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Helen Baxter

Helen Baxter is Director of Mohawk Media in Wellington, which turns data into design for print and online through animation, infographics, motiongraphics and storytelling.

Helen BaxterWhat do you do on an average work day?
There’s no such thing as an average day in animation. I could be scriptwriting a voiceover, drawing stick figures and storyboards to brief illustrators, recording vocals for animatics, reviewing data for infographics, or chatting to our crew on Slack.

What did you study at school? And after high school?
I studied biology, chemistry, physics and computer science at school with English and psychology at college. I continued to study part time while working in publishing and IT with a Communications, Advertising and Marketing course at Bristol Business School.

Was your study directly related to what you do now?
It all comes in useful. I can write about complicated topics in simple ways and understand the psychology behind e-learning and community engagement. Studying business prepared me for running my own company, and I’m always tinkering with online tools to make us more efficient.

What would you like to share with young women who are thinking about their career choices right now?
Study everything that interests you for as long as possible, as most of you will be doing jobs that haven’t been invented yet or working as freelance contractors. Embrace this and get prepared. Set up a LinkedIn Profile, join some Meetup groups and start networking with other young professionals. Stay flexible, take every opportunity to learn, and find good mentors to support you along your journey.

Helen Baxter addressing a Science Media Centre class

What are some of your career highlights so far?

Why do you believe engaging in STEM – whether it’s working in the field, studying it or just educating one’s self around the issues – is important to New Zealand?
STEM is the foundation to our future. We need smart minds to invent ways to fix the problems the earth and humanity is facing from climate change. Understanding how the world works helps us make better decisions, which is why I love data-driven storytelling.

Why is is important to have more women working in STEM?
Because diversity of thinking and experience increases our chances of finding innovative solutions.

Helen Baxter is Director of Mohawk Media in Wellington, which turns data into design for print and online through animation, infographics, motiongraphics and storytelling.

This profile is part of our series of girls and women in STEM. 
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