- Oct 5, 2018
When most of us think accounting, we think numbers and spreadsheets. A lot of spreadsheets. But for Matt Sooy, accounting serves as a tool to communicate and solve complex issues.
An assistant professor in Managerial Accounting and Control, Sooy was awarded this year’s David G. Burgoyne Teaching Award for his outstanding impact as an HBA1 instructor. He received the recognition at the HBA Pledge Ceremony on September 7.
“There are of course some numbers,” said Sooy. “But we also get a chance to speak a lot about the ethics of our decisions, the qualitative factors and the strategy.”
Instead of learning only through textbook chapters, his students spend classes discussing and making challenging decisions. “The case study method is a form of learning by doing. It takes a lot for the case study method to work – but we do it very well here. It’s my job to keep it safe and balanced.”
Sooy started his teaching career in 2009. He joined Ivey almost two and a half years ago and attributes his success to those around him.
“I teach with such amazing people, and I feel very fortunate to share such an important moment in the students’ lives,” he said. “It’s different here at Ivey. Students form these cohorts in their sections, where they get to know each other, challenge each other and lift each other up and I’m grateful to be a part of that.”
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Here, classroom contribution plays a major role in a student’s success. “For some students, it is about finding your voice. For others it is about learning to moderate it,” said Sooy. He recalled a time when a student was anxious about contributing, until their classmates rallied behind them. “To show support, other students didn’t compete against this person so they were comfortable to share their thoughts. When they were done speaking, the class congratulated them and it was really wonderful.”
Contribution is important, specifically in Sooy’s accounting class because, he said, accounting can’t communicate itself. It’s not enough to be able to build a spreadsheet. You need to be able to lead people. At Ivey, you start practicing these skills early.
Being able to understand and express complex problems is a skill that transfers in any line of work. Be it marketing, accounting or something else, we’re all trying to find a way to make the world a better place.