For Bachelor of Creative Media student Daniella James, receiving a UCOL Excellence Scholarship has taken away the stress of paying back a bigger student loan, as she juggles study with work and netball.
In 2016 UCOL awarded five Excellence Scholarships to secondary school students to help cover the costs of studying a degree at UCOL for the following three years. Each scholarship was worth $9,000, with $3,000 going towards each student’s fees each year of study.
Daniella says receiving an Excellence Scholarship has made her life easier, as she already works two part-time jobs and plays netball four times a week on top of studying.
Daniella came to UCOL from St Peters College
(Palmerston North) as a keen photographer, but over the past two years has developed skills in design to complement her photography.
“I’ve been taking photos ever since I got my first camera when I was eight years old. I like doing portraiture the most, but I love photographing landscapes as well. I’ll just take photos wherever I am,” says Daniella.
In July this year, Daniella entered her first photography competition, the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Iris Awards, where she received a Bronze Award in the student category. Her award-winning print was part of a project based on the mental and physical growth throughout family generations.
Through her studies, Daniella has picked up a few jobs with wedding photographers to give her a taste of industry experience.
“I learnt a lot on those jobs, and it helped me get used to the different camera settings. That kind of experience helps you feel more confident. It’s helped me to get my name out there and build contacts.”
Daniella says she is looking forward to picking up more work experience through the Bachelor of Creative Media’s
Industry Immersion courses next year.
In terms of the future, Daniella is weighing up whether she wants to work for a design company or become a self-employed photographer. She also wants to make the most of her Italian passport and travel around Europe.