'My honours project is a piece of work I am really proud of...'
Bachelor of Commerce in Finance
Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Finance
Analyst, First NZ Capital, Auckland
While many people struggle to decide what to study at tertiary level, Chris says he was fortunate to have a clear idea from an early age.
‘I started my first dummy share portfolio in intermediate school, and have always had an entrepreneurial streak,’ he says. ‘Economics was my favourite subject at school, so it was a natural progression to study Economics and Finance at university.’
Sure enough, Chris got a lot of enjoyment as well as knowledge from his studies. At undergraduate level, he liked the relevance of the course content.
‘You’d learn something new in a class or by reading, and it would be something you could see in action in one form or another in the financial markets. It inspired a number of my class mates and me to get involved in our own trading to try and gain some practical experience.
‘I also loved the full-year research project I did as part of my Honours year. I looked at the factors that influence a country’s susceptibility to experiencing systemic banking crises. It is a piece of work I am really proud of.’
Even before finishing his Honours year, Chris achieved one of his initial career goals by landing a job with the investment bank First NZ Capital in Auckland.
‘I will be involved in teams working in equity and debt capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory. First NZ is also heavily involved in the State-Owned Enterprise offerings and is joint lead manager for the Mighty River Power IPO. Banking is mainly team-based projects, so I will be working with directors and other senior bankers right from day one.
He says that further down the track he would like work in senior management positions, fund management, ‘or even politics!’ and has another goal of doing master’s study at an Ivy League college or top business school in the UK.
Having weighed up the pros and cons of studying at different universities, Chris chose UC. ‘Canterbury has a great group of lecturers, facilities and resources available to its students,’ he says. ‘The students are great, and the social life is well and alive. The earthquakes have also created a real family-like feel amongst the students.’
Chris is an avid sports fan, which takes up much of his spare time. ‘I have played basketball, cricket and golf my whole life and also love water sports. When not playing sport, I love to watch the NBA and NRL and a lot of cricket over the summer. Aside from sport I play a bit of guitar, go to church and enjoy hanging out with mates.’
A final piece of advice from Chris to others who are thinking about a career in finance is that if you are as fully informed as possible and the subject still excites you, go for it.
‘Learn as much as you can about the markets before you start. If online articles, books by people in the industry or the business sections of newspapers interest you, then finance might be the right degree for you.’