What is your current role?
My current role as Owner of Jetboards NZ encompasses everything that relates to day-to-day business operations, as well as sourcing sponsorships for the business.
How did you get to where you are today?
When I was still at school, I didn't necessarily enjoy accounting, but I knew I was good at it and it came easily. I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do career-wise, but it felt like it would be a smart choice to do an Accounting degree.I studied Accounting at the Victoria University of Wellington, and also took some papers in Law. I realised that regardless of whether I wanted to go into an accounting role or not, an Accounting degree would equip me with a financial background and a decent level of understanding of finance that I could apply to whatever career I chose.Nearing the end of my degree, I went for an internship with BDO, and after that, I headed off to the UK for a job with BDO in London.I started Jetboards NZ as a lifestyle business to fill a gap in the New Zealand market as well as allowing me to spend more time doing what I loved. I realised that I had stumbled on a real niche in regional water sports, so I worked to make my passion into my career.
How has being a CA changed your life?
Being a Chartered Accountant provided many skills that helped me achieve my personal goals by giving me a lot of career flexibility. I wanted to be financially secure; have enough money to do the things that I want to be doing, and I wanted to have a lifestyle with my family and the freedom not to be restricted. The CA skills I had acquired allowed me to start my own business, and also gave me the choice to do anything I wanted to do - I didn't necessarily have to stay in a CA firm to achieve my goals. I was thinking to myself, 'if I could be out there doing something that I don't really consider work, getting personal satisfaction out of other people having a good time and being around that positive energy. If I could trade that instead of being in the office, I would'.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
One such career highlight would probably be my CA graduation. During the graduation they had a guest speaker who was a business owner who ran a successful craft beer company. He was a CA and he was describing his story, and I was sitting there kind of like, "Wow, that's so awesome." And then two years later, I ended up speaking to new members in Germany about my story. So, I guess that was a bit of a personal achievement on that sense.
Any advice for those considering following the CA path?
A modern CA has to have a wide range of skills, and to be open to endless opportunities. You have to be agile, a confident decision-maker and adaptable to a consistently changing role. It takes foresight, and the role is likely to become increasingly strategy based.