Xanthe Garahy, Marketing & Strategy Advisor is a graduating student from the University of Waikato and an ex Soda Inc intern. But, the world of business wasn’t where she originally set out to explore. Xanthe now works out of our coworking space so current Soda intern, Chris Steeghs, decided to catch up with her to learn more about her journey into business.

“When I left high school, I wanted to get into health. So I started out in the Health Science program at Auckland University, but I instantly hated it and came home to study my second interest – business.

“After a few semesters at Waikato, I decided to spend some time in Dunedin to see what all the hype was about. After a crazy fun six months, I came back to Waikato with a whole lot of drive and determination.”

While studying at the University of Waikato, Xanthe gravitated towards Strategic Management.

Xanthe is contracted to Transcends which gives her the freedom to travel, work flexible hours, and take on other clients. Her interest in Strategic Management has always drawn her to organisations like Soda Inc. & Transcends.

Xanthe interned at Soda in early 2019, and it was at Soda that she was introduced to Ashleigh Vogstad from Transcends, within a few days of meeting, Xanthe had her first full-time client.

“Ashleigh is an incredible mentor - I was more attracted to her and her skill set, not necessarily the association to Microsoft.

“But now that I'm in it, I find it really interesting. I would love to combine my interest in health with technology as that space is growing rapidly.”

Transcends is a channel partner agency - they work with tech companies to get the most from their partnerships with vendors like Microsoft and Sitecore.

“With Microsoft pivoting so often, my role has changed and adapted to be more like an Operations Manager, I'm growing out the sales processes, and all the operational bits to ensure a strong foundation for future business growth”

Xanthe gets to work with some pretty cool clients, including the likes of Sustainable Coastlines which is a company that uses tech to help clean up the beaches around the Pacific Coastlines.

While interning at Soda, Xanthe worked on projects such as the NZ Startup Bootcamp, where she was responsible for things like event planning, content creation and sponsorship proposals, which she found tricky, but was up for the challenge.

“Getting sponsorship was probably the hardest part of the internship, because I don’t enjoy asking for money, and it was hard to hear no a lot of the time. But that was just part and parcel of the job, it was a fantastic experience and has definitely helped me now.”

Post internship, Xanthe began working from another coworking space, which helped her realise how attracted she was to the Soda vibe.

“The Soda space has an incredible range of people and businesses, and the vibe there is super funky. Everyone works hard and plays hard, which is a trait I admire.”

If Xanthe could give herself a piece of advice from a year ago it would be to be more confident in talking to people in higher positions.

“Something that Soda really taught me is that everyone's just a person. No matter if you are in the room with Jacinda Ardern, or old mate Steve from down the road, it’s important to stay true to who you are.”