A Waikato University graduate is making waves in Europe as a management consultant Ernst & Young, a long way from the humble plains of New Zealand.
Stuart Barrass says that the companies he works with are so high-profile that company policy says he's not allowed to name them, but they are companies listed on the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index.
While he's working with well-known enterprises, he also works with European startups as part of the EY Startup Challenge - a testing base for startups who want to try out innovations on their clients.
“I actually learn something new every day. I have many different roles and responsibilities and get to work at the forefront of the European start-up scene," Barron says.
Getting the job was a challenge, with interviews and assessments in both New Zealand and London.
“Going into the final interview I expected to be grilled over the current global economy and the latest business trends but that’s not what happened. It was actually just a good chat about me and the firm, and the hour flew by," he says.
Barron's training at Waikato University and Palmerston North Boys High School helped him land the prestigious role with Ernst & Young.
He studied a Bachelor of Management Studies with honours and a Graduate Diploma in Japanese at Waikato University. He also went on an exchange to Kansai Gaidai University in Japan to learn more about the language and culture.
But his success didn't stop there, as he won scholarships including the Golden key International Scholarship and the Asia Foundation New Zealand Japan Scholarship.
He was also involved in student clubs, Enactus, debating and the investment club. There he learned about social enterprise, fundraising and public speaking.
For other aspiring graduates, he has one mantra.
“Think far ahead about where you want to be. Learn how others made it there and make plans. It takes a lot of effort and planning to get your dream job.”