About Me </>

I'm a PhD Candidate in Accounting and a former commercial banker. I like to draw on my professional background to develop research projects. I am primarily interested in financial archival research, particularly topics in disclosure, debt contracting, and financial regulation.

Over the past year, I have dedicated considerable time to learning about generative AI and integrating large language models (LLMs) and other AI technologies in my research and teaching workflows. I created chat-lab.ai to share this interest and help other academics use LLMs and AI tools in their research and teaching. I also wrote a guide for new PhD students on how to use ChatGPT and generative AI tools in a PhD program. While I wrote the guide in August 2023 for students at Virginia Tech, it was written in terms of first principles and should remain useful despite many of the tools and functionality already being outdated. I am in the process of updating this guide to share on SSRN with future students. Your feedback is more than welcome.

Download My CV
Technical Skills </>
Data </>

Below is a summary of some interesting datasets that I have worked with.

  • ProQuest Text and Data Mining (TDM) Studio

    Full-text archive of various newspapers and magazines, scholarly and trade journals, electronic theses and dissertations, and other sources.

  • Commercial Loan Officer Signors on debt contracts

    Manually collected dataset of debt contracts from material contract disclosures in SEC filings, matched to Dealscan loan information. Data from filings was collected using traditional textual analysis, while individual signors data was collected with large language models from the OpenAI API.

  • OpenSecrets

    Political contributions data collected from Federal Election Commission filings, compiled into structured format useful for academic researchers (and other interested parties) by OpenSecrets.org.

  • Twitter API v2 for Academic Research (deprecated)

    Access to the full archive of historical tweets and, with approval for academic research, users also benefitted from rather large monthly download limits. Sadly, this very useful API was deprecated following Twitter's sale in 2022.

Teaching </>

Principles of Managerial Accounting— Virginia Tech

Fall 2021 — 2024

In-person instructor, coordinated course required for all undergraduate business students.
Following the launch of OpenAI's Assistants API late in the Fall 2023 semester, I created a TA chat bot, affectionately called CostGPT, for students to use while studying for the final exam. Because the assistant retrieved data from my lecture notes and syllabus, it outperformed ChatGPT (both free and paid versions) on all the questions that we gave it. Despite some technical glitches, feedback from students on this project was overwhelmingly positive.

Principles of Managerial Accounting— Virginia Tech

Fall 2020

Online, asynchronous, coordinated course required for all undergraduate business students. Due to the covid pandemic, the course format was online and asynchronous. Lectures were pre-recorded, all course materials were available online, and students were required to keep to the posted assignment schedule. I was responsible for holding online office hours and proctoring online exams.

Introduction to Financial Accounting for non-Business Majors— University of Michigan

Winter 2018

Lead instructor for course, during which I received formal pedagogical instruction through the Faculty-in-Training program at Michigan Ross. While I relied on past materials and assistance from others, I prepared my own syllabus and course materials for this course.

Immigration Reform: Policy and Politics— University of Miami

Fall 2013 & 2014

Teaching assistant on team of four instructors for a boutique course about the issue of immigration reform. At the time, legislation was being debated in Congress. The timely course, coordinated by both the Political Science Department and the Center for Latin American Studies, featured weekly bipartisan guest speakers, including current and former legislators, cabinet members, and White House advisors, as well as political activists, community leaders, and academic researchers.

Education </>

Virginia Tech

2025 (Anticipated) — PhD Accounting and Information Systems

Dissertation: Headlines to Credit Lines: The Influence of Economic Narratives in Private Lending Decisions
Chair: Dr. Robert Davidson

University of Michigan

2019 — MA Business Administration

Rackham Merit Fellow

University of Miami

2015 — MA Latin American Studies

Thesis: “Effects of the Political Climate on IFRS Adoption in Latin America”

University of Miami

2006 — BBA Finance and Accounting (Double Major)

Gates Millenium Scholar

Professional Background </>

Vice President— BankUnited, Miami, FL

2010 to 2011

Commercial Loan Officer— BNY Mellon / Banc Sabadell, Miami, FL

2004 to 2010

© 2024 Mailyn Fernandez