Rising star Q&A: Kate Walsh

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The Rising Star column profiles students who have had close contact with the UC Sustainability Office and have graduated from UC, or will graduate very soon. In this column they share what they are currently doing and what their plans are for the future.

This edition’s Rising Star is Kate Walsh, who did an internship at the Sustainability Office focused on understanding students’ access of healthy and affordable food  and is now living in Melbourne.

When were you at UC? What did you qualify in?  I studied at UC from 2013 to 2015 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geography.

What have you been doing since you graduated? I have recently moved to Melbourne! It is the world’s most livable city and I wanted to experience that! While I was at University I watched a movie called The Human Scale. It explored how people relate to their cities and public spaces. An example was the re-energizing of Melbourne’s laneways – something that has really drawn me to this city. The public transport and cycling infrastructure is great, the markets are fantastic and there is always something happening. I recently visited CERES Community Environment Park – such an interesting and exciting place.

What are you doing in your current job? What are you most excited about? I am currently working for a social enterprise in Melbourne. It provides homeless and marginalised youth with a supported pathway from the streets to a sustainable job in the hospitality industry through youth programs and experience in cafes. I am excited to learn more about how the hospitality industry can address issues in society and actively do something about it.

What did you do with/for the Sustainability Office? I completed an internship in my final semester with the sustainability office and the food resilience network. My project was to understand students’ access to healthy and nutritious food. I also went to them to ask for advice and to talk about other projects and they were always so helpful and positive about what I was doing. (For an idea of the work Kate was involved in, see here.)

How has the UC Sustainability Office contributed to your thinking and/or skill development in relation to sustainability? They always challenged me. While I always left the offices with more to think about and research, it was always exciting and interesting.

Do you have a favourite ‘sustainability moment’ on campus? The Student Food Forum that I organised as part of my project to understand students access to healthy and affordable food. This involved getting speakers, gathering student’s views and organizing all the things that go into managing an event – including a free lunch! I learnt a lot about research processes and communication as I had to talk to a lot of people and get them involved. I feel that this project gave me a lot of transferable skills that have helped me a lot so far since leaving The University of Canterbury and that I know will continue to help me in the future.

Keep up to date with Sustainability news at UC through our Facebook page. Or through our website. Check here for more about how to get involved with Sustainability at UC. For more information about food resilience and Edible Canterbury, check out the the Edible Canterbury Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ediblecanterbury or their website http://www.edible.org.nz

 

SDS Business Case Competition – national runners up!

Canterbury wins Canterbury Round, Nationally Second!

By Neranga Jayaweera

Three rounds of creative business strategies and intense competition over the course of four months was not too bad a deal. Rocking up to the third round at Canterbury on the back of two third place titles in the first two rounds, we were definitely in the hunt to be National Champions. Boom! Team Canterbury nailed it to become the winner in the Canterbury round. But no love lost, Auckland who managed to be second in all three rounds edged over us to win the overall national title making us national runners up.

Our journey to National Runners up began in April at Auckland University, the first round. In May we contested at AUT and in July at Canterbury. With different business cases in each round, six universities presented in front of the judges a 10 minute pitch to get their strategy across followed by a 10 minute Q&A.

We were given five hours prior to deliberation to come up with a strategy. That is most nerve wrenching period. Coming up with a strategy the process we go through from idea generation to creativity to number crunching to conflict to settlement to last moment panic is unexplainable. It just becomes worse when all you see is time going at the rate of knots.

It was fun, exciting and challenging and a lot gained. Not to forget the long sessions of six hours just to practice one case were the longest practice sessions I’ve ever done for a competition. Fruitful are the results of hard work they say and fruitful they were.

I invite everyone to take part, when it comes next year do give it a shot, definitely worth it! As we look forward to the International Final in Queenstown in August, support Team Canterbury to battle out everybody including the six visiting foreign teams.

Updates on http://www.bsec.canterbury.ac.nz/external/business_case.shtml

 

Are you the next 180 Degrees Consultant?

Posted on behalf of 180 Degrees Consultants: Nicole McRae, Marcus Siregar, Hannah Kennedy and Kris Varanyuwatana.

180 Degrees Consulting is currently recruiting for Semester Two.

Head to www.180dc.org/canterbury to apply by Sunday 26 July and become a part of the world’s largest student consulting organisation for social impact.

180 Degrees Consulting

In the first semester we all successfully applied to be part of 180 Degrees Consulting here at the University of Canterbury. Our client for the semester was Project Lyttelton. They hired us to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of land remediation methods for their community garden. Our team was made up of Kris (Marketing), Hannah (Accounting), Marcus (Law) and Nicole (Environmental Science). The first challenge was figuring out our strengths and weaknesses since we all come from such different disciplines.

We all found the process to be a nice break from academic life. Knowing that we were using our expertise for such a good cause was very rewarding. It is a unique experience being given the chance to provide such valuable information to an amazing charity like Project Lyttelton. Knowing that they respected our research and decisions was very humbling.

Being part of 180 Degrees Consulting is so much more than just meeting clients and communicating research. There are numerous training sessions and each week you get to meet up with your group meaning you become great friends. The exec provides an excellent supportive environment and there are also numerous networking opportunities with industry leaders such as PWC, nonprofit organisations and social enterprises.

We have all valued the opportunity to make a positive difference in the community and cannot wait to be involved again in semester two.

Nicole, Marcus, Hannah and Kris.

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