Massey students become Global Citizens in Hong Kong

Frankie Hayman, Georgia Robertshaw, Ashlee Metcalfe, Troix Kokich and Lillian Lee.

Hong Kong at night, by Georgia Robertshaw.

Ashlee Metcalfe in Hong Kong.


Five Bachelor of Design (hons) students have returned from Hong Kong after an intensive 12-week internship which saw them working full-time at design agencies in the city.

Five Bachelor of Design (hons) students have returned from Hong Kong after an intensive 12-week internship which saw them working full-time at design agencies in the city.

The scholarships were offered under the Massey Global Citizen programme and funded by the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia, with the students self-funding a portion of the cost

Visual communication design students Ashlee Metcalfe, Frankie Hayman, Georgia Robertshaw, Lillian Lee and Troix Kokich were awarded the scholarships to spend their first semester in Hong Kong, receiving academic credits through the internship.

This opportunity provided the students with real world experience, and gave them the chance to become ambassadors of New Zealand’s creative industry through their interaction with companies and life in a global Asian city.

Ashlee Metcalfe says the internship gave her a new level of life experience. “Before I went to Hong Kong, I had barely travelled or left my comfort zone. I lived at home with my parents, I grew up in Wellington, and I still study and work in Wellington.

“This scholarship gave me the opportunity to absolutely throw myself out there into the deep end. New country, new people, new job, new food, new everything!  After getting out of my comfort zone, I feel more brave to try new experiences in life,” she says.

Georgia Robertshaw was placed at Asia's leading corporate innovation accelerator, Nest, and says the experience gave her a taste of what work life could be like once she graduates.

“I have realised from working full time in a design role that I have a lot more to learn from my year and half left at university, and I am looking forward to applying the skills that I have learned in a full time position when I have finished my studies. 

“A  highlight for me was experiencing life in Hong Kong, as it was so different to everyday life in New Zealand. The streets are always busy with the hustle and bustle of people in a constant rush. There are markets on every corner, food stalls and dried fish shops. Bright lights and signage in every direction - all of which I became so accustomed to that I didn’t even notice towards the end of my stay,” she says.

Troix Kokich was placed with music technology company Soundbrenner. He says he learned a lot working in a foreign office environment.

“It was very interesting to see how everything was handled on a more international scale. Working there also helped me perceive my own work in a different way. Hong Kong is a large business hub so I learned how to view my work from a marketing perspective,” he says.

Frankie Hayman also interned at Soundbrenner. She says she enjoyed working for an international company alongside staff members from all over the world.

“I really enjoyed working in real world work environment. I was able to apply my current design skills to tasks yet also learn a lot about marketing/business and how to alter my designs to work in a retail environment. Being able to learn these business skills alongside design I believe is incredibly rewarding as now I know how to apply my designs to a real world working environment,” she says.

For Lilian Lee, the trip gave her a chance to connect with her Chinese roots. Ms Lee interned at VAR, an independent graphic design company. "I think to be able to experience something like this during my university studies is really valuable, as it gives me a different perspective of design and the design industry and how to design in the real world if I were to work in a design company," she says.

The Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) is an outbound scholarship programme funded by the New Zealand government. The scholarships are awards supporting top undergraduate or postgraduate students wanting to undertake study or research in Asia. 

The success of the Global Citizen programme means the Hong Kong internship will return in Semester One 2020. Visit the Global Citizen website for further information, and to find out about other international opportunities.

Frankie Hayman, Troix Kokich, Lillian Lee & Ashlee Metcalfe.


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