Lanuola Anna Jeffries is pursuing her passion for design through EIT’s IDEAschool and is thankful for a scholarship that is helping her achieve her dreams.
Lanuola, 26, who is second generation Samoan, is currently in her second year of EIT’s Bachelor of Creative Practice (Design). She is also the recipient of a scholarship from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples. The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships aim to support Pasifika students to pursue STEAM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths.
“It has been a very helpful scholarship. It is based on you sharing your journey and allowing you to inspire the next generation of Pasifika.”
“They pay for your fees, have mentorship programmes and also give you access and connections to people in the Pasifika industry.”
“STEAM excites me because of all the endless opportunities these sectors have to offer. Not only to those studying it, the possibilities it can provide both for individuals, but also to support Pasifika families and help our communities thrive.”
Lanuola was born in Wellington and grew up in in the Horowhenua. She studied a degree in marketing and management at Victoria University of Wellington from 2014 until 2017.
“I always had an interest in art and design, but I did the double degree in business at Victoria University of Wellington. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I was able to leave university with greater employment opportunities.”
Lanuola soon got a job in marketing and administration in a software company in Wellington, which gave her some experience in website design.
“I worked really closely with the user interface designer there and we did a lot of projects together, which basically sparked my interest in design again.”
Although she loves Wellington, Lanuola moved up to Hawke’s Bay to be closer to her partner Nick Putt, who is in viticulture.
“I was living in Wellington; he was living here. We needed to make a decision. Someone had to move. He’s in viticulture so there’s no vineyards in Wellington. I made the move up here and decided to take the risk to go back to study and follow my dream of design.”
“It was overwhelming when I first made the move here in February last year, because I didn’t have any friends or family here, just my partner and it was during the time of COVID-19. I still enjoy marketing and I see myself doing a marketing design-based job where I use both my skills.”
She says she is enjoying the experience of studying at EIT where she has appreciated the one-on-one tutoring and support.
Lanuola has also joined a Pasifika Student group at EIT and enjoys being involved with them.
Reconnecting with her Samoan roots becomes more important to Lanuola the older she gets.
“It is my heritage, and it is important to get to know your roots and make an effort. Over time I’ve just become a lot more involved. I’m doing Samoan classes at the moment, and it means a lot to me.”