Aiden says that he originally decided to move from his native South Korea to study a Graduate Diploma in Creative Technologies (GDCT) in New Zealand for two reasons. He'd heard that Auckland was a safe city to live in, which appealed to him, but he was also fascinated by how New Zealand had changed its reputation from being a country that was primarily known for its agricultural exports to a place globally renown for its creative and digital industries.
During his time at Media Design School, Aiden greatly admired his lecturer, Matthew Stevens, who encouraged him to constantly try new things such as different coding languages and CMS tools such as WordPress. He says that the great relationships developed between Matt and his students over the course of the year enabled the students to learn all about Matt's "deeper philosophy about Web and Interactive media."
The friendships made in and out of the classroom were what really made Aiden's experience at Media Design School special. Aiden's most memorable moments were the times that his class spent together discussing their final projects and he says that these sharing sessions really added to his educational experience.
"We touched on topics including user interface, web and mobile programming and mostly new technologies. It helped us to improve our problem solving abilities and to increase our self-motivation."
The project that Aiden was most proud of working on was a collaboration between two GDCT students at Media Design School and three Bachelor of Communications students from Unitec entitled Help Me Tell My Story. Over the course of two months, they worked on creating a website to highlight the stories of all the unknown soldiers who fought in World War One.
"The students from Unitec prepared a narrative storyboard and we embodied that story as a real product. This was such a unique experience for me, because I was able to learn more about the history of New Zealand."
"I am impressed by how New Zealand people are dealing with their heritage so preciously."
As a front-end developer for Flipmind, an Auckland-based web and mobile app development company, Aiden gets to further explore his one true passion: the Internet.
"If you love to access the Internet, being a web developer is a perfect position for you. Exploring websites is definitely not wasting time for us; we're researching the existing web market. Sometimes I can't distinguish between whether I am working or just playing on the Internet!"
"To be a front-end developer means that you have to be interested in the web and mobile ecosystem and you should observe new technology day by day."
"At first when I came to work [at Flipmind], I thought it was really odd that we were working as a company. People didn't look like they communicated with each other and they seemed to be working separately. But finally I recognised that they already know how to work spontaneously. It's one of difference between the Korean environment and Kiwi culture."
Now that he is more accustomed with the kiwi way of working, Aiden enjoys working and living in New Zealand. He especially loves the "ocean friendly lifestyle" and takes great joy in watching people spending their time at the Viaduct Harbour.
Aiden's advice for any international students considering studying at Media Design School is simple: spend lots of time on campus and discuss your project with as many people as you can.
"Positiveness will help you to extend your social network."
He also encourages international students to work with domestic students on projects as "mixing both domestic and international people will help to create exceptional synergy beyond your expectations."