From Taradale, the 34-year-old is to add a further feather when he is capped with his Bachelor of Business Studies. As one of two valedictorians, he will represent fellow graduates in delivering a speech to the families, friends and academics gathered in Napier’s Municipal Theatre.
While that could be a nerve-racking prospect, David feels more confident for having written and presented a speech on the fear of public speaking as part of an EIT communications course.
Described by lecturers as a high achieving and extremely capable student, David claimed the Irene Ross Memorial Award for topping his Accounting Applications course in his first year and also won the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants award for second-year accounting students.
Employed by WHK in Hastings since July last year and studying now to qualify as a chartered accountant, he laughingly points out that he is into his third career.
After seventh form at Havelock North High School, he signed up for a mechanic’s apprenticeship because, he says, “I wanted to race cars”. For eight years, he competed nationally, racing at all New Zealand’s circuit tracks.
The second career was running two family businesses when his father became ill.
“After four years, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted, working six days a week and spending Sundays worrying about work the next day.”
Encouraged by wife Rebecca – his “support and driving force” – David decided to study for his degree. He pulled out of the businesses and the couple sold the family home and his racing car all within the space of three days.
He chose EIT, he says, because it was local and also for its excellent reputation. Meeting School of Business staff for the first time also created a good first impression and small class sizes allowed students to get to know the lecturers.
“You were not just another number sitting in a lecture of 300 people – the lecturers were always available to help.”
With a young family to consider, David took on the role of main caregiver to Henry and Tom – now aged 7 and 5 – while Rebecca continued working as an independent midwife.
“I’ve had more time with the children than most dads get,” he says. “I really missed the boys’ company for weeks after starting work at WHK. Studying and looking after children actually worked well for us.”
David is enjoying his job for the Hastings accounting firm, a company which employs a number of EIT’s BBS graduates. While it’s a challenging role, he is finding his knowledge base growing as he tackles a wide variety of tasks.
A quote by American writer, poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau hangs above his desk.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!” Thoreau urges. “Live the life you have imagined.”
David also believes that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.