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Third time graduating for former EIT student, but still just as exciting

April 25, 2024

Rebecca Dames graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting from EIT and also received an award for the top student in the Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting.

Rebecca Dames graduated for the third time when she crossed the floor to receive her Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting from EIT earlier this month , but says it was still just as exciting as the first time.

Not only did Rebecca, 34, graduate at the Napier Municipal Theatre, but she also received an award for the top student in the Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting.

Rebecca’s journey through academia began after she finished school at Iona College in Havelock North, she went to the University of Canterbury where she completed a Bachelor of Science. She then moved across to Australia where she did a Masters in Library Management at the University of South Australia.

After that she came back to New Zealand and worked as a librarian at Lincoln University for five years before she went on an OE to the UK for two years.

Not wanting to go back into the library, Rebecca decided to rekindle a love of numbers by pursuing the Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting at EIT.

“My Bachelor of Science was in Mathematics, so I’ve always been very good with numbers, but I’d never actually taken accounting. I never did it at high school or anything, but I just knew that I was good at numbers, so I thought it was probably going to be a good fit.”

And so it turned out to be. However, the road to achieve her graduate diploma did have some obstacles, firstly with COVID-19 and also never having done accounting before.

“Because of this, the diploma was two years as I had to do the prerequisite papers. And I was also working for my family at the same time, so I went on and off full-time, so it took me two years.”

It got worse as she found herself and her family affected quite badly by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“I’m actually off an orchard in Fernhill . It’s not where we live, thankfully, but it’s just the apples. It was a little bit stressful trying to get things sorted at the same time. But after COVID-19, we’d gotten used to working online, so it was just more of the same really, attending online lectures.”

The family has recovered from the Cyclone, but Rebecca still remembers the feeling of going back to study after so many years.

“I was a bit nervous about it, but I was so grateful that EIT had such small class sizes because all the teachers knew me.”

“It’s so personal, that just made it so much easier. And also, I said to myself, ‘Okay, if we’re going to do this, if I’m going to change careers completely, commit to being poor for a couple of years while I study, I might as well do it properly,’ which is why I said to myself, ‘Let’s get an A in everything,’ and I did. I was really proud with that.”

Rebecca is now working as an auditor at PwC and working toward becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

“My future goals are to get my CPA, and then I’m going to stick with audit for a while and really get to know that, because audit gives you such a great overview of all the areas of accounting.”

As for her time at EIT, Rebecca has no hesitation in recommending the programme to others.

“It’s great that it’s local in Hawke’s Bay, and it’s really good that you can work and study at the same time because of the way the timetable is set up.”

The Head of the EIT School of Business and Accounting John West said: “EIT is delighted to see Rebecca continuing our tradition, with strong accounting graduates heading into excellent jobs within Hawke’s Bay.”