Dr. Christophe Van Linden became a professor at Belmont University in August, 2015. His research and teaching interests include auditing, archival auditing, forensic accounting, and financial accounting.
Hello Dr. Van Linden, thank you for doing this interview. Where are you from, what made you choose accounting as a career, and how did you end up at Belmont?
Hello. I was born and raised in Belgium, in a small town called ‘sGravenwezel close to the city of Antwerp in the north of the country. During my undergraduate studies of business engineering (a combination of business administration and sciences), I took my first accounting class and was fascinated by accounting as a language of business performance and its importance in the business world. The fact that my mother teaches accounting in a college and my grandfather was a CFO probably influenced me as well since I was exposed to many accounting conversations from a young age.
What is your favorite course to teach? Why?
Fortunately, I very much like all the courses I teach at Belmont. The department is very considerate in assigning faculty to courses based on prior experience, expertise and teaching interest which I consider very valuable. In the graduate program, I teach leadership and ethics for accounting professionals which is somewhat different than a traditional accounting class because it focuses more on soft skills. In order to be a successful accounting professional, these skills are as important as knowledge of accounting transactions and the business environment.
What is your advice for students starting out in the accounting field?
Make an effort to understand your client or the business you are working in not only from an accounting perspective, but also from a strategic and operational perspective. It will not only broaden your scope of knowledge but also make you a better accountant. Continuously exercise good judgment and do not hesitate to ask questions. Develop a specialization that links with your passions and for which your personal strengths are highly valuable.
Do you have any hobbies? What is your favorite thing to do in music city?
I am an active member at the YMCA and like to run in the beautiful parks in the Nashville area. The city has several good restaurants, and you might bump into me at concerts during the weekend. Starting in April, I will be serving on the board of directors of the Music City Youth Orchestra. I also like to attend Belmont sporting events and cultural performances in support of my students.