Accounting comes naturally to George and was an obvious choice for university study. ‘It was my best subject at school,’ he says, ‘and I enjoyed it.’
Even so, it was not a decision he rushed into. ‘I had a year off to think about it, which was why I did my GAP year, when I did coaching and worked as a tutor at an English prep school.’
UC’s reputation for the high quality of its commerce teaching was the main reason George chose to study here. ‘The papers are challenging but the knowledgeable lecturers make them interesting, and they are also happy to help if you have any problems.’
George’s career goal is ‘to be successful in my field, become a chartered accountant and eventually get into a leadership role at a top recognised accounting firm’.
While still at university, he started down that path by doing a summer internship in the Audit Division at KPMG, one of the top international accounting firms. ‘Audits are done to ascertain the validity and reliability of information, and also to provide an assessment of an organisation’s internal control systems,’ he says.
One of the organisations he worked with was the Christchurch Buskers’ Festival. ‘It was great to use the skills that I was learning at UC in a practical context. I like the fact that with auditing you’re out working with clients for a lot of the time, and not stuck in the office.’
This valuable work experience led George to a graduate role at KPMG Audit in Auckland, working with well-known clients such as Fletcher Construction, Mazda and Konica Minolta.
‘The University of Canterbury prepared me for work in the real world,’ he says.
George’s advice to those considering Accounting as a major subject is to ‘give it a go. It’s not as boring as you think!’
In his spare time, George likes to watch sport, go to the gym, and play touch rugby or hockey. ‘The social life at UC was top notch,’ he says. ‘There are a lot of social clubs and they put on great events.’
There are other opportunities to seize while at UC too. ‘As part of UC’s international exchange programme, I went to Purdue University in Indiana, USA, which has over 40,000 students. I had a great time there: I played rugby for the college, I enjoyed all my classes and I met some great people, who are now some of my closest friends. It was a really good way to complete my degree and finish off my university life.’