Energetic Erina shares all the ways she’s gathering experience for her career

“My first experience with design was when I was much younger. I would experiment with a phone app that worked in a similar way to Adobe Photoshop,” says Erina, who is in the final year of her Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) (Honours) minoring in Digital Advertising Technology. “I liked how I could be creative and make visuals based on my imagination. The great thing about it was that I didn’t need to be amazing at drawing, I just needed to have a good eye for design.”

Meet Erina

Enjoying study at Swinburne

Originally from Indonesia, Erina finished high school in Sydney and did a stint at Raffles Design Institute, Singapore, before joining Swinburne’s UniLink Diploma of Design course. This eight-month program is just like the first year of a degree, but with smaller classes and more support. It allowed her to pathway directly into the second year of her degree when she successfully completed it.

After earning high distinctions and a 4.0 GPA, Erina was offered the International Excellence Scholarship for her bachelor degree program. “I love knowing that I am contributing to my own university fees, instead of having my family pay them in full,” says Erina.

Experiencing real industry

It’s also clear that she truly enjoys her course, stating that “I believe Swinburne is giving me real industry experience, as most of my assignments require me to work like I’m already in industry.” She continues with, “My design degree is very practical in its approach, which I see as being really beneficial.”

Case in point – this semester, she is juggling projects in two different units (classes). In Communication Design Strategy, she collaborated with fellow students to create a holiday campaign for T2 Tea. Her group chose to focus on the Lunar New Year and decided on the idea ‘a gift of calmness’, which capitalises on tea’s inherent qualities as a welcome break between hectic celebrations.

In her Publication Design class, she was briefed to think of a metaphor that would suit her client, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Victoria, then apply it to the design of their annual report. Says Erina, “My concept was the everchanging nature and seasons of the garden. You can see this in the different colours and visual elements of my design.”

During her diploma program, she also learnt to build websites from start to finish – apart from designing sites, she’s picked up fundamental coding and can use Adobe Dreamweaver. In fact, she made invaluable contacts through her lecturers, which has led to freelance design projects; some of which have become additions to her portfolio, which will be instrumental in her future job search.

  • International student Erina (Bachelor of Design - Communication Design - Honours)

    “I believe Swinburne is giving me real industry experience, as most of my assignments require me to work like I’m already in industry.”

    Erina , Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) (Honours) (minoring in Digital Advertising Technology)

Living life to the fullest

But that’s not all. Alongside design, Erina’s other passion is photography. She explains. “I’ve always enjoyed observing moments and subjects from a different perspective, seeing beyond the surface and trying to capture their essence. I’ve learnt myriad techniques and principles via classes at university and through self-learning.” She even received a Commendation from Australian Photography Magazine’s Photographer of the Year 2020 competition for her photo titled ‘People Amongst Water’.

To top off her already busy schedule, Erina is also an international student ambassador. Her role is to assist future international students and answer any questions they may have about joining Swinburne. “It has been interesting to meet so many students applying to Swinburne. It feels great being able to help them through the process.”

While Erina still has many months left before graduating, she’s already gained an impressive amount of experience that is sure to make her resume appeal to future employers.

Chat directly to Erina
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