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Whanganui student headed for Weta Workshop

By UCOL on Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Whanganui UCOL Computer Graphic Design student

​A Whanganui UCOL international student has landed a coveted role at New Zealand’s multi-award winning design and effects facility Weta Workshop.

Soon to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Graphic Design from Whanganui UCOL, Filipino student Ryan Serrano is all set to begin a role at Weta Workshop involving 3D sculpting digital models for props and collectibles. Weta Workshop receives thousands of portfolios annually from prospective employees.

Mr Serrano says he came to Whanganui UCOL with a qualification and industry experience and a desire to gain more practical skills in order to reach his goal of working in the design and production industry.

"My industry experience just confirmed what I already knew - that I wanted build on my skill base and experience overseas industry. I have always been a fan of Weta Workshop's films and dreamed of one day moving to Middle-earth."

Enrolling in the Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Graphic Design at Whanganui UCOL enabled Ryan to apply for a Level 8 Student Visa, which allows international students to bring their partner to New Zealand

"My partner coming with me to New Zealand and having their support as well as UCOL's was important," Mr Serrano says.

He says the teaching style at Whanganui UCOL was an eye-opening experience, being taught by industry experienced and award-winning lecturers from all over the world who encouraged independent thinking and creativity.

"After my work experience I had basic skills but UCOL encouraged me to prepare to enter industry by showcasing my skills and presenting a professional portfolio so employers were able to see my ability and potential.

"The same technology that is used at Weta is what I have been taught at Whanganui UCOL. I believe that this experience, and the guidance of my lecturers at the Whanganui School of Design gave me the edge I needed to secure my dream job."

Ryan's advice for others wanting to get ahead in the industry is to work hard, keep practicing and to never give up on your dreams.

Enrolments are open now for the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design, the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (Honours), the Postgraduate Diploma of Computer Graphic Design, and the Master of Computer Graphic Design programmes starting February 2016 at Whanganui UCOL.