Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Faculty Profile - Professor Bill Kirst

This is the second of our MSBA faculty profiles.  

Professor Bill Kirst
Professor Bill Kirst joined the CUA faculty in August 2010 as an adjunct professor teaching accounting courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.  He was hired as a full time clinical professor in August 2011 based on his outstanding abilities in the classroom.  He has somehow managed to make accounting one of our most popular courses by bringing a real world perspective to the subject based on his many years of experience around the world.

Bill is a former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner who spent 20 years of his career with PwC living and working abroad in six countries: Italy, Iran, Poland, Russia, Germany and Switzerland. He was the Managing Partner in three of these locations.

Additionally, for ten years Professor Kirst worked for a former Fortune 500 company, Smith International, Inc., in the global oilfield services sector. He held various roles in senior finance, marketing and operations. His last position was Corporate Vice President of Business Development.

Prior to joining the CUA faculty he served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Diocese of Arlington and Chief Advancement Officer for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Professor Kirst also served as a US Navy Officer for seven years, including six months in Vietnam, and later as an Intelligence Officer in the Naval Reserves. He currently serves as a Member of the CUA Business and Economics Advisory Board.

Professor Kirst holds a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University of Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California. Professor Kirst earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in the State of California.

He and his wife, Mary Ellen, have raised 6 children (one a CUA graduate) and reside in Washington DC.  Learn more about Professor Kirst below.

Serving his Country in Vietnam
SM:  What was your first job out of college?
BK:  An officer in the US Navy, serving three years aboard a small ship in the Pacific. Having spent many days, weeks, and even months at sea, I had time to reflect on what I wanted to do in life.

SM:  What did you want to be when you grew up?
BK:  A locomotive engineer – all my life I have been fascinated with trains and railroads. My favorite railroad – the SANTA FE!

SM:  Best locomotive paint scheme in the fleet!

SM: What’s your favorite restaurant in D.C.?
BK:  “Vietnam Georgetown” at M Street and 32nd Street

SM:  What made you realize you wanted to go into business?
BK:  I have always been interested in other languages, cultures, and countries, and wanted to work abroad. I had three choices: The United States Navy (too many separations for the family), the State Department (too bureaucratic for me), or international business which I found to be very entrepreneurial, competitive and financially rewarding.

SM:  What do you do in your free time?
BK:  My hobby is reading modern military history and related biographies.

SM:  What is your favorite sport and why?
BK: College Football – and following my alma mater; the University of Southern California Trojans.

SM:  How's that working out for you these days, Bill?

SM: What was your worst job growing up?
BK: Working at Sears in the Garden and Pet Department and having to clean the cages of the pets for sale.

SM:  It must be this good experience in learning to herd cats that serves you well in the MSBA program!

Always popular with the Ladies!

SM:  Why is the MSBA program important to you?
BK:  As a liberal arts undergrad (Political Science), I was educated broadly but was unprepared for the business world where key analytical, financial, communication, and interpersonal skills are expected The MSBA program provides its students with such skills.

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA

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