Hornby High School Alumnae – Dr Sharon Forbes

I loved my time at Hornby High, but left part-way through the 7th form (year 13 in today’s terminology!) because of an amazing job offer from the Department of Health Computing Service. This was the start of what would become a seventeen year career in the IT industry. I left Christchurch as a 19 year old and lived in London for over nine years, working in management roles for an IT outsourcing company and supporting major clients such as Westpac, Royal Bank of Canada, UK Student Loans, Woolworths, Kleinwort Benson and the Bank of Montreal. I returned to New Zealand and spent a further five years working for Telecom Systems and EDS.

In 2002 I returned home to Christchurch and began a degree in Viticulture and Oenology (grapes and wine!) at Lincoln University. I loved my studies at Lincoln and was given much encouragement to continue; this resulted in a further Commerce Honours year, and a PhD that saw me research the purchasing behaviour of wine consumers in four nations. Today I am a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Lincoln University. My role encompasses teaching students (my favourite part of the job!), supervising postgraduate students, and continuing to research wine and food topics.

When I think back to my days at Hornby High, I remember two things above all others. Firstly, I can still recall some of my favourite teachers. These are the ones who were passionate and enthusiastic about (a) the subjects they taught and (b) the students in their classrooms (most importantly!). Secondly, my favourite topics were History and Geography and I can remember the many hours that I spent dreaming of visiting the countries that were discussed in class. I realise now that dreams are powerful, and with a bit of effort they can become real; I went on to visit all the places I first heard about at Hornby High and to so many other fascinating parts of the world too. I believe that some of my best attributes were instilled in me during my time at Hornby High: a good work ethic, a sense of adventure, a belief in being able to achieve anything I set my mind to, and finally, passion and enthusiasm for everything I do in life.