Friday October 28, 2016
Sarah Browning says she hasn't travelled much, but that could all change thanks to her talents in graphic design.
The 20 year old, a digital media student at Yoobee School of Design Wellington, won the top spot in the WorldSkills Graphic Design Nationals in Hamilton.
WorldSkills is a competition to showcase work skills and give recognition to professionals across 14 industry careers, including floristry, carpentry, web design and social services.
Browning moved to Wellington from Nelson for her study, and has relished the change of scenery.
"My biggest source of inspiration is definitely moving from the suburbs of Nelson to Wellington," she says.
"Wellington has such a creative and interesting atmosphere and I love seeing so many forms of design and art in the streets."
Fellow Yoobee students Mitch Batie and Marcus Seumanu won second and third place.
All three will now embark on a tough training schedule before finding out who will represent New Zealand in WorldSkills Oceania, held in Australia early next year.
If they do well, the challenge of WorldSkills International 2017 in Abu Dhabi will be on the cards.
Browning remembers standing in the crowd, hearing her name be called out in first place.
She thought her competitors had done an amazing job.
"I was really in shock," she says.
"I knew I had done the best that I could, but I wasn't expecting that."
Getting to Abu Dhabi is her ultimate goal.
"The fact that it is a possibility is amazing because I think being able to represent your country in your skill set is one of the best things you can do."
She says she would find it really interesting to compare her skills to those of people from all around the world.
During the weekend of competition, competitors were given various briefs to work to, such as designing packaging for swimming goggles.
Browning says they were not allowed access to the internet to get ideas, which made it more difficult.
In the lead up to competitions, she would train up to 40 hours a week.
It's a big commitment, but she says it is "absolutely worth it".
Being involved in the competition had helped her develop and strengthen important skills, such as organisation, time management and trusting your instincts.
She loved being at the event, especially being able to see all the other competitions in different disciplines going on around her.
It was great to see the excitement people had for skills which may not be regularly recognised, she says.
"The most important thing is having passion."