Cassy Titter was working in the shearing industry when she first came to UCOL Whanganui in 2006. She was looking for something new, and after her aunty had signed up for UCOL’s New Zealand Diploma in Business, Titter thought she would try it too.
“I didn’t know what I was in for at the time, but after I got a couple of papers under my belt and I got a job at the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board. I found that I was good with numbers and the job increased my interest in accounting and finance, and made me want to study more.”
Titter studied the diploma part-time while working full-time and raising her son.
“I had great support from my whānau to help look after my boy. The UCOL lecturers were really great – they were understanding of my situation and were always on hand to help out with my studies.”
Once Titter finished the diploma, one of her lecturers recommended that she continue with the Bachelor of Applied Management, majoring in Accounting.
“Eventually I want to be a chartered accountant, so it wasn’t a difficult decision for me!” says Titter.
The UCOL degree has professional accreditation with Chartered Accountants New Zealand (CAANZ) and Certified Practising Accountants Australia (CPA Australia) so provides a recognised pathway for those who want to become Chartered Accountants.
Titter had begun working fulltime as a Finance and Administration Officer at Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui, before moving into a Financial Administrator role at Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa. She was able to do her third-year industry project there, which involved transferring the business’ accounting records from MYOB to Xero software and digitalising all the paper records.
Now working as the organisation’s Financial Controller, Titter says she is able to apply a range of skills and knowledge she picked up at UCOL - even from when she first started studying in 2006.
“In the Information Accounting Systems paper, one of our assignments was on Xero - how to set it up and how to import transactions and invoices. That was really helpful when I was transitioning everything from MYOB to Xero. The Financial Accounting paper helped me know what I was looking for when we had an audit. The Professional Practice paper helped me with CV writing and job interviews - I hadn’t had to write a CV in years having worked for the iwi for 11 years.”
Having completed her degree, Titter has her sights set on studying to become a chartered accountant and expanding the work she does at Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa.
“I’m happy where I am and would like to get more into the investment side of the business. I have experience with fund managers and investment trusts, and I really enjoy that kind of work.”
Titter is among the 2236 students graduating across UCOL campuses this year. Due to the Traffic Light System, UCOL will be celebrating graduation a little differently this year. Graduands will be collecting their parchments from UCOL campuses. They will get an opportunity to have a small celebration with their family and friends, including hiring graduation gowns and taking professional photographs. UCOL Whanganui Graduation parchment collection day is Friday 8 April.