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06 • 11 • 2017
New Education Group

Wellington student flies high at WorldSkills International

After winning a bronze medal in Shenzhen at the International Selection Competition, Sarah Browning was propelled onto the global stage this month at the prestigious WorldSkills International competition in Abu Dhabi. It’s the 44th time the prestigious annual tournament has taken place, and Sarah competed in the Graphic Design category.

After three days of intense competition, Sarah finished 13th out of 29 world competitors. She achieved a Medallion of Excellence to acknowledge her score of 701.  She was only the second person to represent New Zealand in Graphic Design at WorldSkills, and faced competitors from China, Italy, France, Portugal, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

Graphic design competitors were under high pressure, with testing taking place with live design briefs and short timeframes of five to seven hours.  Sarah was tested on corporate information design, editorial design and packing design.

Sherein Abdel-Al, a tutor at Yoobee School of Design/Graphic Design and Skill Manager for WorldSkills has been coordinating the competition within New Zealand for the past few years. She’s been training Sarah since she won gold in October 2016, and a bronze in May 2017 before qualifying for the final competition in Abu Dhabi.

Sherein says, “It was an absolute pleasure to train Sarah for this prestigious global competition.  We spent around 18 – 20 hours of training a week, to be world ready.  I travelled with Sarah to Shenzhen and now to Abu Dhabi, and I was thrilled for her achievements.”

WorldSkills is an internationally renowned competition, and gives young people a chance to pursue excellence through vocational skills in their field of industry.

Sherein added, “We are really proud of Sarah’s achievements in Abu Dhabi, it reaffirms our commitment to producing and supporting top notch students in the creative industries in New Zealand, and of course from Yoobee School of Design.

“Sarah has an amazing passion for Graphic Design and it shines through.  This is one of the key attributes required when training for WorldSkills, as training is intense and tough.  I’m super proud of Sarah – she pushed herself hard and achieved what she set out to do by achieving a Medallion of Excellence.  The WorldSkills experience will give her more career opportunities in New Zealand and overseas.”

Sarah has been passionate about everything creative since Primary School, and knew her future was in this field – jumping from architect to interior designer, to illustrator and even photographer. After living along the coastal shores of Nelson all her life, she moved up to the “big city” of Wellington in early 2015 to pursue her dreams of becoming a graphic designer.

After recently graduating from her second and final year at Yoobee School of Design, she is now working as an advertising executive with Adcorp in Wellington City.

Sarah says, “I am so grateful for everyone’s support over the past year and a half. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and with help from friends, family, Yoobee and especially my incredible expert Sherein, I feel like I did my absolute best, and did my country proud. I would absolutely recommend anyone to try it out, you never know where it can take you!”

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