'I'd choose UC again in a heartbeat...'
Digital Content Analyst, UC CEISMIC
Although she comes from Lower Hutt via Motueka, Rosalee has developed a deep affection for Christchurch, and was in the right place at the right time to find her perfect first graduate job – at the Canterbury earthquake digital archive, UC CEISMIC.
'I'm pretty lucky,’ she says. ‘I get to immerse myself in all the interesting research and projects that have come out of post-earthquake Christchurch as we collect and archive them. I am genuinely interested in the rebuild and recovery of the city, and in community-led involvement. CEISMIC is a huge asset in these areas as it provides a place for us and others around the country and the world, to learn from our experiences.'
Having completed her BFA and BA at UC, Rosalee now draws on the skills she learned throughout her degrees, such as critical thinking and attention to detail, every day.
'I have a hands-on role in the CEISMIC team, collecting and preparing earthquake-related content such as photographs, videos, reports and research for inclusion in the digital archive.'
Rosalee says a sense of connection to the local community was one of the best outcomes of her Fine Arts degree.
'I really appreciated how my Fine Arts course was structured to encourage us all to get out and about, and involved with what is happening in Christchurch,' she says. 'I feel I became familiar with the central city a lot faster than some of my friends in other disciplines. I was also encouraged to explore areas of Graphic Design that I never even knew existed, that led me to develop my own creative practice as one that sits firmly at the intersection of art, activism and community organising.'
'If you do a BFA at UC, be prepared to forget everything you think you know about the art world, and let yourself be re-moulded. Get amongst it – get involved with what's happening in Christchurch, there’s a lot going on and it's a pretty exciting place for creative types to be.'
She adds that her BA in Psychology complements her Fine Arts studies and will prove equally useful, both in and outside her work.
'Psychology is a fantastic field that can be applied to pretty much all areas of life, and I wouldn't be surprised if I use the knowledge I gained from those courses on a daily basis!'
Rosalee says she is 'pretty content' with her current job at CEISMIC, 'but I can see myself doing more politically-motivated work in the future, perhaps for an NGO that focuses on issues I care about.'
Back in high school in Motueka, when she was considering her next move, Rosalee decided that if she studied something she was interested in, her career path would become clear later on.
'Let's face it, it's a tough world out there for artists!' she laughs. 'But I've always been a creative person, and I decided that I wanted to pursue my passions rather than choosing a degree solely based on career prospects.'
She chose to come to UC because of its social and physical environment.
'It was clear that there were plenty of opportunities to get involved with clubs and interest groups, but it was actually the campus that clinched the deal for me. I was immediately taken with how scenic it was compared to other campuses I'd visited, which all felt a bit like concrete jungles!
‘I'd choose UC again in a heartbeat, and I count myself as pretty lucky to have scored a job that means I get to stick around.'
Rosalee has a final word of advice to potential Fine Arts students:
'Be prepared to work hard. It's mentally, emotionally, even physically draining, but incredibly rewarding when you finally "click". And of course you have a ton of fun along the way too!'