Greg Pearce

Greg Pearce

Principal Managing Director, Pledge Ltd; and Factory Manager, Racetech Manufacturing Ltd - Hamilton and Wellington, New Zealand

Greg Pearce

He’s built America’s Cup yachts, worked on international aerospace and energy projects. He’s lived in the Middle East and China and places in between.

And now Greg Pearce is proud to have completed his Master of Business Administration at the University of Waikato, graduating in December 2020.

The father of four says he was “bright, very bright”, at school, but never had to apply himself. “I wasn’t a good worker. Intelligent, but in hindsight not particularly wise.”

Greg’s first job was in forestry, then he made a good stash at shearing, but after three years in the woolshed realised that perhaps he should be using his brain a little more.

That’s when he began working as a composite boat builder, starting with America’s Cup yachts. He often worked on big multinational projects, became a foreman, moved into management and built up his own contract team of “people I could call in from all over the world”. He even worked for a sheikh at one point.

Greg had planned to begin tertiary study in 2006, but when his wife became pregnant with their second child, he decided to carry on working.

“I loved the cut and thrust of business, particularly in the Middle East, but I knew there were some gaps in my knowledge. I also wanted my children to grow up Kiwis, so eventually we made the decision to return to New Zealand."

"I knew that for work in the future, more doors would open if I had some letters after my name; that all my years of experience weren’t quite enough.”

In 2015 Greg completed the Certificate of University Preparation (CUP) course during summer school at the University of Waikato.

“It had been 20 years since I’d been at school, and things change; what you need to know changes. I did calculus and basic maths papers, critical thought, and physics. It was all about learning to learn again, including those all-important soft skills, such as listening, note-taking and writing.”

With that initial qualification under his belt, Greg threw himself into the first year of a mechanical engineering degree, thinking that’s what he was best suited for.

“But I soon realised I should have been doing management subjects. I had the practical engineering skills already, and I needed to be learning accounting and finance.”

Greg decided to switch into a Bachelor of Business Analysis majoring in Finance. After knocking that off in 2018, he immediately took on the even bigger challenge of studying for the Waikato Master of Business Administration.

“It’s an insane amount of study but I’m keen to get it done as quickly as I can and get back to the world of work again."

Greg Pearce