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ACG NZIC Alumni success



date:Mar 28,2014 source:意腾留学网 editorial staff: clicks:

  Grand designs

  Although it is our firm desire that students continue on to The University of Auckland (UoA), some students who successfully complete Foundation make a personal choice to go on to other tertiary institutions. Akshay Shah chose an alternative pathway for particular reasons and that has worked for him. This is his story.

  My name is Akshay Shah. I am 23 years old and am currently in the final year of postgraduate study at Unitec, Auckland. By the end of 2014 my research project will hopefully be submitted to complete my Masters in Architecture (Prof.).

  But let’s go back in time. I was born and reared in Mumbai, India. In July 2007, I came to NZ intending to study Architecture. I was only 16 so I was required to complete the UoA Certificate in Foundation Studies taught by ACG New ZealandInternational College at ACG Parnell Campus.

  I was amazed when I learned about the flexible study options here in New Zealand, so I chose to do the Extended Foundation Course for 18 months at ACG – from July 2007 to December 2008.

  Since I wanted to study Architecture, I selected subjects relevant to the field of architecture. Even though design wasn't available during the 6 month programme in 2007, the school was able to individualise my programme to give me that option.

  Settling in New Zealand wasn't hard at all. I barely had the much dreaded culture shock! In my 18 months at ACG, I made a lot of friends (international and local) and met many inspiring people. All my teachers at ACG had a very personal yet professional relationship with the students (this was very new to me). They inspired and encouraged my growth and knowledge gathering - I was quite a shy and quite introvert till I started studying at ACG.

  2008 was over and it was time to enrol for the Bachelor in Architectural Studies. Through acquaintances and mentors in the architecture field, I learnt that the course at UoA was great, but that the one at Unitec was more hands-on and practical which would suit me better. I saw myself as a better problem solver than designer and the option to build what you designed was what made me choose Unitec. (The other factor was that I was still quite young and wouldn't be 18 until April 2009.)

  For three years from 2009 to 2011, I studied for the Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Unitec. These have been very memorable years for me. I gained more knowledge about many things, not only academic, but also about life, work and experiences. I made many friends here as well and got along well with my tutors and professors. I also became more of an extrovert ! I think it's all the presentations and public talks we have to do!

  In these three years, photography became a major hobby and I started an Internship at an Architecture firm in Auckland. I used to help with general office tasks, design drawing and draughting, and I also helped photograph all finished projects. My photographs were used for their ads and brochures. They were also published on well-known online architecture websites like Archdaily and Architizer.

  A colleague at work had a sister who required someone to photograph an event she was organising and I was more than willing to help. The function was great and my photos were much appreciated. So this lady hired me as a helping hand in future events that she would organise. I'd help with IT, tech, photography and video editing. Now these two sisters had a third sister who needed a designer to design her a pergola for her home. So there I was helping all the 3 sisters. They were quite happy with my work and we became close family friends. They invited me for dinner. Now look how small the world is! Turns out their father was a retired teacher at, yes guess where, ACG Parnell Campus. He was one of my favourite teachers!! Wow!

  In 2012 I took a gap year after graduating and worked for the firm aforementioned. In 2013 I enrolled in Unitec for the Masters in Architecture (Professional Degree). Now Unitec has a mailing list for job vacancies, and I was looking for part time work. A job notification turned up for the Auckland Harbour Bridge AJ Hackett Bungy for a Photographer. Didn't think I'd get in, but applied. I had created an online CV/Website as an e-Portfolio and they were impressed so I was hired.

  At the time of writing this it’s been about one year since I started working for them.

  At Unitec, I had the great opportunity to visit China for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. There is a design build study option to research and promote Maori Architecture in New Zealand. I was fortunate enough to be part of a student team who designed and built sculptures at Silo Park on the Waterfront for the Matariki (Maori New Year) Festival.

  So here I am now in 2014, in my final year of study. My research proposal to study Bamboo Architecture and its benefits has been approved and I am currently working to spread the message of sustainability this particular product resonates.

  Akshay Shah

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