Final-year student, Bachelor of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Bachelor of Design in Digital Design
Studying both design and business has enabled him to combine his design-driven perspective with an entrepreneurial mindset, says Paul Siayngco who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as a Bachelor of Design in Digital Design.
“For me, in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation there’s always this appeal of becoming a player in the bigger picture. Knowing there’s a chance that you can be a part of something larger than you is very exhilarating. I believe that studying double degrees in business and design allowed me to explore my full potential as a creative person.”
Deciding to come to AUT for his studies was easy, Paul says.
“I sought a university that was modern in its approaches, supportive of its students, and offered the right balance of theoretical and practical learning experiences. I also wanted a university where students were respective of their fellow peers and encouraged healthy competition. AUT fit all the criteria, and I was pleasantly surprised that this was the case throughout my journey as an AUT student.
“There are many key points in my AUT journey that affected me positively. Many of these included the relationships with my peers and lecturers, courses I was truly passionate about, and experiences that challenged me to apply learned theories to practical situations. But a turning point was learning the passion involved in entrepreneurship through Dr Smita Singh. I was very impressed by her drive to teach us how to be effective entrepreneurs and what our roles could potentially mean in a social and economic context.”
A virtual internship in India
Another highlight of Paul’s studies was the workplace experience in the final year of his business degree; a placement he completed as a virtual internship with India-based interactive learning company Lattu Kids.
“I chose a virtual internship as I wanted to experience being in an international organisation or start-up. I knew it would be of great benefit to develop my insights into how international markets function. As we still face COVID-19 and its effects on employment, it’s reasonable to intern remotely instead. It helped me identify the importance of relationship-building skills, and exercise my capacity to learn what it means to be adaptable, be a critical thinker and honestly self-analyse while being in a real-time work environment.”
As a marketing and graphics assistant, he produced several creative products and gained new insights into the opportunities technology offers businesses.
“Before my virtual internship, I wasn’t familiar with the educational technology industry but because of my internship I witnessed how the marketing manager approached promoting the company in various ways digitally. These different strategies made me realise that modern technology has opened various possibilities for businesses to thrive in their markets, and will continue to do so in the future.”
Advice for other students
Paul has some great advice for other students.
“It’s good to be ambitious, but it’s also good to set realistic goals and be in the right headspace to achieve them. Always give the work you do your very best. Lastly, enjoy your time at AUT. Join a club that fits your interest, participate in student events, and seek out new opportunities. This is a very important phase in your life so make sure you make the best of it, fun included!”
Don’t hesitate to reach out to AUT’s student resources if you need support, he adds.
“Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is enough to refuel you. I believe our mental wellbeing is often overlooked and pushed aside. I struggled with this during my last year at AUT; trying to maintain healthy, productive habits amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I reached out to AUT’s Student Hub and was connected to a student advisor who helped me realise that it was okay to feel what I felt, and others had been in a similar situation and got through it. I was able to push through and pick up my productive flow once again.”
*Entrepreneurship and Innovation is now a key part of the overall Bachelor of Business; it is no longer offered as a standalone major. The Digital Design major has been replaced by the Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design major. The Bachelor of Design is now known as Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa - Bachelor of Design.