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Q&A with Yuntian Li about starting her career at Dalhousie

Posted by Connor Dalton on August 15, 2023 in News

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I was born in China and got my bachelor’s degree there, then moved to the United States for my master’s degree. I got my CPA certificate in New York State and, at that time. thought I was going to be an auditor in the future. But during my master’s study, I became interested in research because my professor showed us some case studies in accounting that I found interesting. I started to think about pursuing an academic future. So that's why I decided on a PhD and moved to Montreal. I just got my PhD in accounting and am starting my new life in Halifax.

What is your research focus?

I have a very broad interest in accounting, so I do research in auditing, financial accounting, and also some gender issues and CSR (corporate social responsibility). I want to study how business activities affect the climate, our society, and the environment and what companies can do. What responsibilities should companies take in society?

What is something about you that might surprise people?

I'm a big fan of winter sports, which might be surprising given that I come from southern China. I didn't really get to see snow when I was growing up, but when I learned skiing and snowboarding in Canada, I really liked it. Also, I'm now practicing figure skating.

What is something you're proud of accomplishing?

I think I have a psychologically rich life. That’s something I'm proud of. Why do I say that? I think I have had many interesting and different life experiences in my 30 years. I have lived in various countries and experienced many different cultures in China, then in the United States, and then Quebec. Quebec is so different from other areas of Canada. I'm also doing the research I'm interested in, so I feel my life is very meaningful.

What drew you to Dalhousie and Nova Scotia?

From the academic side, I think Dalhousie is a school with a very good reputation and a long history. There is a very supportive environment and the faculty here have been great. Halifax is a great city, it's very beautiful. People here are so friendly and, even though I’ve only been here a month, I already have a lot of friends. I think I and my family have a very promising future here.

What's your favourite advice for students?

Be brave and say yes to all the opportunities you have. I believe that everyone intuitively wants to stay in their comfort zone because people all hate to feel stressed or nervous. Only if you are brave and take on challenges will life be more interesting, exciting, and meaningful.

What do you find rewarding about teaching?

I think a very important reason I want to pursue a career in academia is that I love helping students. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with them. I think the most rewarding thing for me is when I see they understand something or learn something from my class and when I can help them develop some interest in accounting.