'UC allowed me to turn my passion into a degree...'
Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Cinema Studies
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English
Reporter, Radio New Zealand
The opportunity to study subjects which combined her interest in the media with a personal need to connect with her Pacific roots was too good for Daniela to miss.
‘I’d always wanted to be involved with film in some way and UC allowed me to turn my passion for movies into a degree,’ she explains.
‘I am interested in how our perceptions are influenced, and I believe film and media play a large part in determining what I think it is to be Polynesian.’
Daniela was able to explore this in greater depth with her Honours degree in English.
‘Growing up in a western society and education system, coupled with having a fair appearance, means that I sometimes struggle to identify with my Pacific heritage, so I based my Honours research on investigating the portrayal of Polynesians in film to try and discover how my perception of the Pacific and its people has been shaped.’
Daniela says that her studies at UC enabled her to ‘develop the skills and confidence’ to pursue a career in journalism. She completed the one-year Graduate Diploma in Journalism, a feature of which was the opportunity to publicise the local Pacific art scene.
‘That year was the most energetic, intense and varied year of study I have ever done, and that makes it the most valuable.’
After gaining her Graduate Diploma, Daniela landed a job as a reporter for Radio New Zealand’s regular news shows and bulletins.
‘It’s great because I never know who I might end up talking to or meeting. Every day I learn about something different.’
Daniela hopes to continue her career in radio and report more on Pacific stories.
‘There is a lot happening in our own back yard,’ she says, adding: ‘If you plan to be a journalist, I recommend studying what you enjoy and care about. The wider the variety of backgrounds of our journalists, the better the news will be.’
Growing up in Christchurch, Daniela already had an idea of what life at UC might be like, and she was happy to follow in her father’s footsteps by enrolling at UC.
‘I knew about the great student life UC promotes particularly through the UCSA events,’ she says. ‘I love the massive outdoor movie screenings in the car park and the markets that became regular events.’
With so much on offer to students both academically and socially, Daniela found her UC experience to be very positive, but she advises that the idea that ‘you only get out what you put in’ is key.
‘Study what you enjoy, grab every opportunity that comes your way, and don’t be afraid to make the most of the UC services, including picking the brains of your lecturers and using the support services like the Pacific Development Team. These services at UC are amazing and I wouldn’t have made it through my studies without their help.’
‘The most enjoyable year I had at UC was the year I took part in as many events as possible, from attending guest speakers’ lectures to petting a donkey outside the library. There is a lot going on at the University of Canterbury, so make the effort to get involved!’
* Now offered as the Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism