Lita Vatuvei

Bachelor of Media Design

Cultural heritage: Tongan 


What were you doing before you started studying at Media Design School?  

I was studying at another provider and I was also working in administration for counselling services. At the time I was re-evaluating what I wanted to do with my life.  

What do you enjoy most about studying at MDS?  

Learning that character and work ethic is just as important as skillset. Grades don’t teach you how to interact with clients. You must find the balance between good communication and executing ideas.  

What advice do you have for students wanting to study at MDS?  

Like the Nike ad… Just do it!  The worst that could happen is that you gain experience.  

Who has been a positive influence on you, both personally and in your studies?  

Rev Saane and Penisimani Langi. They saw gold in a broken spirit that had given up on education. These two have invested time into sowing seeds of hope, love and healing with no expectations into my life. They have influenced me to become the best version of myself that I can be and I hope to pay it forward and help others.  

Academically, I have been supported by a village of MDS staff without whom I wouldn’t be here. All these amazing people have taught me with patience, kindness and understanding.  

What were some of the initial challenges you faced when you entered your study?  

I had no background in art and design, traditional or digital. I didn’t know how to use any of the Adobe software. There were also no other Pasifika students that I knew at the time, in which I could reach out to for support. It shook my confidence because I was a lot older than my classmates, who were amazing!  

What support has helped you during your time at MDS so far?  

Under the Māori and Pasifika Association I was given support around cultural identity in design. Whenever I needed help, the Fale Māpura, was a safe space to talanoa (talk). Knowing that there were people who had my back and genuinely had my best interests at heart allowed me to study with confidence. I also received wellbeing and counselling sessions that soothed my soul on the hardest of days.  

What do you hope to do once you finish your studies?  

I hope to pursue higher studies in the field of psychology. My goal is to combine motion design and psychology to create stories of healing and restoration for our Māori and Pasifika communities.

Lita Vatuvei