What has FINSIA meant to your career?
It's actually been fundamental to my being in my current role in terms of my career development. I originally joined the Bankers Institute of New Zealand, which subsequently got rolled into FINSIA after I started work in January 1985.
My boss at the time encouraged me to join. I completed their professional programmes to gain the credentials and also got involved in the Young Banker of the Year competition, getting to the final twice.
As a result of the contacts made, I got the opportunity for my role at Massey University. If I hadn't joined the Bankers Institute, that opportunity may not have happened and therefore I might not be where I am today.
Tell us about your career to date.
I had completed a degree, but when I joined the bank, I started as a teller - at the bottom - and had a variety of roles. It wasn't exactly a graduate programme, but there was a recognition that I was a graduate and I guess I was slightly fast tracked. I think starting that way is really important because you do then understand what's actually going on - you have that interaction with the customers and get to see what's going on, picking up a wide variety of experiences. If you're working in a bank at a more senior level, being able to talk about your experiences and to recall those experiences you had when you worked in a branch and when you were talking to customers is important.
We’ve read your job title, but what do you tell people at a BBQ?
My title job title is Director of Academic Quality at the Massey Business School. I have oversight of the portfolio of qualifications that the Business School offers, from the certificates right through to the masters. I don't look at the doctorates. It's around what do those qualifications look like, providing guidance and advice on developments, making sure that we meet regulatory requirements. I’m also responsible for the quality assurance of our qualifications, including accreditations, and helping ensure students are able to complete their degrees.
What are your most pressing challenges in 2023 – 2024?
The pandemic caused major issues because international students weren't able to come to New Zealand during COVID. And building back those numbers to deal with the financial challenges we are facing means we are having to go through significant restructures. It’s a situation that’s similar with Australian universities also.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I got was actually right at the beginning when I joined the Bankers Institute and was urged to do their qualifications. That was a key driver for the path that I went on.
In hindsight, what is the one thing you would have done differently in getting to where you are now?
Nothing. I could have stayed more directly involved in the banking sector. But I’m happy with where I've ended up. So why would I want to change that? Which is not to say that there may not have been advantages of taking a different path. But I would have then ended up in a quite a different position now to where I am.
Who is your most influential or inspirational professional and why?
I couldn't put it down to an individual. I've worked with some wonderful managers and colleagues. People have contributed and provided influence to my development in different ways.
But it is the Bankers Institute and FINSIA who have been a really important influence for me. This has included the credentialling earned, with the SF FIN as the latest of these, which provides recognition and credibility.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I do a lot of walking, including with the dog. If I ever get the time, I also like to knit and read and I'm into crosswords and other similar related puzzles. But it can be a struggle to find the time.
Find out more about FINSIA membership here