Soda intern Greer Steele recently caught up with Deborah Kay from our Coworking space. Deb is working for Hatch Property Management - a Wintec initiative facilitating accommodation for students.
Read on to find out what Deb gets up to in the coworking space and what makes her tick on a personal level.
So tell me a bit more about yourself. Where are you from? Did you study anything? What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Well, I was born and bred in Southland, in a place called Te Anau. We lived out in the country and I've always had horses. After high school I went travelling because university didn't really appeal to me at the time, then eventually I got married and had four children.
I was a stay at home mother, and during this time I decided I'd do a business degree in small increments while I was at home with the kids. I went to several tertiary education facilities such as Open Polytechnic, and cross credited a lot of what I was studying. This was done over an 8 year period.
My husband and I owned several businesses before I had a change of heart and decided I really liked animals so I came to Wintec to study vet nursing. Unfortunately, I had a really bad accident, which meant I couldn't continue.
A pivotal moment for me, was when my children had left home and I made the decision to go away for 5 months to Saigon in Vietnam to help at an orphanage and then in Uganda to work with an organisation that helps rescue women from slavery.
Sometimes I find dealing with people in property can be soulless and there's more to life than running a business, so that's why I decided to travel and make a difference to the people that need it.
I still go back to those places, I like to see them improve and I'd rather spend quality time with them than spread myself thin and have a surface level relationship with many different volunteering organisations.
Can you describe your role for me further? How did you get into that line of work?
I got into property because of my background in business and I enjoy working with a variety of people and helping them in the best way possible. I've been in property for 7 years now. I believe it's fundamentally a service industry, which is what I enjoy.
I commit 3 months of the year to my volunteering work, so I like to be flexible with my job. Even though I go overseas for long periods of time, I also want to be as accessible as possible. I would rather someone calls me in relation to work and deal with it in 10 minutes, rather than coming back to the business in a state.
How did you come across the co working space & what do you love about it?
I came across this space through the position at Wintec. Before this, I didn't know coworking was a thing. I love it! It offers the opportunity to network and meet like-minded people who offer incredible support even though they aren't in my industry.
It's a peaceful space to get the job done and Soda Inc. offers me the facilities I need to achieve optimal focus and to be able to organise my work.