13 Jun 2012
CPIT business student and Director of Rebuild Christchurch, Deon Swiggs, has recently been named alongside Roger Sutton and Bob Parker as a leader in Canterbury’s recovery. With a nomination for Young New Zealander of the Year and a Local Hero Award already under his belt, in the next week he will also receive a Christchurch City Council Service Award for Youth and a Community Service Award from Volunteer Canterbury.
He credits his success to his community networks, his supportive team and to the real world business application he is learning through CPIT.
“The applied theory and practical classes at CPIT have tied in perfectly with my business. I come to class and the tutors take me through models and examples that I can apply directly to Rebuild Christchurch.”
Deon has been able to consistently improve his business using techniques gained through his Bachelor of Applied Management in Sales and Marketing and Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As part of his studies he has carried out research on his target audience and worked through real business problems.
“I believe that CPIT study has given me a big advantage. I’m not just sitting in a lecture theatre listening to theories. I’m being given thought provoking information and practical techniques that I can take and apply to a business environment,” he says.
As the basis of his final year project Deon has turned his attention to the community once more and is driving a ‘positive influence movement’ soon to be seen on the Rebuild Christchurch website.
“I want to bring positive stories together from website users and other sources. People need to be uplifted. There is a need for the touchy feely stuff just as much as the pure news information. I believe this is part of the next stage of recovery moving forward,” he says.
His website www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz and the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation have supported the community with information to create empowerment since the days following the first earthquake in September 2010. Deon has worked voluntarily for over a year and a half because he feels the community is continually benefiting from the work done by him and his team. “People want to know that someone really cares and to interact. We have become interdependent,” he says.
Deon is committed to his business and is starting to see the results of all his hard work. “I’ve been given control of my learning at CPIT. I own it and it’s really working for me to enhance my Rebuild Christchurch work. I’ll be doing this for as long as I can. I am set up for the future.”
Learn more about studying business at CPIT.