Graduate Profile

Fiona Taylor – Self-employed

Fiona Taylor - Accounting


“The reason I did the business study was to get validity and pay equality for the business experience I already had, plus I wanted to get more into management. I previously had a strong background in business and accounting. I had been a PA for a power company, we had a security business, my parents ran a skating rink, and I now work full time for a business in town. Getting the business qualifications gave recognition and value to that experience.”

“Because I work full time, I did my studies part time at home and I finished my degree at the end of 2016. During my study time I was engaged and couldn’t find a venue that I wanted to get married in, so for my industry study project I researched wedding venues. We had an under-utilised, beautiful site here so I’ve now started a business offering our property as a wedding venue.”

“The aspects of the NorthTec course that provided huge value to my wedding business idea, were the marketing and research papers I had to complete. I did a survey on Facebook of other wedding venues, priced out marquees, tepees and permanent buildings, and was in touch with both the Chamber of Commerce and Northland Inc and other venues located in Kumeu, an area similar to my location. As a result I now run two entrepreneurial businesses – one offering the wedding venue and the other one for a B&B that I started here in early 2016. The initial idea for the B&B was that the bride could stay here as part of the wedding venue package.”

“My next step is to get the official sign-off on what we have done so far, and in the meantime I’ll focus on creating the gardens and environment, and then plan our next small building which will be a shack-themed shed that we can use as a bar.”

“I’m at an exciting phase of the project now and if I hadn’t done the degree I wouldn’t be in this position. I still work full time but I have Fridays off so I have three days to concentrate on my own businesses – Willows on Abbey and Abbey Barn B&B.” 

“I look forward to creating the next stage of the project and I love seeing the pleasure my clients get from the experience here. That in itself is a rich reward.”

Related Programmes