David Firisua Jr

David Firisua Jr

Final-year student, Bachelor of Business in Accounting and Economics
Certificate in Business

Coming to AUT was the start of a new chapter in his life, says David Firisua Jr, a former football player from the Solomon Islands.

“I had been in the workplace for a decade, including spending seven years in the sports industry, working with FIFA and the Oceania Football Confederation. I had also just become a father, and was at a point where I felt that I had to make a change in my career and shape my world the way I wanted it to be.

“I was attracted to AUT’s Certificate in Business as it was the best fit for my circumstances, and would introduce me to several areas of interest including management, economics, accounting and marketing. I was impressed by the content the Certificate in Business covers, but even more by the experienced and passionate staff.”

Building bridges in the sports field
Now in his final year of a Bachelor of Business, David is already applying what he has learnt in class to run his own business.

“Studying at AUT has given me the knowhow and confidence to start my own business while I’m still studying. My company, EventNZ Limited, specialises in sports event and tournament hosting; combining my business skills with my background in football and connections in the sports industry.

“I’m regularly overseas, travelling with the Auckland City Football Club to events like the FIFA Club World Cup and hosting regional tournaments like the OFC Champions League here in Auckland. I’m looking to grow my business, to continue to build bridges in the sports field between Oceania and across the globe. In the last 16 months, my work has already taken me to Hong Kong, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Tahiti to name a few.”

He appreciates that AUT has enabled him to balance study with running his own business.

“I’ll be at a meeting on the other side of the world and tell my colleagues that I’m also a full-time student. The response is usually ‘But is that possible?’ It is at AUT. Because of the set-up and support from my lecturers and from AUT’s Office of Pacific Advancement, I’ve also been able to maintain a high level of excellence in my studies.”

Advice for other students
David has some great advice for other students.

“Be willing to break out of the mould, and to change the way you think and the way you learn. I know all too well that it’s not easy to change how you think, especially when you come to university after years in employment. And if you find that you’re struggling, there are so many ways to get assistance. Stay humble, stay teachable and don’t forget to smile because life is beautiful.”

David says he would highly recommend AUT’s business and economics programmes.

“The programmes are delivered by an excellent team of staff who have enjoyed success in their particular fields and who share a desire to see their students succeed. Where else can you find a lecturer who knows each of the names of their 300 students after only the first week?”