When Katie Matt was a student in SUNY Poly’s accounting programs, she originally had her sights set on business. The experiences she’s undergone, though, have made teaching others her business, and brought her right back to where she learned it all – the hallways of SUNY Poly.
“I appreciate the reaction students have when a theory or topic resonates with them. When they understand the information and can relate to how we would use the information in the real world. This is very rewarding.”
When she started her college career, however, Katie had no plans of ever teaching. She was unsure of what she wanted to major in, but coming from a family of self-employed people, she knew accounting would be useful.
Entering as a transfer student from Mohawk Valley Community College, Katie had already received her associate’s degree in business management when she began her academic career at SUNY Poly.
“Like many other students, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had visited SUNY Poly, as this was close to home and really appreciated the size of the campus, community and all the school had to offer. I then decided to major in accounting, as I believed that no matter what field I chose to enter, this information would be useful.”
It was only over time and as her college studies took shape that she began to discover how much passion she had for sharing her knowledge with others and helping them find their own way.
“I developed the interest in teaching from my love of education and also from passing my knowledge down to students as a graduate assistant. This ultimately led me to teaching.”
As a student, she was able to learn valuable knowledge in her undergraduate studies that allowed her to then enter into the graduate accountancy program at SUNY Poly. From there, she took advantage of numerous opportunities offered by the school—such as being a graduate assistant—which led her to realize just how much she enjoyed teaching, the eventual career path she’d follow.
“While earning my bachelor’s degree, I had worked in a local accounting firm and this was an excellent experience, which brought accounting to life for me. From this, I then decided I wanted to pursue my master’s degree at SUNY Poly. As stated previously, I was a graduate assistant during this time and really enjoyed this work. That led me to pursue education after graduating from the MSA program. This includes work as an adjunct instructor while researching Ph.D .programs.”
Knowing she wanted to teach, she accepted a position as an adjunct instructor at SUNY Poly. Through this, she gained valuable teaching experience, began working on various projects with faculty, and was able to get involved on campus. This led to her working as a faculty member, both as a lecturer in the accounting department, as well as an adviser.
“I have instructed various courses within this department and have the ability to continue my work this semester as a full time lecturer. I am teaching a new course just launched this semester in our Accounting department and working on various projects to create a new concentration program.”
As she currently sits on the other side of the classroom, Katie has found several things that she learned as a student at SUNY Poly that are now serving her well in her roles.
“I now have an understanding of why things were done as they were when I was a student. I have an understanding of the processes that things must go through and have continued contact with fellow faculty that I had known as a student. I also had a great understanding of the accounting program as a student, and this has helped me as both a lecturer and an adviser,” she says. ““As a student, you do not always see all of the behind-the-scenes work that you see as a faculty member. My previous work as an adjunct instructor has allowed me to meet many students at SUNY Poly, who I am now advising. This has been a great experience to see the students progress through the program and be able to assist them now as their adviser along the way.”
Now using her experiences and knowledge to guide others along their path, Katie is right at home in the College of Business Management Advisement Center—a place for students to be able to go and have their questions heard during open office hours or with an adviser appointment.
“For the accounting/accountancy students, I am their adviser and meet students during the open office hours and beyond this through appointments. Ensuring that student questions and concerns are both heard and action is taken is one of the key purposes of the advisement center as well as encouraging students to take advantage of all SUNY Poly offers during their time here.”
For Katie, it’s not just about what she teaches, but how she teaches it, with a desire for her students to learn as well as enjoy their time in her classes.
“I hope they can learn to enjoy the field of accounting and find the usefulness of this. From both my classes and advisement, I hope my students find what they enjoy doing in the world. If I can contribute a positive piece in their future, then I have met my goal.”