Unlike most Otago students Chris Ellis is a born and bred Dunedinite. The superb campus environment so close to the central city was already well ingrained in Chris, as was the University’s excellent reputation for high quality education. However, this local lad had quite a few surprises in store for him when he stepped onto campus to begin his business and accounting studies.
Chris didn’t just learn technical knowledge—he learned how to interrogate financial information and understand the strategic impacts of accounting. This critical analysis has made him an independent thinker during his career, and the Otago emphasis on “learning to learn” gives him the confidence to tackle new and interesting projects in his role as Finance Manager at Canon New Zealand, in Auckland.
The multi-cultural blend of staff and students was a vibrant and interesting community to be part of, and excellent preparation for the international world of modern business. Not to mention the forging of close friendships with people from all over the world (complete with a lifetime supply of holiday invitations!).
Chris found the academic staff always more than willing to offer advice and assistance, which proved a big factor in Chris staying on to complete a Master of Commerce in Accounting. Conducting research for his thesis, Chris interviewed senior financial staff from over 30 large companies—giving him a marvelous insight into how classroom teachings can be applied to commercial practice.
In his experience, employers perceive Otago graduates as having plenty of initiative—stemming from not only the teaching style at Otago, but also the experience of living and studying in a flatting situation, and the independence and confidence this brings.