Broadening the Discussion

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Broadening the Discussion

Professor and Frederick H. Grose Chair in Accounting Pervin Shroff’s first international teaching assignment came about when Professor Mahmood Zaidi—an international education pioneer at the University—urged her to consider teaching in the newly minted CHEMBA program in Guangzhou, China. “I was intrigued—mainly by the opportunity to visit China I must admit—but was unsure how my department would view this use of my time given that I was still an assistant professor,” Shroff says.

Surprisingly for her, the Accounting Department chair, Judy Rayburn, enthusiastically supported the idea and Shroff soon found herself teaching an introductory course in financial accounting in CHEMBA as well as in the WEMBA program in Warsaw. Starting in 2015, she began teaching in the VEMBA program in Vienna, so she has had the privilege of teaching in all three of the Carlson School’s international MBA programs.

Shroff has noticed her teaching methods have altered slightly when working with internal Carlson School students. Accounting in the U.S. is mostly rule-based and class content very often focuses on “how” rather than “why” things are accounted for in a certain way. International programs provide a setting where the instructor is forced to give up being U.S.-centric and broaden the discussion to allow comparisons of alternative accounting methods and practices in the global arena and debate the merits, limitations, and impact of different practices on national and international economies.

“Over the years, my teaching style has changed to incorporate more thought, more flexibility, and a broader view of accounting, and I think a lot of this change can be attributed to my international teaching experience,” Shroff says.