Paying it forward.

March 2018

For Tyler Keeble, working with teenagers and young people is payback - and as an engineer, it gives him an insight into the future.

The project engineer, who is based in the Babbage Consultants Hamilton office, has just spent a day working with Waikato secondary school students taking part in the Young Enterprise Scheme. It involved working with the entrepreneurs that make up the school teams who came to the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) campus in Hamilton to meet professionals from a range of disciplines.

The teams of 15-16-year-old students, develop business ideas they are expected to turn into operational enterprises making and selling products, and competing for regional and national awards. At the Young Enterprise Kick-start Event at Wintec they put their ideas to the visiting professionals, getting feedback on everything from operational issues to business plans, before returning to their schools to refine their projects.

“It was interesting to see what ideas these young people were coming up with,” Tyler says. “At the Kick-start Event they get to meet people from various industries and professions and tell us what they want to do, and we help them distill their ideas, identify what the issues are and what options they have to resolve them.

“They go back to their schools and refine their plans with the information and resources they’ve got from us.

“At the same time, they learn about the professions of the people they’re dealing with - like engineering in my case.”

Tyler has worked with young people regularly, and spent time throughout last year with pupils at Matangi Primary School east of Hamilton as part of the “Futureintech” scheme that works to encourage young people to look at the future of science, technology and engineering. The work involved giving the youngsters problems and helping them find solutions.

“For me, doing this work in the community my way of paying it forward,” he says. “In the first year of my engineering degree at the University of Waikato, I did a couple of one-day events - speed interviewing and networking - where I got the chance to talk to people from the industry and understand what they did.

“That really helped me refine what I wanted to do with engineering.

“Now I’m well into my career, I just decided I could help young people in the same way. It’s a two-way exercise - I learn from them as well.” And Tyler says his session at the Waikato Enterprise day this year was an eye-opener. “The young people coming through behind me have a lot of interesting ideas around community health - they have a passion to help,” he says.“This is the group of people we’ll have to be providing services for in 10-20 years. Working with them like this has given me an insight into the coming generation.”

Babbage Project Engineer Tyler Keeble mentors Waikato secondary school students taking part in the Young Enterprise Scheme at Wintec campus in Hamilton.