Giulia Harper

Giulia Harper

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Design Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa in Industrial Design with a minor in Digital Fabrication

She decided to study industrial design because of her love for making and hands-on design and problem-solving, says Giulia Harper who is now in the final year of her Bachelor of Design Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa.

“Through high school, I found a love for woodworking and design, so when I found industrial design as a degree and future career path I knew that this was what I wanted to do. Design has been a passion of mine since I was young, and when I graduate I hope to find a role where I can be very hands-on with my work.”

“It was on AUT’s website that I first discovered industrial design as a career path and after that, I knew that this was the only degree I wanted to apply for. AUT takes a very hands-on approach to the industrial design course, which is how I enjoy learning, and the course structure fits with how I like to approach design. AUT being a university in Auckland also helped with my choice as there are a lot more design opportunities here, which helps with finding opportunities and networking.”

Receiving an AUT Welcome to Auckland Scholarship has helped her a lot financially, she adds.

“This scholarship covered a large portion of my accommodation fees in the first year and paid for parts of my tuition in my second and third year. Having this scholarship has helped me complete my goal of getting myself through university student loan free, and enables me to leave university and start my career knowing I can simply focus on moving forward into my future.”

Growing as a designer
The hands-on nature of her degree has been the highlight for Giulia.

“Everything is a practical assignment, which I think is the best way to teach a design practice. As students, we can take risks in design as the university is the safest place to make mistakes and learn. We don't grow as designers or people without mistakes. If we learn from them, they help us become a better version of ourselves.”

She has also appreciated being able to access the different facilities AUT offers.

“AUT has so many facilities for students to use, and it’s something students should make the most of as in the workplace we’re probably never going to have access to all of these facilities. For industrial design students, the workshop, 3D labs and wet labs in particular are a great help to develop your skills, explore and produce in this degree. I’ve also really enjoyed that my major has quite a small cohort, which enables us to have close relationships with each other and with the teaching staff.

“To add to that, even the general life admin facilities at AUT are great. For example, AUT offers free medical and counselling appointments, which I think is great for students as the cost of such appointments often means that young adults don’t seek help when they need it. Having these as free services is great!”

Advice for other students
Giulia – who expects to graduate from AUT at the end of the year – has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“From my experience, being at university gives you so many opportunities. You just have to trust yourself, and take them on or seek them out to make the most of being a student. I think it’s also important to surround yourself with people who seek to strive.”

She also has some specific advice about applying for scholarships.

“There’s no harm in applying for scholarships – it doesn’t cost you anything, so make the most of the opportunity.”