Always looking for an opportunity to promote sustainability, Communications and Tourism student Maddy Gordon has taken on an exciting new business venture.
Recently a finalist at the Audacious showcase with business partner Tiffany Horton, together they run iced beverage company Two Beans Beverages, Maddy knows taking her time to find the right study path is paying off.
A lover of a good plan, opportunities coming her way have been selected with careful consideration and plenty of enthusiasm.
From Hamilton, she lived in Dunedin for couple of years while her dad took up extra study.
Despite both her parents studying at Otago (all three of them went to Selwyn), Maddy wasn't rushing into study and her plans were made with an enjoyable career in mind.
“I took a year off after school and moved to London where I worked in a school and travelled around Europe. I wanted to take time to think over my future and not rush into anything. I've always loved learning but didn't want to go to university just for the sake of it. I know if I had gone straight out of high school I would have chosen something business related as it has such a clear path.”
“Taking a break was exactly what I needed to decide what I wanted to, do not just what I should do. I looked over each university in the country and looked at all of the papers I knew would pique my interest. I wanted to choose where to study based on what I would enjoy the most.”
Maddy's plan worked, she says each day she comes home from class buzzing from what she is learning.
Alongside her studies Maddy is one of five student employees at the Sustainability Office and is enjoying having a positive impact on students in her role as Tetekura Student Engagement.
“While there is five of us with different titles it's a very collaborative way to work. We run events and implement ways of making a sustainable student lifestyle more accessible.
“In second-year I was doing some global studies papers centred around sustainability. My mum is also really into sustainable living and I was beginning to feel I wasn't doing enough to contribute to sustainability in my student life which can be a challenge for many students.
“I remember talking to Jesikah Triscott in the interview process and telling her I wanted to make obvious to students the sustainable work happening on campus and how accessible it can be. Since then we've set up a student op shop called Te Oraka (and it's at 96 Anzac Ave if you want to visit). We run workshops and recently we had a night market where students with their own business set up stalls. Our focus has been on getting students involved.”
Maddy has also been busy with her start up business Two Beans Beverages.
“We were one of eight finalist groups from an original pool of around 80 with our business Two Beans Beverages. While we didn't win, we are still seeing it as a positive step and have exciting future plans. Our product is oat-milk-based, iced, caffeinated beverages. We see a need for a plant-based version of ready to drink iced coffee from our fellow students and not only this, but an alternative which cares about the environment.”
Now almost about to complete her degree, Maddy is interested to see what her next chapter might look like.
“I like to plan. It is kind of scary to hear the question 'what are you doing next year?' and responding 'I don't know yet.' I would like to go into sustainable tourism and events and get our business off the ground alongside. Watch this space.”
To find out more about sustainability at Otago, visit the Sustainability Office.