From changing degrees to settling on her study choice, Olivia Reinbold is finding out that her love of design has many career options.
Olivia was always interested in fabric and design - but she didn’t initially choose to study it.
She began her higher education journey in fine arts, but wasn’t sure if it was right for her. After learning more about textile design at RMIT and with the encouragement of her teachers, Olivia transitioned into a new degree after her first year.
“The Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) was something that I accidentally stumbled upon at Open Day and I knew that it was for me.
“It was challenging for me to make the decision to change, but the transition was smooth and I was reassured that it was a normal occurrence in tertiary study.
“With the help and guidance of my teachers and program coordinators, I transferred credits for some subjects and continued pursuing my passion with ease."
Now at the end of her degree, she’s glad she took the time to work out what she really wanted to pursue.
“RMIT has a strong sense of community and that’s what attracted me to apply, as well as the fact that RMIT is the top university for design in the Southern Hemisphere.
“I felt that RMIT would provide me with relevant industry and classroom experience, and I was right!”
Olivia says she’s glad she took the time after high school to try out different avenues of study and explore her options.
“My advice to students looking at their university options is to enjoy this time of self-discovery. The pressure to choose a career by the end of Year 12 can be overwhelming!”
Olivia has also realised that the potential for different career outcomes is broader than just one field.
“Look at where the course will take you after your studies - not just at what the course involves.
“Now I’m at the end of my course, I know I want to work in industrial and product design with sustainable materials, but at the commencement of the course, I just wanted to work in the fashion industry because that’s all I thought was possible.”
Industry experience, getting involved with the student council, starting a small business and receiving a design award are some highlights of Olivia’s time at university.
“I was selected for a year-long long internship at General Motors Design Australia. I explored the application of textiles for automotive design and worked alongside some incredibly talented engineers and designers.
“During an industry project with homewares brand Maxwell & Williams, I was grateful to receive the overall design award for my Christmas Dinnerware collection. It was rewarding to see industry experts value my work.
“This year I also became involved with the RMIT Sustainability Team and the student council, which were amazing platforms to have my voice heard.
“I also began a small business called No Normal Girls, which is a diverse and inclusive clothing label. I design, screen print and dispatch products from my studio in Melbourne.
“I was learning about sustainable and ethical practices at uni and I was able to apply that to my business while it was growing. I am so grateful for my time at RMIT as it’s very much prepared me for the industry. I can’t wait for the next chapter!”
After graduating, Olivia wants to work in the field of material development and sustainable textiles. Her goal is to work with a design company that’s making a difference.
“In my studies I’ve been exposed to the world of fast fashion and how much of an impact it has on society and the environment. I see my role as a designer being one of change and purpose.
“My dream job would be in a company that shares my values such as Adidas, Patagonia or Tesla. But first, what’s next for me is a well-earned holiday to Japan and South Korea!”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.