Our Stories • Volume One
What do you do?
I work as a user experience designer as part of the design team at a tech company. We listen to clients, gather their feedback and then design a more enhanced and improved experience.
I studied a Bachelors of Creative Technology. I originally studied hospitality and tourism but I was looking for a change in industry. I went into hospitality and tourism straight after highschool because I wanted to travel the world, so I thought that was the industry for me. It turns out, I really didn’t like it. I’ve always liked creative writing, and I also thought technology was the future, so I literally googled creative and technology. That’s when the Bachelors of Creative Technologies came up and I was like, oh that sounds cool. That’s how I first got introduced to the world of tech.
Amazing! How would someone get started?
I didn’t have coding knowledge or a technical background. All you need to get into the programme is university entrance. I would say you also need to have curiosity and willingness to try different things because the Bachelors of Creative Technologies is a little bit of coding, a little bit of design, a little bit of everything to help you find out what you’re interested in. From there, you can put focus towards whatever you find.
What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on?
At uni, one of my favourite projects I got involved with was around virtual reality and designing an app with an aim to reduce anxiety. What stood out to me was the fact that we had built it, and we were able to interact with the world we had built just using mobile phones. It was one of my most memorable projects because it was something we made.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
One lesson I’ve learned is that you have to represent yourself. You’re representing yourself in everything, whether it’s your project work or with your colleagues. You’ve got to show up for yourself. So I’m learning that more and more as I go that you have to show up for yourself, represent yourself and do yourself justice.
For me, that means pushing yourself into uncomfortable spaces because you’re only going to learn and grow from that.
What’s something you’re learning at the moment?
Well, outside of just my skills within design and tech, I’m learning how important it is to represent your own people, because as Māori and Pasefika we are very community based. I’m just learning about how to best authentically represent ourselves and our people.
Beautiful. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to others on their journey?
Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to reach out to others.
E Tipu e rea mo nga ra o tou ao. That is a whakatauki by Sir Apirana Ngata which means to grow and thrive in the days destined for you.