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‘Where your talents and what the world needs cross; there lies your vocation’

How do you define success? Is it having money? Seniority? Happiness? Helping others?


ANZ Graduate David French believes it’s a mixture of all of these – and that success means different things for everyone.


David studied Economics and Politics at Otago University, but also majored in a subject you are less likely to see in someone working at a bank – philosophy.


“I’m interested in people, and I’ve always thought that if you really want to understand people, you’ve got to understand money,” David says.


“What people do with their money is a very true reflection of their values and priorities.”


Character is important to David, and he attributes much of that to his upbringing, and his mother.


She came from a family of six children, and while the other five went into traditionally-lucrative careers like law or accountancy, she became a pediatric palliative care nurse, taking care of sick and dying children.


“Mum always told me that success doesn’t always mean money, and that everyone needs to find their own version of success,” David says.


“I want to get into the business world, because that’s what I’m good at, but I also want to follow in Mum’s footsteps in that way and do something that helps people.


“I’m still trying to figure that what that ‘something’ is – but ANZ is a great place to do it, because it’s so big and there are so many opportunities.”


After completing his Bachelor of Commerce, David applied and was accepted for the ANZ Intern programme, which led on to a Graduate programme role.


“I chose ANZ because it’s the biggest bank in New Zealand, which means there’s so much potential to try out a whole bunch of different things, and hopefully find my way.



“I’m slowly building up an idea what kind of role is best for me – and because ANZ is so big, I think I’ve got a good chance of finding it here, once I figure that out.”



In some ways, working at ANZ has defied his expectations.


“To be honest, I kind of pictured this big, ruthless, alpha male, ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ kind of atmosphere - but it’s nothing like that,” David says.


“When I actually arrived, everyone was just very friendly, kind, and supportive – even the senior leaders – just normal, friendly people.”


As well as working within the Product and Risk teams, David’s also taking a philosophical approach to his own personal development.


“When I entered the Grad programme, I knew that my skills would naturally develop over time – but what I’ve also realised is that I have to put back on that philosophical, abstract-thinking hat, and think outside of what I’m doing to get the most benefit,” he says.


“Aristotle said that people’s values and their attributes are not things which are given to them – it’s all stuff you work towards by asking questions like ‘how is this helping me build myself?’, rather than just ticking off projects to put on your CV.


“I often find myself asking, how is my character changing - and improving - with the things I’m doing?


“Being part of the Grad programme, you have a unique opportunity to think like that, because everyone around you is so happy to help you, and to have conversations which open up new pathways."



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