Dr Xinning Xiao

Xinning Xiao

PhD (2016)

Xinning is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting at Monash University. Her research is in the areas of business ethics, auditing, and corporate social responsibility. Xinning’s work has been published in leading academic journals such as European Accounting Review, British Accounting Review, and Journal of Business Ethics. She currently teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and supervises research students in the PhD and Honours programs. She is currently a member of American Accounting Association, European Accounting Association, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand and Australian National Centre for Audit & Assurance.

29 OCTOBER 2021

Why did you choose to work in academia rather than in industry?

Freedom and open-endedness. There aren’t many places where you get paid to think and work not for profit, but for the sheer love of finding out how things work. The research questions that I ask do not have a quick, definite answer. The open-endedness of these questions necessitate freedom of thoughts, and academia is the perfect place for this. 

How do you juggle the responsibilities of teaching, research, services and family? 

I am still trying to figure out how to better juggle these responsibilities, especially during the busy periods. Identifying peak work times helps and in my case, the best time for me to read is in the early hours of the morning, so I block out my calendar to read during this time. I try to schedule administrative duties for when my brainpower is drained. Quality (face) time with family is the best way to recover and finish off a day!

Reflecting on your experiences at CBE, what advice would you give to a HDR student who is at the late stage of their candidature?

Most advice is context-specific, but hard work generally pays off in the end. 

What are your three survival tips for the first year of your career?

  • Be clear of your performance expectations and prioritise accordingly. If you are aiming to obtain tenure or promotion, talk to your supervisor to demystify the tenure requirements and promotion pathways, and start to make plans.
  • Have a clear strategy in terms of developing your portfolio as well as some ideas for what resources and skills you might need. You should also determine if there are any mentors you can trust and seek advice from. 
  • Don’t wait for promotion or tenure to start living your life. You can do that now.