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Philippa McNulty thumb
Philippa McNulty
Graduate, Commerce

Few 14-year-olds have an interest in accountancy, but then again few can boast a top-shelf London lifestyle by the time they reach their mid-20s.

Philippa McNulty is a happy exception whose interest in balance sheets has travelled as well as her University of Otago degree.

With a BCom Honours / Chartered Accountant (ICANZ), LTCL under her belt, she found her skills were in demand in New Zealand and overseas. It was a smooth transition to the city at the heart of all things financial.

"Now that I am living and working in London, I realise that Otago degrees have worldwide recognition. At a number of my job interviews it was mentioned that of all the universities in New Zealand, they prefer graduates from Otago."

As manager of cost and project reporting for the Royal Bank of Scotland, she manages a team of accountants and helps in high-level decision-making. It is a world away from the 14-year-old who used to accompany her father to the accountant.

 It was her great uncle who inspired her to follow her dreams and enrol at Otago's School of Business. Philippa warns the degree is hard work but its worth is proved every day when she uses papers she studied in Otago as touchstones for her problem-solving.

"An accounting degree is a great degree to have... the jobs are plentiful, and the money tends to be good. Perhaps the biggest bonus is that you can travel the world and work relatively easily, as accounting is fairly universal."