The Centre in Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CELT) Administrator at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Kyle Fitzgerald was among the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics students who graduated in the opening session of the DUT 2022 Spring Graduation, held at the Durban Exhibition Centre on Thursday, 29 September 2022.
Fitzgerald (35) from New Dawn Park, Durban was filled with excitement and pride as he walked on the graduation stage to be conferred with his Master’s in Accounting.
His thesis is titled: The application of real options as an enhancement to the net present value technique: A case of the financial services sector. This study examined the perceptions of financial planners on the application of real options as an enhancement to the Net Present Value (NPV) technique in the Durban financial services sector.
“I chose this topic because I taught the subject, financial management, for nine years and the topic of capital budgeting and investment decision-making has always been a great source of interest to me. I also utilised that field in my B-Tech studies for the research methodology course and I think that my PhD study will definitely fall into the same topic,” explained Fitzgerald.
Speaking about obtaining his Master’s degree, Fitzgerald said: “I am elated and beyond words, it melts my hearth when I think about it as it really did take longer than usual in my case. I was initially registered in the Faculty of Management Sciences for the MTech and once my proposal was accepted, the supervisors felt I was too ‘numbers thinking’ and so I had to switch back to my Faculty of Accounting and Informatics. I had to completely revise the proposal as it was now too management based. After finally getting the proposal ready, it was deemed too broad by the reviewers, which I defended and my proposal ended up in arbitration for a while. Through hard work, patience and perseverance I was able to bring the proposal up to an accounting state and it was approved. There were many struggles that occurred during the Master’s study, ranging from lack of support, registration issues, not really having a supervisor at one point and all the red tape involved but I believe that those were only in preparation for a smoother PhD study.”
Describing himself, he said he is an enthusiastic, hardworking, diligent and dedicated individual, constantly pursuing ways to expand his knowledge, and diversify his skills. His journey at DUT began in 2005 when he enrolled for his National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting, which he graduated with Cum Laude in 2008. He then pursued his Bachelor of Technology in Cost and Management Accounting in 2009.
“It was during 2009 that I began working as a specialist instructor in the Management Accounting Department until 2010. In 2011, I had a brief stint at Damelin before returning to work at DUT on the Riverside Campus for the Finance and Information Management for one semester and then returning to Durban campus where I worked at the Educational Development unit for 9 years, teaching Cost and Management Accounting and Financial Management on the Institute for Certified Bookkeepers (ICM) and Institute for Marketing Management (IMM) respectively. During 2011, I also began working as a part-time lecturer for the Business Studies Unit, serving as the exclusive Financial Management facilitator for the Packaging and Maintenance Diploma for staff of South African Breweries (SAB) and the smaller specialist programmes which were run on Saturdays. In 2017, I then started to teach Financial Management in the Hospitality and Tourism Department until 2021,” said Fitzgerald.
In addition, he has also been involved heavily in the Accounting Bridging Course (ABC) which was the first of its kind at DUT, teaching the Introduction to Management Accounting course for three years. He worked as a Cost Accountant on a part-time basis for the DUT Hotel School from 2017 to 2019 and this skill enabled him to fulfil the current position with vigour and the necessary experience in dealing with internal systems at DUT.
He currently works as an Administrator for CELT, which he described as being part of the dynamic financial A-team and have held the position for 15 months, responsible for the Faculties of Accounting and Informatics, and Health Sciences as well as the Library Directorate Service Unit. He believes it is important to embrace change, and after teaching for 12 years, he decided to fully immerse himself in an office environment.
“I am enjoying and thriving in my position at CELT. I used to teach part-time as well but had to sacrifice that time to finish my dissertation, so I will get back into it on a part-time basis. I am working on an article from my dissertation which should be published by year-end and I intend on completing a PhD study by 2026,” stated Fitzgerald, highlighting his future plans.
Fitzgerald is the second one in his family to graduate with a Masters’ degree, therefore the family was extremely excited and proud when they heard of his graduation. He is still motivated by his high school adage “through hard work to the stars” which has remained his motto in life.
Pictured: Kyle Fitzgerald. Simangele Zuma