Double-take on Waikato management grads

28 April 2010


It takes two: Identical twins from left, Mark and Simon Wilkinson, will graduate in May with the same degree.

They’re identical twins graduating from the University of Waikato with identical degrees, and they’ve flummoxed employers by applying for the same jobs.

Former Cambridge High students Mark and Simon Wilkinson say they’ve been confusing people all their lives. “It’s hard to differentiate our CVs,” says Mark, who with his twin graduates next month with a Bachelor of Management Studies (Honours), majoring in economics and finance.

“We even did our final year 599 investigation reports for the same organisation. The Capital Markets Development Taskforce was looking for two students, so it was a perfect coincidence.”

Even the Treasury couldn’t choose between them: based on their 599 reports, the twins were jointly awarded the inaugural prize for a student dissertation on capital markets sponsored by the Reserve Bank, the Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development.

“Mine was on Kiwisaver and Simon’s was on interest rates in New Zealand,” says Mark. “Simon opened his award letter first, and I was absolutely gutted. Then I opened my one to find we were sharing the $1,500 award.”

The twins are currently doing their Masters degrees in applied economics and finance, and both are looking at careers in the finance industry.

Not surprisingly, they’re applying for exactly the same jobs. “We’ve definitely made an impact,” says Mark. “I got a phone call from one company for a second interview, and the woman said to just pass the phone over to my brother.”

The twins put their success at securing job interviews down to Waikato Management School’s good reputation. It’s one of only three institutions in Australasia to have triple crown accreditation, an international acknowledgement of excellence in business education.

 “Coming from Cambridge, we’re so lucky to have the best business school in New Zealand just up the road,” says Simon. “Employers really care about the triple crown accreditation, so that makes a huge difference going for jobs.”

“When we go for jobs in Australia, they know the quality of our degrees is as good if not better than Australian degrees,” adds Mark.

Luckily, the twins draw the line at sharing girlfriends. “I do feel sorry for them, but we haven’t had too many troubles,” quips Simon.

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