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Master of Professional Practice
All Blacks Sevens star DJ Forbes compares completing a tertiary qualification to winning a medal or a big game.
Forbes graduated with his Master of Professional Practice at this week’s ceremony and gave the student address on behalf of Capable NZ graduates.
DJ has appeared in 512 games, 89 tournaments, and won six World Series in Rugby Sevens.
Near the end of his career he started thinking about life after rugby, and a chance meeting introduced him to the Capable NZ programme. He completed his Bachelor of Applied Management then continued onto his Master of Professional Practice.
Forbes said he’d played for the All Blacks Sevens team for over a decade and captained the side to gold at the Commonwealth Games. Yet graduating was easily one of his biggest achievements.
“I could compare it to winning a gold medal or a big game.”
He talked about sleepless nights struggling through books and articles.
“So let me be the first one to confirm that the resilience and work ethic each and every single one of you graduates here today would have had to showcase in order to get to this point was no different from what me and my teammates have demanded from each other in professional sport at the highest level.”
DJ juggled his study with his transition to life after rugby, a new job, and two young children. It was a recipe for disaster, but he succeeded thanks to the guidance of awesome facilitators who treated obstacles as opportunities.
He said Graduation day was about acknowledgement and celebration. The family and friends of this week’s graduates had helped them get to this point and deserved to be walking across the stage too.
Through DJ’s study journey, his kids saw him at the kitchen table writing notes and talking aimlessly at the computer.
“But I’m sure now sitting in the crowd they understand what it was all for and I hope that through seeing my journey it will inspire them to follow my footsteps in chasing qualifications, ideally first before chasing a ball around for a career.”
He said knowledge is power and qualifications shouldn’t just sit on the wall collecting dust.
“Let today be a celebration of success and tomorrow be the start of the real journey as we all try and apply our learnings and make a difference in the real world.”
To find out more about Capable NZ, visit their website: www.capable.nz