Bachelor of Business Analysis, Master of Business Administration (Accounting, Finance)
Waikato Management School
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. Now Greg Pearce has done a Certificate of University Preparation (CUP) and is studying for two degrees at the University of Waikato.
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 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 in composites, starting with America’s Cup boats. He stayed with composites doing assorted jobs, often big multinational projects, became a foreman, moved into management and built up his own contract teams “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 Waikato CUP course at Summer School. “It’d 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 a Certificate of University Preparation under his belt, Greg threw himself into the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering 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 and I needed to be learning accounting and finance.”
Now Greg is doing two degrees, double what most students cope with. He’s finishing off a Bachelor of Business Analysis and an MBA, a 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.