Kia ora everyone, my name is Kaiya Cherrington. I am Ngāpuhi (Ngāti Kopaki, Ngāti Te Ara), raised in the mighty North and spent most of my life in Whangārei. I moved to Dunedin for University and now I am based in Ōtautahi Christchurch! I’m slowly getting back up North, one city at a time.
I began working at Education Perfect as an Intern in 2021 for the Science Alive Mātauranga project, a small partnerships/content team creating free STEAM-based content in collaboration with the Science Alive Trust. I ended up staying as an Educational Content Writer for the Science Alive Mātauranga team and even joined the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Now I’ve been here for over one and a half years!
Tell us a bit about yourself! (personal and/or work life)
I am very whānau oriented so I will always call Northland my home. If I had to describe myself I would say I’m very much a people person, I am positive to a fault, and I love to make people laugh—I like to think I am a comedian but I’m definitely the only one that thinks that! If Education Perfect had a yearbook, my 2 superlatives would be Class Clown, and Most Likely to Ask What Your Star Sign Is.
Outside of work, I am either at the gym or studying towards my Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology (MEdDevPsych) at Massey University—both of which keep me super busy.
Why do you love working at EP?
The flexibility has always been great during my time at EP, especially as I have chopped and changed from part-time to full-time study—EP (my manager particularly!) has always moulded around my needs and supported me throughout my studies. Not to mention the EPeeps that are always willing to give me their words of encouragement and wisdom, the coffee machine at EP HQ, and the massive feeds.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I have always enjoyed writing, especially when I was younger, so spending a lot of my time doing that has been good. It’s also exciting to learn new things—researching is a big part of my role and my studies, so it’s helpful that these both fit hand in hand. One part I have especially enjoyed is filming amazing people in STEM roles across Aotearoa as part of our ‘Gamechangers: In Our Footsteps’ module, and creating those relationships with inspiring people, like innovators at Ariki Creative (which will be released soon)! I’m looking forward to more whakawhanaungatanga with creatives in our next module and beyond.
How do you prefer to start your day?
Two breakfasts! I have recently become obsessed with breakfast time, so I love to have a big breakfast (or two) to start my day off right. Breakfasts of choice are good old cereal with yoghurt and some toast, but you can also never go wrong with some oats. I definitely take my time getting ready, I think it’s good to have a bit of me-time before jumping onto my to-do list and starting the work day.
What is your secret talent?
So many talents where do I begin! Jokes, I’m not particularly good at much, but I can recite the movie Shrek, beat everyone at Singstar, and impersonate like 3 celebrities.
What advice would you pass on to a younger version of yourself?
- Be more confident!
- Be yourself and assertive in your identity.
- Chill out, don’t worry because it always works out in the end.
- Everything that happens is simply character building!