We are very excited to introduce you to Dan, our high energy, always managing multiple projects, fitness fanatic, Online Events Manager. Dan was planning to continue postgraduate study but after a year at EP, he has never looked back! With a year of exciting events and competitions in the pipeline, amongst supporting other teams at EP, he’s a super busy EPeep and we are very lucky to have him in the team!

“One year turned into two, and two turned into three – I couldn’t be happier to still be an EPeep!”

Meet Dan

Kia ora koutou! Ko Dan o EP tēnei. 

Hello everyone! My name’s Dan, and I’m from EP. I’m based at EPHQ, down in beautiful Dunedin. I’ve been described as friendly, approachable, vibrant, positive, and excited by what’s to come. Coupled with this, I’m often described as high energy – you often hear me before you see me! EP’s been a huge part of my life for 3 years and counting, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have found a strong sense of belonging here. 

Outside of EP, there’s a variety of different things you can find me doing. I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic – in particular, swimming, running, and yoga! Writing is another big interest of mine – academically, creatively, and just for fun. I’ve always been someone who has needed a creative outlet, and alongside essays and lab-reports at uni, I found myself blogging. Over a couple of years of blogging, I reached over 20,000 followers – something I didn’t intend to happen from what was just a personal hobby to me at the time, and helped solidify for me that anythings doable if you put your mind and heart into it.

I also LOVE spending time with friends and family, and meeting new people along the way – I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without all the wonderful people who’ve supported and shaped me along the way.

As far as experience goes, I’m a very people-based person. I’ve had opportunities to work alongside many groups of people all in different ways (through volunteering, curation of art events, working with hospital patients during part of my degree, various jobs involving customer service, for some examples!). Before my work in EP’s online events, I managed one of our Support Teams, doing what I could to continuously improve the world-class support we offer, and ensuring the team felt supported and empowered in their work. In saying this, I do really love getting a chance to do some behind-the-scenes organisation, analysis, and reporting as well! I really enjoy learning, so having a lot of variety is where I thrive best. 

 

 

Myself, Sophia, and Reanne after the end of year staff awards – I won the award for our ‘One Team’ value.

 

 

Why become an EPeep?

EP wasn’t on my radar at all initially! I moved down to Dunedin to study Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Otago. I had full intentions of splitting my time between being a Clinical Psychologist and an academic (I was lucky enough to publish a paper with my supervisor a couple of years back). After completing my post-graduate honours degree, I was incredibly eager to take a break from university before continuing into a PhD. I’d already heard about EP through a number of friends who worked at EP in its early days, who also encouraged me to apply for a job in the Support Team. While my plan was to work for a year before continuing on with my studies, I had absolutely no idea how much I’d grow to love EP, and all the incredible and inspiring work that was happening around me at all times. One year turned into two, and two turned into three – I couldn’t be happier to still be an EPeep!

A day in the life…

My days differ a fair bit, as much as I try to keep a bit of routine, I’m used to being flexible and dynamic in everything I do – in and out of work! I like to start my day around 6:30am (I’m not a morning person… but we’re working on that!) and have some time to wake up. I try to squeeze a small ten minutes of meditation into my morning before I head to work. 

As for my work day, it varies a lot! My calendar doesn’t look the same each day in my role. I get the pleasure to work with a wide variety of wonderful teams, including our Global Subject Heads, our Support Teams, our Content Teams, our Regional Teams, as well as my own team – the Events & Operations Team! 

Another important part of my day is the schools I support – I have the privilege of getting to work closer with our Dunedin schools to help support and empower them in using EP over what’s been a tricky year for many schools and students.

With my evenings, I could be doing anything! Sometimes it’s the gym, sometimes it’s reading a book, and sometimes it’s a project (I’m teaching myself HTML and CSS code at the moment). I’m a bit of a night owl, so it’s not uncommon to see me keeping busier towards the end of the day. I regularly Zoom friends and family too!

Reanne and I when we visited our wonderful team in Manila for some training and onboarding.

Projects of 2020

  • The EP Newsletter: As of April this year, we’ve kicked off an official monthly EP Newsletter for the schools working with us to keep up with all that’s happening! I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely with our Global Subject Heads to organise our content updates, and our wider Events Team to keep everyone updated on our remote webinar PD sessions, as well as updates in our Teaching & Learning in the Digital Age group. The newsletters include our upcoming online events as well! I’m very happy with the outcome, and am excited to continuously improve our newsletter! 
  • Byte Sized Competitions: Across April to support schools transitioning to remote learning, we ran our first ever Byte Sized Competitions! I worked alongside our Product Team and Global Subject Heads to bring these events to life, and to provide short 30 minute competitions every day for schools. It was incredibly fun running these events across April – we’ll be looking at how we can continue with them moving forward. 
  • EP Languages Championships: As you’re reading this, the EP Languages Championships are officially underway! The Languages Championships are our biggest online event of the year, and we’re incredibly excited to continue to host them in a more remote capacity. We’re also beginning to plan for our next student intern position – identified by their performance in the EP World Series events!

Favourite features

There’s so many features I love on our platform, and all for very different reasons! I’ll pick just two to keep it short:

  1. My absolute favourite is EP’s ability to assign remedial work to students based on their assessment results, and how the remedial work is able to be differentiated automatically across each student – it’s a very powerful and time-saving tool that still blows me away! 
  2. Next favourite, although very different, is our cheer feature! I’m especially a big fan of the sticker collection that comes with it. I think it’s such a fun way for not only teachers to encourage their students while they’re completing work, but for other students to interact and support each other while they’re working through tasks together. I also love sending some of our rarer stickers out during our online events – keep an eye out during our World Series events!

EP magic moments

So many! We’re so lucky at EP to be exposed to a lot of feedback and success stories from the many teachers who work alongside us. One of my absolute favourites that has stuck with me for years was actually from a parent – she’d gone out of her way to send us a huge thank you email, as her daughter had never been too engaged with her school work in the past, but after taking part in our World Series events and achieving a Gold award, was now showing a great interest in learning in a way she hadn’t before. Her mother mentioned that our events had not only engaged her more in learning, but had also greatly boosted her confidence in her academic ability, and led to longer term engagement with her school work. I hadn’t considered the impact our competitions could have in this way until hearing this, and it’s still a huge encouragement for me to continuously improve our competitions however I can! 

Most excited about

EP hasn’t stopped pushing itself to the limit since I started working here – and I don’t think EP will slow down any time soon either! In a really short period of time, I’ve seen all areas of the business undergo significant growth and improvement, from the features we offer on our platform, the selection and depth of our content, all the way to the near-instantaneous support our customer facing teams provide. As EP becomes more accessible across the globe, I’m so excited to see how this influences every one of our teams and the directions we take moving forward, and how we can even better support the teachers and schools we work alongside.  

EP in three

  1. Summarise what EP actually is – that’s a progressive teaching and learning toolkit for the modern classroom, but not limited to that! EP can also be used to help onboard new staff at businesses, as well as greatly support our home learners – summing up EP is hard given all it has to offer!
  2. The history of EP – I think it’s awesome that Craig and Shane Smith (our co-founders) built the original translation tool in its infancy, and literally went door-knocking at schools to try get teachers to see the potential and benefits of what edutech can offer – and look at where we are now!
  3. EP’s offices! I’m so proud of what’s come out of EP’s expansion, including our wonderful HQ in Dunedin, as well as the offices we’re opening up around the globe for our remote staff. Working remotely comes with some big challenges, and I’m thrilled EP is doing more and more to ensure all of our remote staff are feeling connected and part of our ever-growing team. 

Secret talent 

From my time doing yoga, I’ve become pretty flexible! I’ve been called all things, from an elastic band, to a yo-yo, for how quickly I can contort myself, and get myself back into shape. I’m currently working on mastering the cobra (where you lay on your front, push your body up, and touch the back of your head with your feet). I’m also really good at impressions! 

Last but not least… you in three words

  • Dynamic
  • Affable
  • Neoteric

This is me and Tobin as we were interviewed by Klaus, a business that developed a Quality Assurance toolkit the EP Support Team uses. Read about it here!

Thanks Dan for sharing and your energy is always appreciated around the office and with the teachers and students. Many more fun years ahead.