Insert Andraya Heyes here. She’s a local 18-year-old who recently joined the Venture Centre team. We asked Andraya some questions about who she is, what she does and what she hopes to achieve in future.
What do you do at Venture Centre?
I am in my first few months as Project Assistant at Venture Centre. This means I support in co-ordinating many of the projects/events we hold. Especially those that are part of our MADVentures programme.
How did your role at Venture Centre come about?
My CV was circulated throughout the web [after I finished school last year] and I later got an email from Pascale saying that I should pop into Basestation for a chat! I spoke of my dreams over a glass of water and Pascale offered me a job that would allow me to pursue them. Mutually beneficial I hope!
How did you hear about Venture Centre? What was your first experience of it?
I met Pascale, one of Venture Centre’s Co-Founders, through 2018’s Young Enterprise Scheme, as she is the regional co-ordinator for the programme. She then offered me a spot in the Tauranga Startup Weekend where I got the opportunity to meet more of the Venture Centre Team and see the co-working space, Basestation. Startup Weekend was a pivoting point in my life that made me think; “Well, why can’t I just start up my own business and do that for a living?” And that particular experience is what motivates me to continue thinking beyond the norm; to think entrepreneurially.
What did you want to be when you were five?
An author! Or an actor. Completely pivoted! But I still choose to dream big!
What did you study at school?
Other than the typical Maths and English, I also studied Business, Accounting, and Japanese.
What did your school report card say?
Fortunately all good comments, much to my grandparents’ delight. Most teachers said I was a pleasure to teach.
And what are your future plans?
Short term, my plan is to get a degree in International Business at Canterbury University (including going on an international exchange!). But the big dream is to work internationally (specifically in Japan) with, of course, frequent travel and overseas conferences! I’d love to become someone who can impact the business world on more than just a national scale. I’d also like to start my own socially sustainable business that I can continue working on till I retire.
Have you always been this driven to succeed? Or is it something you’ve nurtured over time?
I believe any change begins with yourself. From an early age, I had set goals and figured out what I wanted out of my life (whether it was saving for a big bag of candy or deciding to go on an overseas exchange to Japan at 16 years of age). But I must emphasize the impact those around me have had - family, friends, and teachers. I’ve been surrounded by the right crowd and have had many teachers that both inspired and challenged me to go beyond my limits. Venture Centre is part of that crowd and I am extremely thankful to them and to those who have impacted me in the past.
And finally, what is your spirit animal and why?
Owls!! I love owls as they both symbolize Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, and are super cute.
- Venture Centre works to connect people on enterprising journeys - with each other and the mindset, skillset, toolsets, networks and resources they need - to build an ecosystem that delivers real-world, learn-by-doing events, activities, projects and experiences, and more... This would not be possible without the support of Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District councils.