School friends stick together

Past students Jim Hunter (2009), Bill Hunter (2008) and Michael Dowsett (2009) have stuck together since leaving school. All three have just recently completed the very challenging Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand qualification and are currently working together in Sydney.

Alumni working together
Jim (left), Bill (centre) and Michael (right)

While they all work together in the same boutique firm, all three are specialising in very different areas. Jim works in advisory services for SME’s (Small and medium-sized enterprises), Michael mostly works with a publicly traded biotechnology company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, and Bill in self-managed superannuation and financial planning.

As keen sportsmen at school, it’s not surprising that their favourite CCGS memories come from the sporting field. “I loved representing the school at the ISA carnivals and competitions,” said Jim. “The highlight of my CCGS schooling was probably winning the ISA basketball tournament in my final year of school!”

Their love of sport has stayed with them through the years. Jim is still a very keen basketballer, Michael has continued to play competitive Rugby, and Bill enjoys hitting the waves for a surf as much as possible.

The friendship (and brotherhood) they share meant that they could draw support from each other as they completed the Chartered Accountancy course together. “It was a very challenging, yet rewarding experience and I’m glad that I had strong support,” said Bill. “Retaining friendships is so important. When you’re 18 years old you don’t realise how important those relationships are – they’re invaluable and worth maintaining.”

Jim, Bill and Michael have all travelled extensively since leaving CCGS with Michael particularly keen to continue his tertiary education in the United States.

Career tip

Accountancy, Finance and Business is an area of interest for CCGS students with over 20% of recent graduates (from the Class of 2016) selecting tertiary study in these fields.

While accountancy has a reputation of being boring, Bill believes that accountants walk a very diverse path working with interesting people with broad and far-reaching goals. “People don’t often realise that it’s not all about the numbers, it’s about the relationships you develop with clients. Often you are invaluable in helping them achieve their goals. So it’s an excellent career choice for people who like to help people.”

For students who are interested in a career in Accountancy and Business, Michael suggests spending time in the real-world doing the job while studying. “Summer internships are an excellent opportunity to gauge what’s involved. It can also shine a spotlight on specialist areas people may not have considered.”