John Pelasio

John Pelasio

Graphic Designer, NZME
Master of Arts in Māori Development
Bachelor of Communication Studies

Ngātiwai, Rereahu, Tokelau

Choosing to study at AUT was an easy decision, says John Pelasio who completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies, followed by a Master of Arts in Māori Development.

“After figuring out that I wanted to do something in media, I was looking for the right university degree to help me achieve this goal. A few older friends had recommended AUT over other universities, so I did a bit of research and everything pointed to AUT.”

There were many highlights throughout John’s studies.

“I appreciated AUT’s willingness to stay ahead of the mainstream industry, and the fact that AUT has always kept up-to-date with the technology side of things. Going from university into the workplace, every programme we used was the same or similar, and the process we learned at university was also applicable to the workplace environment.

“One of the highpoints for me was a paper on TV cameras and audio, as that gave me a sound foundation of this area. I also enjoyed that in the first year we got to experience different areas like TV, digital media and radio. The Māori students’ association, Titahi Ki Tua, also made the transition from high school to university easier for me.”

The skills to succeed
The broad nature of the communications degree is a sound foundation for many careers, says John who is now a graphic designer at integrated media company NZME.

“At AUT, I majored in television and completed a minor in digital media, and I think the broadness of the degree really helped me. Having those skills is beneficial because when I’m thinking about a campaign I can consider how things would look in different formats, or how they would look if they were animated or graphic overlays. It gives me a broader way of thinking.”

The creativity is what he enjoys most about his career, John says.

“I work on designs for print, social media, digital banners, as well as motion graphics. Some of the campaigns I’m most proud of in my career so far include creating the look and feel for The ZM Fugitive campaign, which was a finalist at the Radio Awards 2018 for best marketing campaign, and executing the rebrand of Radio Sport.”

Advice for other students
Having graduated in 2016, John has some great advice for other students.

“Don’t stress too much. If you’re putting in the work, you’ll be fine. Enjoy uni life.”

He’ll never forget the wise words of one particular AUT academic, John says.

“One thing that stuck with me was something Professor Pare Keiha – who is the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Māori Advancement, and Learning and Teaching – said: ‘All you need is a little bit of pressure and just not enough time’.”