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Accounting Club Launches Podcast

May 17, 2021
Christa Sullivan, 2021-2021 Director of Programs, Accounting Club Christa Sullivan, 2021-2021 Director of Programs, Accounting Club

How does a student club stay active when you don’t know each other and can only meet on Zoom? That was the challenge for the 2020-2021 Accounting Club Board – most of whom finally got a chance to meet in person just a few weeks ago. The Accounting Club is traditionally one of the most active on campus, and maintaining a high level of engagement was important, especially during a pandemic.

It wasn’t easy. The board hosted meetings and presentations from accounting firms, but found it hard to connect with members over Zoom. “Participation was low,” said 2020-2021 Board President Atlin Bell. “Students didn’t have enough time.”

Bell had been getting into podcasts during the pandemic and wondered if that format would be flexible enough to meet students’ needs no matter their schedule. “They could listen on their own time and learn something new,” he thought.

Atlin Bell, 2020-2021 Board President, Accounting Club Atlin Bell, 2020-2021 Board President, Accounting Club

He worked with Christa Sullivan, the 2020-2021 Director of Programs, to launch the Accounting Club at UAA podcast. “The goal is to bring together the best topics and minds in accounting and share the knowledge,” said Sullivan.

The podcast launched in late April. The first episode featured Assistant Professor of Accounting Juergen Sidgman, who is new to Alaska.

“This was my first podcast and interview,” said Sullivan. “Dr. Sidgman’s story surprised me. I realized professors really are just like us. As he described his journeys, he had to overcome a lot of obstacles. It was refreshing. I saw that myself – or anyone else – could work towards our goals and really achieve them.”

“Although I know Christa as a student taking one of the courses I teach, it was nice to be able to talk to her in a more personal way,” said Sidgman about the interview experience. “Sometimes, I get the impression that students do not realize that professors, and other professionals who surround them, have walked paths similar to the journey their students are taking. So, it was nice to share a little of my life experiences with Christa and anyone else that may listen to the podcast, and let them know that when we say that we get their struggle, we actually get it.”

Dr. Juergen Sidgman, Assistant Professor of Accounting Dr. Juergen Sidgman, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Although new officers have been elected to the Accounting Club board, Bell and Sullivan hope to work with them to continue the project. “After the success of the first episode, I got more interested in wanting to continue over the summer,” said Bell. “We’d like to coordinate with the new board and interview all the other UAA accounting professors, along with managers or controllers at firms around town.”

“I do hope this continues,” said Sullivan. “Students can learn so much our professors and from accounting professionals.” The podcast should interest students beyond the accounting program, she noted. “Entrepreneurs who are looking to open their own business are going to need accounting to understand their financials.”

“I think the Accounting Club podcast has tremendous potential,” said Sidgman. “It can be something that can be used in so many ways. From having fun interviews with other students, to interviews with professionals, to have students discuss a particular accounting topic with which they struggle in class, to involve other departments within and outside CBPP. I think it is a terrific idea.”

You can subscribe to the Accounting Club at UAA podcast on a number of apps, including Spotify, PocketCast, and Breaker.