Kia ora, I’m Stacey and I am based in Auckland. I was born and raised on the shore surrounded by beautiful beaches and lots of amazing tennis clubs. I mention tennis as this has played a huge part in my life as I was fortunate enough to leave Rangitoto College and gain a full scholarship to the USA to pursue my tennis dream. I spent almost 10 years travelling all over the place playing but also successfully gaining a Bachelor of Science. Once I finished my tennis career I moved to Hong Kong to coach at a private club and fell in love with the culture and the city! After having spent years on the road and never looking to settle down I decided it was time to come home and start thinking about my career after tennis! I got my first job back in NZ not long after my return and this is also where I met my partner, Gareth. 11 years later we live on the shore with our two fur babies.
How did you find transitioning from your previous role into an EdTech role?
Previously I was NZ Sales Manager for a Global Sports Apparel Brand. I interviewed with Education Perfect in the middle of our first Covid lockdown last year not knowing what exactly it was, but after four interviews I knew I wanted to work here. The people sold EP to me and I thought: I have no idea about Edtech but I am prepared to learn. Although I was not from the industry I have found that my skill set has been transferable with the key being I am customer centric and take pride in my ability to build key relationships quickly which I do on a daily basis when connecting with teachers and senior leaders.
Why do you love working at EP?
I love working at EP because I get to work with incredible people everyday. Although I spend most of my time working remotely from my team, our support system across EP is amazing! One thing that I truly value in all roles that I’ve had since retiring from tennis is that I need to work for companies who are continuously striving for improvements, value their team and constantly looking at ways to expand. Our platform makes an impact on lives all over the globe daily and when I think of that I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the journey. It is so gratifying to see the feedback we receive from teachers, deputy principals and principals daily informing us of how EP has changed the way their students learn and see learning.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love being able to connect with teachers to showcase what our platform can do and the best part is seeing their reaction to certain aspects of EP. I get huge satisfaction in seeing them realise that we can ease their daily load and enable them to spend more time on the important stuff like connecting with their students 1-1 more regularly because they have the time to do so. EP is an incredibly powerful tool and I wish that I could have experienced using it when I was in high school.
Where is somewhere you’d like to visit?
Once we are able to travel I’d love to head back to my second home. Boise, Idaho. This is where I was lucky enough to go to college and it’s where I spent my young adult years. I moved to the USA on my own to pursue my dreams and loved every minute of my tennis career but was mindful to keep education at the forefront for post tennis! Whilst I was away I got my first set of tattoos much to my fathers horror but they were all based around NZ as shown here in the picture. My NZ with the flag I got in 2009 and when I returned back for my last visit to Boise, a friend of mine designed us matching tattoos. The other tattoo is the latitude and longitude for Boise with the mountains in the background and our school colours. So I carry both places with me at all times.
Tell us about your pets
They are our children and are a huge part of our lives. Our oldest Jax (7 years old) was born in the Ngaruawahia pound and rescued by DC Rescue and we have had him since he was 9 weeks old. Kaia, our youngest (4 years old) was dumped in the amnesty box outside the Ngaruawahia pound aged between 3-6 months old and when I saw her little face I knew that we had to help her. Gareth and I packed Jax up into the car to go and visit her out in Pukekohe. I had said to him on the drive that we were just looking and weren’t going to bring her home as we needed to think about it, as Jax was our main priority. Well before I knew it Gareth was saying we would take her home.
Any last words you would like to share?
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” as quoted by Tim Notke. This quote has served me well, not only as an athlete but also in the workforce and life. I may not have known everything about edtech and E-learning when I started but I have made it a priority for myself to learn everyday from those around me and educate myself. I will out work everyone to ensure that I succeed both as an individual, a Team NZ member, and an EPeep.