University of Canterbury and MYOB partner to enhance student vocational outcomes

At the recent MYOB Partner Connect event, the University of Canterbury Business School was presented with the Education Partner of the Year Award. Find out how their work with MYOB is enhancing student vocational outcomes.

In August this year, hundreds of bookkeepers, accountants and other industry partners from around Australia and New Zealand descended on the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to attend MYOB Partner Connect.

The busy two-day schedule included keynote sessions, roundtable discussions and stacks of networking opportunities. But it was the evening of Day Two that had many attendees holding their breath.

As an opportunity to celebrate the past year and the hard work of so many of MYOB’s Partners, the MYOB Partner Awards are always highly anticipated – but it’s not just the accounting and bookkeeping partners that are on show.

This year, Industry Engagement Manager at the University of Canterbury (UC) Business School, Tim Winfield was called to the stage to accept the MYOB Education Partner of the Year Award 2019.

Since then, we decided to follow up with Winfield to find out how UC is working with MYOB to help build career pathways for students.


Partnership opportunities abound for education providers


As the Industry Engagement Manager, Winfield’s goal is to establish industry partnerships as a means of enhancing the experience offered to UC students.

Specifically, that includes students enrolled at the UC Business School’s MBA and Taught Masters programmes.

“I also develop and coordinate the School’s internship programme and work-integrated learning opportunities to support the UC Graduate profile; provide support to the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) to ensure that key stakeholders, including UC alumni, are continually engaged with the Centre’s activities; and promote the dissemination of industry-relevant research to external stakeholders,” Winfield said.

It was in this capacity that Winfield first began working with MYOB, where he found ample opportunities for his students to gain more hands-on, technical knowledge of the modern business bookkeeping and accounting industry.

“Our students have participated in the MYOB Hackdays and the MYOB IT Challenge hosted by the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship, students and staff attended MYOB INCITE; first year accounting students used MYOB Essentials as part of their course assessment; the UC Business School attended and exhibited at Partner Connect in Queenstown in 2018; and MYOB Education Manager NZ, Shailan Patel presented to students studying the Masters of Professional Accounting.

Winfield also told us that MYOB supported the UC Accounting Society student club with events including: “office visits, MYOB Essentials workshops and sponsoring the Leavers Dinner; and MYOB sponsored and presented in the New Zealand Commerce and Economics Teachers Association Conference hosted by the UC Business School”.

Running the entire gamut of partnership opportunities has offered UC students a singular education experience that Winfield believes puts them in a tangibly better position to secure and thrive in their future careers. It was for this reason he decided to exhibit at both 2018 and 2019 Partner Connect events, furthering the business community’s exposure to the work UC is doing.

“Having a stand in the expo gave the UC Business School great visibility with MYOB’s partners and encouraged partners to approach me to discuss opportunities they were interested in.”


A win for UC is a win for the future of business


Attending Partner Connect confirmed Winfield’s belief that academia and industry need to work closely together to derive mutual benefit in the calibre of future workers.

“There’s a sizeable and vibrant community of bookkeepers and accountants in New Zealand and Australia, many of whom have already studied at UC or other universities,” said Winfield.

“MYOB Partners are still interested in ‘lifelong learning’ opportunities and I had many interesting discussions with partners about what type of programmes and experiences the UC Business School could develop to support them in their ongoing professional development.”

In this way, deepening the relationship between UC and MYOB has helped to expand Winfield’s networks and provided invaluable industry insight, which he is able to leverage in delivering better learning opportunities to UC students.

Not to be understated, the value of MYOB’s engagement with UC has even seen its Business School gain international recognition.

“MYOB has even participated in an industry panel as part of the UC Business School’s successful application for EQUIS Accreditation.

“As a result, the UC Business School is now ‘Triple Crown’ accredited, putting us in the top one percent of business schools globally,” Winfield said.

There’s little wonder, then, that Winfield has become a staunch advocate of MYOB Partner Connect and similar events as a rich resource for education providers. And he isn’t shy in encouraging others to get on board.

“Insights from organisations such as MYOB and their partners set the future direction for the UC Business School and ensure we align of teaching with the skills and personal attributes required to drive innovation, sustainable growth, and positive social change across Christchurch, New Zealand and beyond.”

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