What was your first job?
I was an auditor at McCulloch Menzies (later Deloittes), in Christchurch .
What year was that?
It was 1982. I was 21 and got paid $24,000.
How did you get that job?
They recruited me at Canterbury University before I graduated.
Did you enjoy it?
It was a great experience but it wasn't what I wanted to do long term.
What did you learn from your first job?
I learned that there's a wide range of approaches to management practices in business, and the success of companies is heavily dependent on the quality of the leadership.
How long did you stay there?
I worked there for eight months.
What was your boss like?
My boss, Paul Kiesanowski, was interested, knowledgeable, patient and keen to develop the level of skill and discipline required to do the job well.
Why did you leave?
I was approached by Lane Walker Rudkin to be a projects manager for Canterbury International. It was a job which looked more to be where I wanted to go with my career.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
The most important thing I'd say is to try to correctly choose the industry you want to be involved in. Getting on that first rung on the ladder is critical. You get out of life what you put into it, and if you work hard, opportunities for career development will present themselves.
Is it harder for people entering the job market now?
There is now a real skill shortage and the competition for skilled and qualified people is intense. That puts a premium on gaining a decent education and gaining skills relevant to the modern job market.