Professor of Accounting
While working in the banking industry, Dr. Linda Kuechler discovered a penchant for accounting, an interest that led to a position at a Big 8 firm and then teaching at Daemen College. A faculty member for over 30 years, she emphasizes the importance of gaining experience outside the classroom as a pathway to professional success.
What sparked your interest in accounting?
Like many Daemen College students, I was the first person in my family to go to college. During the time of the Great Depression, neither of my parents had the opportunity to earn a high school diploma but they both recognized the value of an education. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, I worked for a major bank that offered tuition assistance, and when taking accounting courses, I discovered that I enjoyed the work. I earned my MBA in accounting and went on to work for a Big 8 accounting firm. Later, I earned my doctorate in international trade and business.
You’ve been with Daemen for more than 30 years. What led you to teaching at the college?
I decided to change my career and began teaching at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. When my husband and I returned to our hometown of Buffalo, I taught at another local college and also as an adjunct at Daemen starting in 1978. I enjoyed the students and atmosphere at Daemen so much that I became a full-time faculty member in 1985. Over the years, Daemen has provided all the benefits of working at a small college and also values its faculty and provides the opportunities that larger colleges offer.
How has the accounting field changed since you began teaching?
The accounting field has changed dramatically because of technology and the global environment. Accounting knowledge is important and increased cultural competency and knowledge of information systems is paramount. Because of the required knowledge base, educational requirements have also increased.
Why is it important for students to gain hands-on experience through internships, projects, and activities outside the classroom?
Classroom education and practical experience are both important. We have integrated a number of hands-on experiences in our curriculum through activities such as VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) and our accounting lab, which provides financial services to non-profits. A required internship provides additional practical experience and has led to full-time employment for many students.
What advice do you have for your students?
The advice I have for my students is to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, never stop learning, and don’t be afraid to take chances in your career. Daemen has provided the foundation, now it’s up to the student to build on it.