Getting to Know Fin & Luisa

Check out our merch models for 2021! One of our favourite couples on the Kelburn campus, Psychology Masters students Fin and Luisa, are rocking our new university apparel range of tees, crews and hoodies. We caught up with them after their photo shoot to find out what they both love about trimester one, what students missed the most during last year's lockdown and the art of hot cross bun baking. We're your official university campus store for apparel, merch and gifts - so swing by to try on for size or buy online where you can see more of our favourite merch models, Fin and Luisa. 


What is your day job?

L: I’m a full time student. I am doing my Masters in Cross Cultural Psychology and am also a student in the Clinical Psychology Programme. I work part-time as a Portuguese tutor.

F: I am also a full-time student doing my Masters in Cross Cultural Psychology. I also work part-time as a Research Assistant, Tutor and Bartender.


What is your connection to Vic Books?

L: I have been at VUW for at least five years and have always loved coming in for a hot drink or some food and checking out the amazing book selection (and shop!). It’s also always a good spot for a catch up between classes.

F: My connection to Vic Books was initially sparked by the humble pot of English Breakfast tea. Four years later and it still hits the spot (especially when you throw in some coconut sugar and a splash of soy milk).


What are you working on at the moment?

L: Since I am currently doing two postgraduate programmes, I don’t have time for much outside the university. I am mostly working on my thesis which is on mindfulness and how mindfulness is, and can be, applied in psychology. During my free time I have been making an effort to improve my Italian, so I usually try to set aside half an hour a day to do that.

F: I have mainly been working on my Master’s thesis which focusses on Māori wellbeing. I am also working on another project that explores Mātauranga Māori pertaining to the Kākā.


We've just kicked off the new academic year here on campus - what's your favourite part about this time of year?

L: New year means new stationery!

F: The general excitement and enthusiasm that radiates off the first year students. It’s a refreshing change from the quiet trimester 3 vibes.


What did you miss most last year due to lockdowns and what, if anything, did you learn or gain from it?

L: I really missed being able to go out for a walk around the waterfront or anywhere near the water really. Lockdown was also a difficult time for me as all of my family is based overseas and it was a very scary and uncertain time for everyone. On a positive note, Fin and I got really good at making hot cross buns and I look forward to making some more again for Easter this year.

F: I missed the casual bumping into people that you get when making your way around a small city like Wellington. I also really missed those KFC Wicked Wings. During lockdown, Luisa got me into yoga and that ended up being the highlight of most of my days in lockdown.


What's your favourite part of campus life?

L: On nice days we are lucky enough to have some pretty good views over the harbour. There’s always a nice spot out in the sun to have a quick lunch or coffee break with a friend.

F: The social aspect for sure.


Some quick fire book recommendations please!

L: I love The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is also a good read!

F: The Woven Universe by Māori Marsden.

Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

The Adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith and Mat Tait.


What are you reading at the moment? What do you like about it?

L: I am reading The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks. Oliver Sacks is a neurologist and in this book he talks about some of his most colourful patients. It’s incredibly interesting and a great read for psychology students or anyone interested in that area.

F: I am currently reading Takitimu by Tiaki Hikawera Mitira. I really enjoy reading it because I get to learn about my Kahungunu whakapapa.


Hardback or paperback?

L: Paperback.

F: Hardback.

Favourite coffee? 

L: Flat white.

F: Coconut Hot Chocolate.