Layout Junior Technical Director, Weta Digital
Bachelor of Design in Digital Design
When she first heard about digital design she was intrigued, says design alumna Annika van Vliet who completed a Bachelor of Design in Digital Design.
“I was initially interested in AUT’s communication design degree, but then I found out about the digital design major and it immediately clicked with me.
"I had always been interested in a future career in this field but never realised it was a possibility."
Innovative and open-minded learning
The people were one of the best things about her degree, Annika says.
“I was studying with the same students and lecturers for almost three years, and it almost felt like a second family. When it came close to crunch time and you had to spend long hours at uni, there were others right there alongside you, and you make lifelong friends this way. The facilities contributed a lot to this, as our department was a really comfortable environment.
“The digital design programme is still quite young but it was great to see that AUT is keeping up with the constant advancements in our industry. There are many opportunities for students to go out and do great things and meet new people. You just have to grab these opportunities.”
Annika loved sharing her passion for the degree with future students and often volunteered for AUT portfolio days, open days, motion capture symposiums and other events for students interested in digital design.
Valuable industry experience
In the summer before her final year, Annika was lucky enough to get a rare inside look at one of the world’s top visual effects studios – Weta Digital.
“It had always been my goal to work at Weta Digital, so this internship was a dream come true and I was incredibly fortunate to be picked as one of the interns. I moved to Wellington for four months where I worked full-time in the layout department,” says Annika who received the sought-after internship through the Summer of Tech programme.
“What I enjoyed most about working there was getting to meet all the amazing people who work for this company and make it as successful as it is today. Getting to work alongside people who are at the top of my industry was the most amazing experience. I loved every minute of it.”
After graduating at the end of 2017, Annika has now joined Weta Digital as a layout junior technical director; a role she started just before her graduation.
“I’ve been able to work on some pretty awesome projects since being here at Weta Digital including War for the Planet of the Apes, as well as the latest blockbuster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Avengers: Infinity War, which was a huge success.”