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Fueling a passion for numbers

For Otago Polytechnic online learner Paul, studying towards a New Zealand Diploma in Business (Accounting) has added fuel to his passion for numbers. 

Over his 40-year career, Paul has seen his fair share of financial statements and documents in his work in senior management and as a business owner. This ignited an interest in accountancy, and this year he decided to reinforce his skills and knowledge with a formal qualification. 

“I’ve always had an interest in numbers and accountancy,” says Paul. 

“I’ve owned my own business and managed the finances, so I had a good grasp some of the more advanced skills. But over the years, sometimes people would ask me to explain the basics and I sometimes struggled,” he continues. 

As he progresses on his learning journey, Paul has enjoyed filling these gaps in his knowledge. 

I’m getting more and more confident in my knowledge of the rules and regulations around accountancy, as well as how to attain accounting standards. It’s been really refreshing and worthwhile to gain new knowledge and reinforce what I already know,” he says. 

It almost feels like a reinvention of myself. 

Paul has found the course content incredibly stimulating. 

“[My course facilitator] Melanie probably thought I was getting a bit carried away – I was so passionate about what I was learning. It was riveting. It switched a light on,” he says. 

He’s found that having an intrinsic interest in what he’s been learning has worked to his advantage. 

If I’m really interested in something, I find it makes it easier to understand and conceptualise what I’m learning,” he says. 

Paul has also enjoyed connecting what he was learning to his experiences at work. 

“I can relate what I’m learning in my workplace, which has helped me to put what I’m learning in context, he says. 

After a little trial and error, Paul realised that he could balance study around working full time by taking one course at a time. 

I’ve found it quite manageable. I’ve got into a good routine and work on my study on the weekend, and also through the week,” he says. 

He also appreciated having the option to learn online. 

It affords you the flexibility,” he says. 

Paul, a passionate proponent of lifelong learninghas received has positive feedback in his professional and personal life about his decision to study. 

“When you’re a mature student and people find out that you’re studying, they respect that you’re willing to keep learning,” he says. 

“It’s already opened doors for me.” 

Congratulations on what you’ve achieved so far, Paul, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your learning journey with us! 

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