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Zak Darby


Zak Darby Zak Darby

Academic merit, mountains and university life—all part of the equation

For keen skier Zak Darby, being able to attend a well-respected university near his beloved mountains was a perfect situation.

Brought up in Queenstown, Otago was both geographically attractive and had a strong academic reputation in Zak’s chosen fields of interest: finance and economics.

“You’re making a big commitment when you pursue study and you want to know you’re choosing the right institution—that your degree will be well recognised.”

Having completed a double degree in Finance and Economics, Zak embarked on the demanding Master of Business programme—an 18-month professionally-oriented qualification, made up of paper-based study and a research dissertation.

“It’s a relatively new course, but employers are starting to recognise the qualities it’s instilling in graduates. It’s hard work and it’s relevant to the real world.”

Zak also credits the energy of Dunedin city for playing a part in his overall development.

“You’re not living university life just when you’re at university - you’re living it all of the time. Otago gave me a solid grounding and base to build from.”

After finishing his masters early in 2008, Auckland has been home. Zak’s first position was investment banking with UBS, where he worked in the mergers and acquisitions division. He is now working in funds management, with Perpetual Asset Management in Auckland and enjoying the role.

While he plans to stay put for the foreseeable future, he is keen to gain experience in overseas markets at some point during his career. And it’s probably a good bet that the overseas experience will be in the vicinity of some good skiing.