Sophie Roberts

Sophie Roberts

Landscape Designer, Terrain NYC, New York City
Bachelor of Design in Spatial Design

AUT has propelled her out into the world, says spatial design alumna Sophie Roberts who is now working at Terrain NYC in New York City. She initially joined Terrain through an AUT Internz internship and has since been offered a role as a landscape designer.

“Since I was young one of my career goals was to work in New York City, and to have my first job in the industry here is an amazing personal achievement. The AUT Internz programme is one of a kind. During my internship I was able to jump into a range of projects that deal with different New York landscapes, ranging from large scale roof top designs for commercial use to public housing campuses.

“The team here is amazing; it feels like a second family, which is such a nice feeling being away from New Zealand. The team is smaller in size, which means I can work on a big range of tasks, from AutoCAD to attending client meetings. This keeps my role exciting and challenging. The skills I learned at AUT help me every day at work.”

A space to learn and thrive in
She has always been interested in spatial design, says Sophie.

“From a young age, I’ve been interested in the designed spaces that surround me. Spatial design was a natural pathway for me to follow, combining my love of design and transferring it into spatial form. AUT’s spatial design degree had a great reputation, and with a small class intake, I knew it would be a good fit for a space I could learn and thrive in.”

The highlight of Sophie’s time at AUT was working in the spatial design studio.

“It was a perfect environment to design in. Through the studio culture I made lifelong friends – spending countless late nights in studio leads to great friendships. Being taught by great academic staff in spatial design also enriched my experience at AUT. They helped progress my learning and skills, heavily influencing how I work as a designer today.”

Advice for other students
Sophie, who graduated at the end of 2018, has some great advice for other students.

“My advice to any current or future AUT student is to take every opportunity that presents itself at university. It’s too easy to stay inside your comfort zone but when you expand into new and different things you can really achieve something great.”

Making the most of the opportunities throughout her studies has opened up the chance to design the built world in New York, Sophie says.

“My biggest achievement while I was at AUT was being awarded the AUT Internz Scholarship, and landing a position to work at a landscape architecture firm in SoHo, New York City. I chose to apply for this internship because it was such an amazing opportunity to explore the spatial design field through landscaping in New York. It’s a life-changing scholarship that will influence the rest of my career.”