Get to Know Our Leads

CEO

Gemma Bell

BA/LLB

ceo@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know our CEO!

How did you get involved with Velocity?

It is very hard to miss the bright orange, exciting events, and immense energy that Velocity is known for. From observing activities and friends involved in the programme, I knew that it had a world-class reputation and an incredible team culture, which I really wanted to be a part of. I was also looking to diversify my extracurriculars at university and try something new, but wanted something that really aligned with my interest in people, empowerment and making a social impact. I applied at the end of my second year, to join the 2018 team, and I can definitely say that doing so was a great decision.

 

What does being the CEO involve?

Velocity is student-run and supported by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), so I get to lead, oversee, and develop the 2020 Velocity vision for 37 incredible team members who are truly the driving force behind the programme. I also get to work closely with CIE staff, liaise with different faculties around the university, meet leading people in industry, network with inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs, and follow the journey of all our programme participants. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to contribute to such an awesome for students and staff and witness the power of an idea, and overall, a lot of fun!

 

What do people need to know before taking part in Velocity?

That the Velocity programme is designed to be accessible and accommodating no matter what previous experience you have had, and innovation and entrepreneurship are not limited to a certain degree, university courses, or interests. Our team members, attendees, and participants represent a wide range of faculties and backgrounds and are united by an overarching desire to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. Velocity creates change-makers, problem-solvers, and well-rounded, empowered members of society who will go on to make great contributions in whichever fields they pursue. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, definitely get involved!

 

What do you see in your future with Velocity?

As CEO I’d like to boost accessibility, engagement, and ensure that our team members who give so much to Velocity are given as many opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. I’d like to change the idea that innovation and entrepreneurship are only accessible to those from certain majors and also ensure that we are reaching as many aspiring and potential participants as possible, whilst maintaining maximum support to those who are already engaged.

Velocity has given me exposure to whole new worlds of people, ideas, possibilities, and of course, the entrepreneurial mindset. I look forward to continuing to explore these in 2020 and beyond.

COO

Vaishali Patel

BCom/BSc

coo@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know our COO!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

  1. Blanket
  2. Matches
  3. One of the Harry Potter books

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

I would visit Pluto, I’m a pluto stan. Pluto is also surrounded by other “dwarf” planets, and there’s been some interesting stuff happening around there within the Kuipe Belt so it’d be really nice to check it out.

If not, I’d like to visit a blackhole, very curious to see what happens in there

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit?

The Great Pyramid of Giza. I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids, I’m very fascinated by old palaces and castles and pyramid things haha

 

My major: I do a conjoint (BCom/BSc) so my majors are Accounting, Finance and Data Science

 

How’d I get involved: wanted more out of uni than just a degree so I looked into some clubs and my friend recommended velocity and it was pretty in line with the things I liked so I applied and now here I am

Being the COO involves being a support person for the team. I see my role as enabling everyone else to fulfil their role. It involves a lot of thinking and delegating and planning.

 

What do people need to know: they need to know that it WILL change their life. They may not realise it immediately, but slowly and surely it will somehow change their life

 

What do I see in the future: I see happiness and fulfilment. I see myself being satisfied with the work I put in. I also see myself being an over involved alumni after I graduate haha

 

Marketing Leads

Justin Chen

BA/BE (Hons)

marketing@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Justin!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

  1. A film camera + plenty of film
  2. A giant reservoir of sunscreen
  3. My cat, for company/entertainment

 

If you could visit a planet, what planet would it be, and why?

Saturn. The rings are stunning, plus it has 82 moons to visit so it’s a great bargain.

 

Which of the seven wonders would the world would you like to visit?

The Lighthouse of Alexandria. It’s long gone, but it’d be nice to visit the city in its heyday.

Komal Singh

BA/BCom

velocitymarketing@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Komal!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

Assuming there are no rules for the items we can bring, here are the three items I would bring:

  1. A sort of master-book that can transform into any book in the world
  2. A toolbox that always contains just the right tool that I need
  3. A cornucopia that can produce an endless supply of nourishment

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

I would actually like to visit Mercury. It’d be interesting (assuming that I have an amazing spacesuit that protects me) to see how much it varies from Earth with respect to being so close to the sun. It’d also be amazing to experience a year that consists of only 88 days as well,  and to see the sun up close too.

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

The library of Alexandria, without a doubt. When I was little, I read about it for the first time, and I was so excited that I went straight to the computer to learn a little bit more about it so I could make a case to parents and persuade to them to go there. Finding out that it no longer existed, however, put quite a damper on things, and I was heartbroken to learn that it had burnt down centuries ago. It would have been so fascinating to see what the people of that era had learned and written about.

Challenges Leads

Mitchell Carlyle

BCom/BProp

velocitychallenges@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Mitchell!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

My GPS running watch, a guitar and an encyclopedia.

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

One of those goldilocks earth planets that is similar to Earth, just to see if there are equivalent intelligent life forms there and to see if we as are a relatively dumb species in the universe.

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

Mount Everest.

Jasim Janah

BA/Bcom

challenges@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Jasim!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

A fishing net, 5 year supply of fried chicken and picture of my family and friends.

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

Mars cuz it’s the closest I can get to economy class seats with Elon paying for my trip.

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

The pyramids of Giza. Other than to relive my assassins creed dreams? Egypt’s been a place I’ve wanted to go to for a very long time. Not just for the architecture and history of inventions. But because food. Mediterranean cuisine (more specifically Turkish be Lebanese) has been and will be my favourite

Outreach & Engagement Leads

Harsh Suresh

PhD

velocityoutreach@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Harsh!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

My partner and two best friends. I am not kind enough to let them enjoy their life while I am stranded on an island. LOL

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

I would like to visit “Morag”. Stop for a moment before you start googleing to find out in which galaxy it is, coz its from a whole new universe “The MARVEL Cinematic Universe”. haha! A bit of background on Morag, it was home for an advanced civilisation which was eventually wiped out by global warming and it seems like our future too if we don’t change the way we treat our planet. I would like to visit Morag, take my experiences  back here and spread awareness among our people. Well, are you one among those people who puts all of their rubbish in the same bin?, then we have to catchup over a coffee to discuss about it.

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

Old/New, I was never a fan of architecture until I visited Taj Mahal in India. The thought that went through my head the moment I stepped into the gates of Taj Mahal was that, “Ohh man! Now thats so huge!!”. I really wonder how they made it in the earlier years without machines and I would love to visit Taj Mahal again to enjoy its beauty!

Lavisha Gopaldasani

BCom

engagement@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Lavisha!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

A knife, fishing net, satellite phone and my tea leaves 

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

Mars, who doesn’t want to look at two moons

 

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

The Colosseum…just because Venice would be closer and I absolute fancy commuting in Gondolas

Events Leads

James Zhang

BE(Hons)

velocityevents@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Jason Tran

BCom/BE(Hons)

events@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Jason!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

Bug spray, fishing net and knife? 

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

Mars! Would love to see whether we could start civilisation there one day

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

I’d love to visit the Statue of Zeus (was obsessed with Percy Jackson series back when I was a kid!)

Education Lead

Jessica Lee

BA/LLB

education@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Sponsorship Lead

Brodie Hutton

BCom/BSc

sponsorship@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Brodie!

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

Togs, towel and a deck chair. If I’m stranded I may as well enjoy it.

 

If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

Pluto, because it still counts as a planet to me.

 

Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

Pyramids sound cool, also its the only one of the ancient wonders still around.

Alumni Lead

Brayden Print

BCom/LLB

alumni@velocity.auckland.ac.nz

Get to know Brayden!
1. If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?

I’d bring a dog, a water filter, and a tent

2. If you could visit a planet what planet would it be, and why?

Saturn, because of its amazing rings!

3. Which of the seven wonders of the world would you like to visit (modern/ancient)?

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Research Lead

Don Samitha Elvitigala

PhD

research@velocity.auckland.ac.nz