Bringing some homemade baked chocolate chip cookies into work is how Danyel Vickery likes to start the day. The EIT Bachelor of Business student is currently managing the City Student Studio in Dalton Street which by now has become like a second home for him.
Danyel moved from Canada to Auckland with his parents when he was eleven years old and moved to Hawke’s Bay to study in 2015. From Monday to Thursday he oversees the activities and projects which are conducted in the City Student Studio.
The vibrant little co-working office opened on 26 November as a collaboration between EIT, the University of Waikato and Napier City Council. As a creative drop-in space it brings together students, industry, local business and members of the community. The idea came from Napier City Council’s Paulina Wilhelm, manager of city development, who had seen similar studios adding to the vibrancy of Vancouver and Victoria in Canada.
Danyel registers up to nine users a day. Prospective students enquiring about study options, people from local businesses getting updates on current projects performed by students. EIT students come in to brainstorm and work together, while a lot of people just stop and look what’s happening in the studio.
“I have been involved in setting up the studio right from the beginning,” says Danyel pointing at the shabby chic furniture, the pretty art deco posters and the comfy leather couch. “I designed an office plan thinking about the atmosphere that I wanted to create in here.”
He says that over the past weeks he has learned a lot. “We are engaged in a broad range of projects such as setting up a homepage or working out social media plans for small local businesses or non-profit organisations. Being in a collaborative environment definitely showed us how important it is to communicate clearly. I realized that talking face-to-face is more productive than writing emails.”
For Regan Cotter, EIT Business School lecturer and work placement coordinator, the City Student Studio is already a success story. “It really facilitates the connection between students and local industry. It’s not only a great opportunity for networking but also to showcase the calibre of both students and lecturers too. I’m really pleased to see how the student’s confidence, their self-belief and career focus have grown so much over the past weeks.”
The studio will close on 20 February.