A desire to serve others has always defined the career path of accounting instructor Maggie Knight’s, BSBA’01, CPA. With a passion for accounting and health care, Knight began her professional life by serving healthcare clients through public accounting at KPMG. She was recruited by CHI Health in 2008 as a system controller and eventually served as chief financial officer for the primary and specialty care networks of CHI Health physicians.
“I was always drawn to healthcare because I felt I was serving others, even if it was through accounting and finance rather than through direct patient care,” she says.
A career with direct service appealed to Knight, and she began to explore ways to realize this goal while capitalizing on her existing work experience and catering to her two passions. She arrived at teaching. Knight enrolled in the Heider College of Business’ Doctoral in Business Administration (DBA) program as part of its cohort. She would impact the next generation of business leaders from the College’s classrooms.
“I love the student interaction. I love being part of a young person’s life as they try to figure out who it is they want to be,” says Knight as she reflects on this past year teaching. “My favorite memories of my first year of teaching are all outside of the classroom, when someone has come in for advice or for help, and I’ve gotten to know them on a more personal level.”
Being on the frontlines in student formation is appealing to Knight because it is what she herself loves about her DBA studies. She describes the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series that extends throughout the three years of the DBA program as “truly transformative.”
“Embarking on a doctoral journey and simultaneously being asked to reflect on ‘Who shall I be?’ has been very powerful,” says Knight.
Knight’s own experience as an undergraduate business student at Creighton, in part, fueled her desire to switch career direction to teaching. After visiting the university as a high school student, she characterized Creighton as a school “truly about personal interaction and cura personalis.” She formed relationships with her professors, acknowledging – ironically – that she models her own classroom instruction after the professor who pushed her the hardest as an undergraduate, Tom Lewis, PhD, professor of accounting.
“Dr. Lewis is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever encountered. This past year, I got to sit in on his class and witness this all over again as I prepared to teach intermediate accounting myself,” recalls Knight. “It’s such an honor to be mentored by a legend. I have big shoes to fill.”
Knight completes the DBA program in May 2018, but already is making an impact with students. Perhaps twenty years from now one of her former pupils will return to the Heider classroom to earn a DBA, citing Knight’s example as the inspiration for his or her desire to teach.