For ACAP grad, PhD means more than teaching

Written on Jan 04, 2018

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Some might think earning a PhD and becoming a professor ends with a teaching career, but Candice Hayes-McInnis, CPA, now knows it can lead to much more.

“Being a professor is about way more than just teaching,” said Hayes-McInnis, a tax associate at Clark Schaefer Hackett. “It’s about the research and your reach into the community.”

She gained this insight at the KPMG PhD Project Conference held Nov. 15-17 in Chicago. The PhD Project is meant to grow the number of minority business school faculty members to, in turn, attract future generations of minority business students. Her attendance was made possible with help from The Ohio CPA Foundation.

Candice Hayes

After facilitating a workshop last summer for students at The Ohio State University Fischer College of Business, Hayes-McInnis said she loved helping students make sense of material. She then began thinking about the PhD route, a path she hadn’t considered before.

“I had always wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I didn’t want to be a PhD because I didn’t know what that meant.”

Sessions at the conference covered topics such as the GMAT, test preparation and the meaning of GMAT scores. On the second day alumni of the PhD Project talked about what it means to be a PhD, what research entails and what to expect in those four years. They also held a career fair where participants could talk to school recruiters about their PhD programs, and finer details like funding and housing.

“Hearing from panelists who are PhD Project alumni about how they did it all was really beneficial,” Hayes-McInnis said. “It helped me create a timeline for how I might go about this whole process.”

Hayes-McInnis, an ACAP-Ohio and ACLA graduate, is interested in a behavioral accounting PhD, and said she enjoys personal finance as well.

“I’m really interested in why people make the financial decisions they do,” she said.

Her interest in personal finance and CPA knowledge has extended to more philanthropic endeavors, as well. In August she launched her nonprofit, Providom, which provides access to financial solutions.

“Since I’ve recently started my nonprofit this makes even more sense,” she said. “I realized I can create research around the issues I’m seeing.”

After the conference, Hayes-McInnis is now working on a plan to earn her PhD.

“The next step is getting some research experience and becoming a research assistant and then I will take the GMAT and apply,” she said. She has a few schools in mind but hasn’t made any final decisions about where she wants to end up.

“Everything I do is for the benefit of the community and for other people, that’s the heart of it,” she said. “I think that getting the PhD and creating research that will highlight these issues will benefit my mission and vision for helping underserved communities.”

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  1. Maylin | Jan 21, 2018
    This is so amazing! Way to go Candice!! We love the work you are doing with your nonprofit and the work you are doing by serving on other boards! I'm so proud of you and your journey. I will be at your PhD graduation!!!!

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