Caz Wood has led a life full of worldly experiences. To name a few; the 2005 London bombings, selling cruises around the Mediterranean, being a busy mother, juggling events management and travel consulting, all while keep her mental health in check.
Janine Hill has dabbled in a few different career paths in her lifetime. She has served the wider community by helping with corporate fundraising for Philips Search and Rescue Trust, tackled a fast-paced job at Mystery Creek Events Centre doing events planning, before finding herself needing to escape the stressful events scene to focus on the full-time job of being a mother. She has just recently returned to working life.
Both Caz and Janine met through Mystery Creek Events Centre and have since connected on their love for events and travel to find themselves in the Groups & Events team at Orbit World Travel.
Orbit World Travel is the largest travel management company in New Zealand. Orbit is the corporate branch of House of Travel, it initially began in 2001 and has since evolved into nine New Zealand offices, five Australia offices and one office in London, with consultants scattered in all corners of the world. One of Orbit’s remote offices is based in the Soda Inc. coworking space here in Hamilton.
Both Caz and Janine share a common passion: travel and events.
Caz went to the University of Waikato and studied a Bachelor of Tourism degree in Tourism Management and Sport and Leisure studies.
“I just knew that was my path. I didn’t know where it would take me. But I just knew I had to study in that area and learn about that industry”.
Caz then spent some time in London for her OE, where she worked for 18 months selling Mediterranean cruises on Oxford Street, which she loved. Although she could have never imagined how this experience could impact her life.
Caz stepped off the London Tube one morning in 2005 and was faced by the harsh reality of the London bombings.
“Yeah, it was one of the craziest and scariest experiences of my life.”
“You know how busy Oxford Street normally is? After that event, there were no buses operating, and we had to walk two or three hours home. It was so eerie”
“You just really think, what is going on in the world? It just made me more aware. But it didn’t stop me from wanting to travel. I was more like, ‘bugger you, you’re not going to stop me from exploring’.”
On Caz’s return to New Zealand, she changed her career path to retail travel consulting, but quickly realised this was not the path for her.
She then moved onto to Mystery Creek Events Centre to venture into the events world. And that’s when she initially crossed paths with Janine.
Janine spent five years working for Mystery Creek Events Centre, where she helped co-ordinate Fieldays and some of their smaller events. Janine also spent some time working for STA Travel at The University of Waikato.
“STA was a great environment it was all about the adventure and the experience. And I think that’s the kind of travel that I really do love.”
Janine has been with Orbit World Travel since April this year. She said she is thoroughly enjoying the overall positive and inclusive spirit at Orbit.
“Working for Orbit, being part of the team, and knowing the owners, it’s just a really cool vibe. Everyone counts. And I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve noticed so far about this organisation.”
Janine has also been through the journey of IVF. But has come out the other side with two children under the age of five, that she absolutely adores.
She has her hands full, but she is thoroughly enjoying being back at work, and re-finding purpose in her work after being a full-time mum.
“It's nice to jump back into some me time, even though you’re working, but it’s so good that I can go to the toilet on my own,” she laughed.
Both Janine and Caz cannot speak highly enough of Orbit’s inclusion of families and flexibility around busy mothers’ changeable schedules.
“There’s a lot of people in the organisation that balance family and work, and Orbit acknowledge this, and create wellbeing schemes that support you with work-life balance,” Caz said.
The next step for Caz and Janine was to find a suitable office space for them, as working from home was not always the easiest option. This landed them with us, here in the Soda coworking space.
“I just came in here, and it had a really good feeling. Being central, safe, secure and fresh” said Caz.
When Janine was previously working for Mystery Creek Event Centre, she worked closely with Soda.
“I had previously worked closely with Soda actually, in the old location. And it was such an inspiring environment, so I was excited at the prospect of coming back into this environment to work."