Creating products to fit the market

Commerce and arts student Theo de Monchy says moving away from home in Auckland took some getting used to, but he quickly fell in love with university life.

Theo is in his fourth year of studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business and Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts with a History major.

Falling for Wellington

Theo, an Aucklander, fell in love with Wellington while visiting Victoria University of Wellington on a Open Day.

“When I came down for the open day the whole city was alive, so vibrant. I actually didn’t even bother looking at other universities. I’d made up my mind.”

First-year nerves

As he settled into Joan Stevens Hall, one of the University's 15 halls of residence, Theo realised the move away from home had hit harder than expected.

“I was 18 and I thought I knew everything—as all students do. I was in a brand new hall with maybe 300 people, and I was very self-assured but also a little bit nervous. I was completely on my own, completely independent, and that took a while to get used to.”

Skateboards, markets and consumer psychology

Theo discovered a passion for marketing through his studies. He applied his skills to another of his loves—skateboarding—when an assignment required him to design a product to fit a gap in the market.

“I did the research and discovered that skateboarders really need a product to stop their skateboard bearings from rusting. That was the moment I realised consumer markets are complex. I needed to think about consumer psychology. It’s been projects like this that have really changed and challenged how I think.”

Student life

Student life at university revolves around getting to know people and making connections, Theo says.

“I love the student lifestyle here, the way that instead of going out as you do in other cities and you’re partying all the time, you’ll actually go out and have a quiet beer and talk about the future and have intelligent conversations.”

Ciao, Italy

In 2013, Theo did an overseas exchange to study in Milan, assisted by a scholarship from Wellington School of Business and Government.

“It allowed me to see these different cultures and it really changed my whole perspective. I’ve come back and I’ve started applying for jobs and internships because of what I experienced overseas.”

Know Your Mind

“Knowing your mind means knowing who you are within yourself. So it means you can interact with other people and you can take their influences, but you’ll always be the person that you are and know who you are and where you want to go.”

See other students talk about their university experience and what Know Your Mind means to them.