Art Director, Facebook, New York
Bachelor of Design in Communication Design
The Bachelor of Design gave her the time and space to figure out what kind of designer she wanted to be, says AUT design alumna Jessica Kate Tweed.
"I used to work as a consultant for a financial services firm, but after a couple of years I realised I had this burning desire to move into a more creative job. I chose AUT’s design degree because I wanted to completely overhaul my career direction. Studying design enabled me to build my portfolio and hone my design skills under the direction of top-notch lecturers and technicians.
“I looked into a few different design schools in Auckland and AUT’s impressive facilities won me over. AUT offers a unique mix of old world processes and new age technology to give students the opportunity to explore a variety of tools for design.”
Making the most of university
There were many highlights throughout her studies, Jessica says.
“In my first year, I joined my department’s external advisory committee as a student representative. I sat on the committee for the entirety of my degree and used this opportunity to build valuable relationships with a number of high-profile New Zealand designers.
“Other highlights for me included going on a student exchange to Champlain College in the USA, completing the AUT Edge Award, and being selected to present at the Cultural Spaces and Design conference in Basel, Switzerland on behalf of my class. I also ran the communication design end-of-year grad show, which involved co-ordinating an exhibition for 77 students.”
Spend a little bit of time looking into everything AUT offers, Jessica advises.
“Get involved! Chat to your lecturers, join a student group, go on a student exchange, write something for the student magazine, complete an internship, attend feedback sessions run by the dean, and become a student ambassador. All of these things can help you make friends, network and find job opportunities, and they all look great on a CV.”
Behind the scenes at Facebook
Jessica graduated at the end of last year and is currently working at Facebook in New York. She landed this sought-after internship through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme.
“Having international experience is an excellent way to make your CV stand out. The Internz programme sounded like the perfect way to enhance my employability and have an exciting adventure.
“My job is all about creative solutions. Some of the projects I’ve worked on include branding for an outreach programme, creating internal collateral for our sales team, designing materials for presentations, making ad mock-ups for clients, and developing a mobile best-practices white paper for specific industries who run ads on the platform.”
She loves working in an environment that encourages creativity.
“One of the things I love about working here is that you’re free to take risks, be creative, and explore your own interests. If you think something is missing or could be improved, you speak up or take action.”