Wellington ICT Life Changing Programme

Petone Groom was awarded one of four Diversity Scholarships offered through Wellington ICT Graduate School. Now halfway through his Masters of User Experience Design the Wellington born and raised Samoan Petone Groom says seeing more Pasifika taking design at Vic Uni and Wellington ICT Grad School is exciting



“It’s cool knowing you’re here at the moment but seeing the younger generation come through- who might want to take this programme and do 10 times better than me- is exciting,” says 22- year old Petone Groom.


Petone was one of two Pacific students to graduate with a Bachelor of Design Innovation in Industrial Design. However now in his Master of User Experience Design (MUXD) Petone is enjoying the strong industry focus.


“It’s more about the user… the customer that’s using my product, rather than designing a product that I like and enjoy.”


So far the young Samoan, whose parents have ties to the villages of Salailua, Vaivase-Uta, Satalo, Falealili and Fasitootai has redesigned a health app that allows a patient to book a doctor’s appointment and order their medication and repeats.


His aim is to break into the UX industry and the MUXD puts him in a prime position to do just that, teaching different ways to create and understand how the design process fits with industry demands.


A far cry from the young student who “kinda just picked up design” because it was one of his strong subjects at high school.


Petone believes the design courses have changed him as a student, designer and even as a person.


“From not knowing much about design I’ve learnt quite a lot, just in terms of how products are made, and understanding the design process….you start to decode stuff around you, break it down piece by piece.


“It’s changed the way I think and the way I do my work. It’s a whole process, and I’ve also found that with everything I do now, I try to be creative.”


Not one to rest on his laurels, Petone doesn’t want the learning to stop with the skills and knowledge he has attained thus far.


“The immediate plan next year is to get a job and understand what the industry demand is just to get experience and try to network from there.”


He wants to find a job that takes him out of his comfort zone…“one where I know I’ll continue to learn.”


Wellington ICT Graduate School are once again offering up to two full tuition (up to $24,000) scholarships for Māori and/or Pasifika students studying one of our six postgraduate programmes offered through our partners Victoria University of Wellington, Whitireia and WelTec in 2020.


Read this story and more in the latest issue of SPASIFK, SPK74 out now.