Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting graduate Antoinette Bell (Oudhoff) is a born and bred Southlander who returned to the region after spending 18 months studying Health Sciences at Otago University.
Initially, Antoinette wanted to be a dentist, however part way through her studies she switched to accountancy and moved back to Invercargill.
“My family all reside in Southland,” she says.
“My husband and I have a 10-month-old son and I also have two step children aged 12 and 17.”
“When I am not working at SouthRoads as part of the HWR Group and doing the accounts for our Contract Milking business, I enjoy spending time with the kids and supporting them in their Saturday sports in Winton. I also enjoy getting outside and helping my Husband on our farm near Drummond/Heddon Bush.”
Antoinette had previous work experience in Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Management Support when she decided to undertake the Bcom at SIT.
She had seen a billboard advertising the degree whilst driving down Tay St, and as her second preference behind dentistry, enrolled in the course.
“The classes were small, compared to Otago’s lectures and the tutors were very helpful. Their knowledge was very advanced and almost all had accounting life experience to encourage.” says Antoinette.
“I really enjoyed the practical tasks, opposed to just learning from a text book. Having tutors give examples based on their life experiences was valuable.”
Antoinette was able to challenge her fellow students with their ideas, due to the collaborative learning environment.
“I met some amazing people who I will continue to maintain contact with throughout my career,” she says.
Already employed at SouthRoads, Antoinette has now been offered opportunities to attend leadership development courses since graduating.
“Currently, I am happy settling back into work after being on maternity leave and juggling working and mum life. I am looking forward to undertaking accelerator and leadership courses to focus on my personal development with a goal of moving into a Management Accountant role in the near future.”
As part of her present role, Antoinette pays all SouthRoads creditors as well as offering Accounts Payable support to sister companies, Linton Contracting and SouthDrill.
“I help the Managers to understand their costs within their monthly Management Accounts.” She actively participates in implementing new and improving internal financial systems, as well as teaching staff best practice in all areas including Payroll.
She says SIT was an excellent place to learn and she appreciated the fact she was able to work full time and study part time.
“It was a better balance for me.”