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Kai DeMott

Meet Kai - Assistant Professor at the Department of Accountancy at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, and PhD in Business Administration alum.

1. Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.

I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Accountancy here at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. My role basically consists of three elements: research, teaching, and service to the university and community. On a daily basis, I am working on my research most of the time (i.e. reading, writing and presenting papers, incubating new research projects). I also teach a course in management accounting each semester, which requires some preparation and coordination every week. Finally, I engage in various extra activities (i.e. organizing brownbag seminars, research committee) to contribute to the academic community here at our school.

2. What is the attraction of doing research?

That is probably different for everyone, but for me doing research is like a playground. It gives you the space to be creative, where you can play with ideas, and talk to peers who are equally excited about the things you find interesting. I also genuinely like ‘the craft’ of doing research and writing papers, because I am fascinated by the way designing and developing ideas into writing becomes a deeply reflective process, where you use language to create a product (i.e. almost like a song or a piece of art) that is somehow never finished but you still go out there and want to show it to the world. On top of that, the research community in qualitative accounting research is also a very welcoming one, which makes it easy to share these experiences and feel part of a group of likeminded people. Bottom line: I think this is the best job in the world!

3. Why did you choose to do your PhD at SSE?

I actually always wanted to do a PhD, because I have always preferred the classroom to working life. I was working for a bank in Germany when I initially decided to take a leap of faith and apply to SSE for my Masters in Accounting and Financial Management. I actually never thought I’d be accepted. The rest is pretty much history: I got accepted and through my courses in the program, I developed a deeper interest in qualitative accounting research - something I did not even know existed. After a few weeks in already I reached out to my teachers and asked them what I need to do to do my PhD at SSE. They were super supportive and I actually made it, double enrolled after one year into my masters for the PhD program which was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I would recommend to everyone, every time SSE as a fantastic environment to do your PhD. 

4. Following the time at SSE, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?

Every experience may be different, but my number one advice would be, as simple as it sounds, to enjoy every day at SSE. Both my masters and PhD, in hindsight, went over so quickly and I feel just now it catches up with me what a great time I had despite the occasional frustrations, the wonderful people I have met, the great city that Stockholm is. Some of us end up in the working life or somewhere else pretty quickly, but I believe a part of SSE just stays - and should stay  - with us for the rest of our lives, so: make it count while you’re at it :)

5. What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?

Adventure, enlightenment, and gratitude.