Michelle Young

Michelle Young

Studio Mac Operator, Ogilvy
Master of Design
Bachelor of Design in Communication Design

It’s easy to see why AUT is ranked as one of the top art and design universities in the world, says design alumna Michelle Young who now works for Ogilvy, one of the largest, most successful agencies in the world.

“AUT are experts in the design industry, and focus on the student’s needs. The academic staff will partner with the student to provide an objective perspective to find opportunities and prioritise any issues. After a critical analysis of the student’s needs, academic staff will then provide top teaching, resources, advice, guidance and support.”

For Michelle, studying at AUT is part of a family tradition.

“Both my sister and brother studied spatial design at AUT, and told me that the high-quality facilities and the innovative thinking will benefit me significantly.”

Making the most of every opportunity
During her time at AUT, Michelle continuously challenged herself and participated in every opportunity that crossed her path.

“I think it’s really important to always look for ways to improve on ourselves and work hard to become the best versions of ourselves. AUT has provided me with opportunities beyond the academic.

“My achievements at AUT include winning the CO.STARTERS scholarship, completing the CO.STARTERS entrepreneurship programme and receiving the Entrepreneur of the Cohort $2,000 Grand Prize, being selected for the Graduate Research School’s Postgraduate Writing Retreat, and completing the AUT Edge Award, which helps students develop the skills employers are looking for – collaboration, co-operation, community, curiosity, communication and creativity.”

She even found the time to start her own business.

“My business, The Grad Box – a survival kit for graduates, was the result of winning three entrepreneurial awards for this innovative business idea. This has further honed my creative flair and passion for marketing, and I’ve enjoyed showcasing it at events and presentations.”

Design and the digital age
After completing her bachelor’s degree, Michelle decided to stay on at AUT and further her studies with a Master of Design.

“I found myself absolutely loving my time at AUT and felt that I still had questions to answer. I wanted to choose my own research topic of interest and immerse myself in that research.”

For her master’s research, Michelle explored the paradigm shift in minimalism and information decluttering.

“Our current digital age is characterised by consumerism and the consumption of commodities. I’m very interested in how we can help young adults sift through this barrage of information.

“For design to be solidified in its future stability, a distinguished comparison of diffuse design and expert design is essential to map out support in social change and focus on emerging forms of collaboration. We need to rethink what is 'normal' and shift away from it to imagine what it ought to be.”