Sauder School of Business.
What brought you to UBC Sauder?
My career with UBC Sauder started in 2017 when I was asked to teach a course in the Diploma in Accounting Program (DAP). I was impressed by the professionalism and dedication to excellence demonstrated by both students and faculty, so I continued as sessional lecturer for the next four years. Now I am excited to become a full-time lecturer.
What subjects are you teaching, and how did you get into this field?
I primarily teach financial and managerial accounting. After completing my undergraduate degree, I pursued a career in accounting as I enjoy problem solving and working with numbers. It seemed like the perfect fit. I started teaching part-time and quickly realized I truly enjoyed being in the classroom sharing my knowledge and experience with students. This is what led me to a full-time career in education.
What fuels your interest in these subjects?
One of the greatest aspects about being an accountant is the different ways you can add value to organizations. Professional accounting is more than reporting historical financial information, managerial accounting uses forward-looking information to make decisions and drive the strategy of the organization. In my corporate experience I had the opportunity to work in a variety of roles such as financial reporting, debt financing, and strategic development. Each of these roles provided valuable experiences that help me bring topics to life in the classroom.
What inspires you to teach?
My students inspire me to teach. One of the greatest rewards of teaching is watching students achieve their academic and professional goals. I am driven by the connection I form with students while mentoring them as they start their accounting careers. Being in the classroom doesn’t feel like being at work. I truly love what I do and it’s because of the students.
What’s the most interesting thing you have uncovered or realized during teaching?
Students are more resilient than I thought. Over the past two years, I have watched students transition from traditional to online classes and I have been impressed with their ability to adapt and thrive regardless of the learning environment. This motivates me to develop courses that enhance the student learning experience and help them succeed in different situations.
What do you believe is the future of your industry?
The Canadian accounting industry has seen a fair bit of change over the past ten years; however, I expect more significant change in the future as accountants continue to integrate tools such as artificial intelligence and data analytics. I believe this fundamental shift will move many accounting professionals away from routine tasks, enabling them to focus on more complex analysis and decision-making.