Category Archives: Day in the life…

Career Case Study: Fashion

Susan Leaver careers case study fashion

Today we have a case study from Susan Leaver, Commercial Director at Turtle Mat

Susan Leaver is the Commercial Director at Turtle Mat with a focus on sales, marketing and product development. Initially training in fashion design, Susan spent her formative years in a commercial design environment supplying lingerie and nightwear products to M&S. In 1999 she formed part of the New Product Development team at Sara Lee Courtaulds where she worked on future technologies such as fragranced and therapeutic fabrics, and investigated ultra-sonic technology for seam replacement.

In 2000, Susan left Sara Lee and spent a year designing and developing products for Cerie International (Hong Kong) and for Heathcoat Fabrics in the UK. In addition to her freelance work, Susan enrolled on a Master’s Degree course at Central St Martins where she gained an MA in Design Studies.

In 2002 she joined Turtle Mat where she developed their mail-order and e-commerce business alongside expanding their collection to include design. Susan was appointed Commercial Director in July 2009 and is responsible for all sales, marketing and NPD across both the Direct and Retail channels of the business.

 

Which subject did you study at university (and where did you study)?

I studied Fashion Design at Epsom School of Art & Design in the 1980’s (Now merged into UCA University for the Creative Arts). I also did a Post-Graduate (MA) degree in Design Studies at Central St Martins (now UAL- University of the Arts London).

 

What was the most important thing you learned in education/university?

Good design isn’t just about creativity or being able to put pen to paper and make something look good.  As with other industries, there is still a ‘commercial’ process sitting behind the design activity. This is often neglected and people aren’t always aware that being able to dissect (and question) a brief requires a level of understanding of the end use or end user that cannot simply be imagined. Research is key to this understanding as well as being creatively inspired.

 

Why did you decide to work in this industry?

Having worked in the fashion industry for some years, I was keen to explore other design fields, particularly those with a textile connection, Home interiors was a natural choice and closely linked to fashion. I really enjoyed the combination of design and business in my previous role and the position at Turtle Mat gave further opportunity to expand on this experience.  In addition, Turtle Mat were at an exciting point in their growth with new (design) technologies opening up to them, I felt I had the skillset to turn what was quite a mundane product into something more beautiful.

 

What was the turning point in your career?

Having developed product collections for some years for a major high-street retailer, I moved internally to work on research-led projects within a NPD team. This really opened my mind to all manner of possibilities within the current field I was working in, plus those beyond it.  It was from here that I went back to college part-time and did an MA.

 

What does a typical day at Turtle Mat look like for you?

Working in a small business doesn’t bring many typical days! Supplying both to trade and direct to consumers means that we have to often be responsive to their needs. We are a small niche team and my day can be anything from coming up with new mat designs to planning product launches and liaising with both clients and suppliers.

 

Do you have any motivational words for students aspiring to make it in this very competitive industry?

As with anything, it’s about hard work and determination.  By all means have some fun but make sure you have a clear goal and get as much as you can from every one and every available source- in a nutshell, make every day count. A firm grounding sets you up for the future, fashion courses are renowned for pushing you to the limit in terms of creativity and stamina, this training has served me well throughout my career. Also, don’t underestimate your transferable skills; I went from designing underwear to designing mats- think outside the box. And lastly, write every idea down, physically or digitally, keep a note of it you never know when it might be relevant.

 

Guest blogger – Daniel Yeo – Search Laboratory

TEDx is coming to the University of Cumbria!

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TEDx, an independently organised TED event, is coming to Carlisle for one night only!

Tickets available on the UoC TEDx website here.

 

The Theme

For the first ever University of Cumbria TEDx event the theme ‘Progression’ has been chosen, this ties in nicely with university life and can have a broad interpretation. Expect talks on career progression, the progression of ideas and much more. The event speakers really have had some great ideas on what progression means to them and the world.

 

The Speakers:

  • Andy Beeforth – Chief Executive Cumbria Community foundation
  • Jacqui Filkins – Honoury Fellow, advisor to EU on health matters – Sustainability Strategies.
  • Brenda Crossley – Graduate – Aging & Adapting With Technology.
  • Nathan Roberts – Zoo Keeper – Conservation and Effective Communication.
  • Phillip Wilson – Musician. Making Music Accessible For All.
  • Annie Weir – Self-published creative writing graduate – Age Is Not A Barrier.

Developing a great line-up for this event has been tough, there are just so many talented people with great ideas! There will be something for everyone with six super talented speakers all with unique ideas to share from varied backgrounds. Be sure to check out the event blog here for updates on speakers with details about them and their talks.

 

When

Thursday 5th May 2016 at 18.30 until 21.30

 

Where

The event will be held in the University of Cumbria’s Fusehill Street campus close to the centre of Carlisle in the Learning Gateway Lecture Theatre.

University of Cumbria, Fusehill Street, Carlisle, CA1 2HH

 

Tickets

A ticket must be purchased to ensure attendance. Just to make it even harder to resist temptation you will get a free beer and a burger with each ticket. Now that’s food for thought…

Tickets are £8.49 per person (including booking fees)

Tickets available on the UoC TEDx website here.

 

 

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Find out more on the TED website.

New to TED? Here’s 11 must see TED talks.

 

This event is being organised by Ben Parker (University of Cumbria Events Management Student)

 

My Career Story – guest post from Rachel @ Cotswold Outdoor

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My current job is as Regional Marketing Manager for Cotswold Outdoor, it’s a very new role and one of only 2 that exist in the company at the moment, the other is in London. As you would expect we have our main marketing team based at Head Office in Cirencester and as great as they are it does present some geographical issues when you are dealing with over 70 shops Nationwide. To help with this within each of our shops we have a staff member dedicated to Local Marketing and ensuring we are supporting our community and national affiliate accounts at a local level e.g. local scout, rambler, guide groups.

My role allows us to support other more regional groups that would not ordinarily get noticed by our head office due to time restrictions and geographical awareness. Being based in the Lakes means I can make sure that we are able to support local outdoor providers, local events and groups.

My brief is simple ‘ Support our Community’, I love that, it allows so much scope and freedom to really tailor my marketing focus into whatever is happening and relevant for each shop – and they are all so different.

I have been with Cotswold Outdoor for 6 years now, I started in the Keswick Shop as a Sales Assistant on £5.77/hour. Within those 6 years I gained as much experience as I could and took every opportunity by the horns. As a result I have had some amazing experiences and have truly grown as a person and developed into a career path that I would never have imagined 6 years ago.

When asked if I wanted to be the in-store Visual Merchandiser for Keswick – I said ‘Yes!’. When asked if I wanted to go on a 2 week placement setting up a new shop – I said Yes! When asked if I wanted to be on the permanent shop fit team – guess what? I said yes! A year of travelling around the country opening a new shop every 2 to 3 weeks was an absolutely brilliant way to see our company grow, meet loads of new staff and get a tour of the country. It wasn’t long before I was promoted to a Regional Visual Merchandising Manager, which as it turned out was not the right job for me. So I took a step back and tried something else, an in-store Local Marketing person in our Grasmere Shop, I enjoyed that!

Then one day, the lad that was doing the Company Weekly newsletter resigned asked if anyone wanted to take over, my email was short and to the point – ‘I’ll do it’ – that was 4 years ago and I’m still doing it. I announce new jobs, new products, share good stories, great feedback, run competitions and generally communicate the companies activities to all the staff.

Cotswold Outdoor is an amazing company to work for, in my 6 years I have been trained in:

  • Winter Mountaineering
  • Climbing – trad and scrambling
  • Technical Outdoor equipment and clothing for all the brands we stock
  • Correct footwear fittings, measuring feet, assessing issues and matching feet to boots/shoes with modifications if required
  • Camping equipment and maintenance
  • GPS and navigation skills

With the company I’ve daggered up no.4 Gully onto Ben Nevis, paddled in a remote fjord in Sweden, scrambled on the Orme in North Wales,  scrambled up tryfan with Plas-y-Brenin, sat in a spa at the end of a magic mountain day, learnt how to use an ice axe and crampons safely, built a snow hole, met some truly inspirational people like Dave Mcleod, Andy Turner, Sir Chris Bonnington (and loads that aren’t famous as well – often just the guy or girl on the shop floor next to me) and finally, learnt how to enjoy the outdoors safely in all kinds of weather – all I have to do in return is pass the love, passion and knowledge of the outdoors onto our customers – done deal!

Before I worked for Cotswold Outdoor, well, that was a different lifetime altogether are you ready, I’ll keep it brief….I started out as a waitress while at Uni studying a Bachelor of Business (Management), after Uni I continued in Hospitality working my way through the functions department, into Concierge and ending up in Guest Relations. Then I opened a couple of bakeries making artesian bread from scratch after a few years of this, I changed to the job I had always wanted. I became a Veterinary Nurse, studying and working at the same time. After 5 years of this a few life changing moments had me working in a Government Tax Department and then in the Department of Defense….’enough I said’, what do I want to do, ‘I really don’t know’ was the reply. So I sold most of my possessions, put the rest in storage, packed my bag and came travelling with my dog..6 years later and I’m working for Cotswold Outdoor as a Regional Marketing Manager and loving it – who knew!

My advice to anyone about to start their working life, you are going to spend at least 70% of your life, day and week working, make sure you enjoy what you do – if you don’t QUIT! (A boss said that to me once and I quit…so I know it works ;-))

 

Thanks Rachel! If you would be interested in writing a post for the blog, email careers@cumbria.ac.uk

Building a Portfolio Career

Today’s guest post is from Sam Curran, an alumni of the University of Cumbria. Today Sam is talking about portfolio careers. Take it away, Sam!

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When you graduate, it can be quite a tough thing to consider what you want to do with your life. There are numerous routes and avenues which graduates explore. Some want to head for the stars and travel, whilst others may even go into a field that their degree is not to do with. Then there are people like me who want a portfolio career.

A portfolio career is where you do not have one fixed job, instead carrying out a number of roles, which could be completely unrelated to each other. It could be 2 or 3 things or for some people their repertoire can stretch to doing more than 5 jobs, which is quite astounding. Quite different from the normal 9 till 5 grind, which can put people into a routine which may not be good for them, although there is a clear division between work and play, which a portfolio career does not really allow for.

I think I have always known that I wanted to do different things in life although it is something that may take me a little time to get the correct balance. Building a portfolio career initially can be pretty tough as you try and put things in place but it does get easier over time. Some people may have the impression that a portfolio career involves doing all freelance work, but this is not strictly true. I think in the future it will probably involve a mixture of freelance and part time work hopefully in a school for me or maybe somewhere else. Things take time to come to fruition and all great things are worth waiting for I suppose.

You have to build up your skills in certain areas first and learn the ropes as well. It also involves having the ability to work on your own, something which I found hard at first, but not anymore as I actually enjoy the quiet and relaxation and I feel a lot better about things now. Hopefully I will enjoy all the things in my burgeoning portfolio career which are at the moment: proofreading, writing, tutoring (maybe some teaching), casual youth work and maybe being a counselor in the future. I think a mixture of things in life keeps things interesting – at least it does for me! Even within the things that I do I like variety – such as writing: I write essays, blog posts and I am even writing my own book at the moment about how I got free from a mental illness. At least at the start having a portfolio career is quite tough as you start to build your life and put things in place. However, things get easier over time as your abilities improve. You learn new skills and you get more opportunities as well.

I have definitely become more resilient as well in building my portfolio career as I have finally learned to work on my own, which is something I have struggled with in the past. It can be quite a solitary pursuit with some of the work I do although I imagine that as I build more things into my life that involve people and get a balance of being on my own and with people then things will improve. Actually I am comfortable being on my own now and quite like that. That said, it is nice to get out of the house though. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to go and work somewhere else. When I lived in Lancaster I frequently used the twenty four hour library and it was great, I could just go there whenever I felt like it and quite enjoyed myself, regardless of whether people were there or not. It gave me somewhere to go, a definitive place to go each day where I knew I could get out of the house.

I now live in Darlington in the North East and there is nowhere here that quite has the facilities that the library in Lancaster does, but I am going to move somewhere different in the future, hopefully with a place to go to do my work and plenty of other opportunities as well.

The key to a good life is balance, variety and eradicating all the negative thoughts that you get. I have even started practicing mindfulness which means you stay in the present moment more, something which has allowed me to enjoy life more. I would recommend a portfolio career to anyone. It might be hard at first, but it certainly is going to be worth it in the end.

By Sam Curran

Sam has his own proofreading business. He charges from £3.00 per 1,000 words. He can help with style and content as well as grammatical and formatting issues. Sam has proofread for 6 years and has proofread pieces of work from Undergraduate to PHD level as well as editing CVs, job applications and personal statements. The business has its own Facebook page ‘Efficient Editing’ which you can contact Sam through. You can also get in touch with Sam by emailing him at samcurran@live.co.uk

 

 

 

Ones to watch: Kelly Wragg

Here’s the fourth (and final – for now) part of our new ‘Ones to Watch’ series, in conjunction with the University of Cumbria’s Alumni team. We think all University of Cumbria graduates are amazing, and are proud of each and every one of you. Occasionally we get to hear about certain individuals who are already making a huge impact, despite only graduating recently. Those who have really applied themselves whilst still a student; taken advantage of every opportunity and worked exceptionally hard to get where they want to be. 

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Kelly Wragg

BA (Hons) Performing Arts

I first became aware of Kelly when I heard about an exciting new shop opening a few miles outside Carlisle in the market town of Brampton. I then read a story about the shop in the local paper and it mentioned that the owner, Kelly, was a recent graduate of our university! I was SO excited to visit the shop and it did not disappoint. Wish Strings .Co is the most beautiful shop I have ever seen! I cannot believe that Kelly is so young and has only just completed her degree, what an achievement. 

I am a huge fan of Kelly’s signature bracelets Wish Strings (I currently sport four of them on my wrist!) and the fact that she is an alumnus all the better as I get to interview the lady herself and share her amazing and inspirational journey so far with fellow alumni and students.

– Joanne Lusher, Alumni Office

Course: BA (Hons) Performing Arts

Campus: Brampton Road

Hometown: I am originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Prior to attending the UoC, I attended the stage school Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) in Wakefield.

Current job: Owner and proprietor of WishStrings .Co, an online and high street store selling jewellery, vintage delights and WishString wish bracelets.

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

When I attended my audition at the University of Cumbria I was overwhelmed with how welcome they made me feel! Compared to auditions at other institutes, the UoC audition was warm and welcoming.

Why did you choose your particular course?

The course offered many possible career options and the ability to acquire a wide range of skills. The course allowed room for creative freedom and personal growth. This is one of the reasons WishStrings was born!

What did you like most about your course?

I enjoyed the help and support from the tutors. I found that throughout my time at university, as I began to grow and learn the tutors were always on hand to help and guide me in the right direction. The support from the Performing Arts team is overwhelming!

What was your favourite experience at university?

One particular of my many ‘favourite experiences’ at the UoC has to be the second year of my degree, the opportunity to work with professional directors and choreographers on fantastic full scale shows is an opportunity I shall never forget!

Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

I have too many memories from my time at the UoC! I have made lifelong friends and shared experiences with them that will last me a life time. Also many of the stories I feel are not suitable for this publication… students will be students… ‘club concrete’ I need say no more!

How did coming to university change your life?

The UoC has changed my life around completely! If you had said to me on my first day of uni I would leave a business woman, with my own shop, rental properties and have taken my first step on the property ladder, I would have probably told you to ‘dream on’.

The UoC provided me with a safe environment, in which I grew and developed myself as a person and in confidence. Whilst much of the business grew outside of university, I did carry many of the skills I learnt through my course over into my business!

University is the experience you make it! Everyone takes different things away from the experience. I used my course and the skills it taught me, in a different way to what many of my peers will. But I do not regret for one moment not choosing a business course as I believe the Performing Arts course offered me the creativity, skills and personality which I wholeheartedly put into my business.

Other than your degree what do you think you learnt and got out of your university experience?

Much valued life experience, amazing friendship and memories that will last a lifetime!

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

When I first started university, I was all set for a career in the Performing Arts industry, maybe a teacher? But as I grew and developed throughout the course and my different modules, the creativity gained lead me to creating WishStrings, and my business was born!

Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

No! Most definitely not! My degree and the experiences it has offered me has given me the confidence to be where I am today! Many people don’t think my degree has anything to do with my business, but when you look beneath the surface you can see the foundations are made up from elements of my degree.

For example – window dressing, comes from the techniques learned in set design and construction. Hands-on making of cushions and other textile items – developed from the skills I acquired in costume. Marketing – came from the skills I gained from marketing shows and other events we held at the UoC. Time management – is needed to ensure the survival on any degree course. Performing – everyday in my shop I see as a performance, I have to leave all my personal problems at the door and put my customers first for the day, no matter how ill or rubbish I feel!

What are your current career ambitions now and in the long-term?

WishStrings is growing day by day. I have huge ambitions for the future, maybe a chain of stores? A brand stocked by leading retailers? A wholesale company? I feel my opportunities for development are endless and I am extremely excited about what my future holds!

What are you most proud of?

Everything I have achieved coming out of the UoC. Owning my own business and property!

How did you stay motivated to pursue your dream when studying hard and enjoying the university lifestyle?

The balance between studying, personal life and having fun is one HUGE juggling act! Thankfully I had an amazing support structure through the UoC and my friends. I had a roller-coaster three years, including my father suffering a life threatening brain hemorrhage and my great grandfather passing away all within the same months during my second year of university! This time proved extremely difficult, but thanks to the AMAZING support of my tutors and my friends I pulled through with no major disruption to my degree!

What advice would you give to todays freshers and prospective students about making the most of their time at university?

Work hard and ENJOY what the UoC has to offer! Make the most of every moment as you never know what may lead to future opportunities! Even the times that feel unnecessary are important so make every second count, push yourself beyond your limits and reach for your dreams! If I had followed the flow I wouldn’t be where I am today!

WishStrings .Co is an online and High Street store selling jewellery, gifts, vintage delights and our WishString wish bracelets. WishStrings was originally founded by myself in 2012, as part of a new year resolution! Since then WishStrings .Co has grown with the loving help of family, friends and of course my loyal fans! WishStrings began life as a hobby attending craft fairs etc and then grew beyond my wildest imagination! Expanding into a full online store and now a high street store!

Find WishStrings .Co on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Wishstring

Ones to Watch: Scott Harrison

Here’s part two of our new ‘Ones to Watch’ series, in conjunction with the University of Cumbria’s Alumni team. We think all University of Cumbria graduates are amazing, and are proud of each and every one of you. Occasionally we get to hear about certain individuals who are already making a huge impact, despite only graduating recently. Those who have really applied themselves whilst still a student; taken advantage of every opportunity and worked exceptionally hard to get where they want to be. 

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Scott Harrison

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy

Scott’s tutor Dr Katie Small contacted the alumni office to tell us how proud she was of Scott after he secured an internship with Real Madrid Football Club (one of the best football clubs in the world!) working for their TV channel as a Sports Reporter and Presenter. 

Scott has been so ambitious throughout his studies and placements and worked so hard to secure this opportunity for himself, whilst also setting up his own clothing company! We have absolutely no doubt that Scott’s competitive and determined nature will get him far. We will be following your career with interest, Scott!

Course: BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy

Campus: Fusehill Street, Carlisle

Graduation year: 2014

Hometown: Shrewsbury in Shropshire

Current job: Sports Journalist and Television Presenter for Real Madrid CF.

I also single handedly set up and run a small clothes company called Ropa de Calle Clothing. The idea came about in September 2012 and after creating a business plan and sourcing funding etc, I took the business live in March 2013.

I wanted to boost my CV in as many fields as I could and also my interest in current trends and fashion. I did all the designs myself, approached many manufacturers and other professionals within the fashion field myself, set up and run all social media sites myself along with the popular online store. The store can be found at www.ropadecalle.bigcartel.com and on both Facebook and Twitter.

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

The proximity of family and knowledge of the local area.

Why did you choose your particular course?

Always been interested in sport and healthcare, however the main point was my father is a physiotherapist who helped me with the decision.

What did you like most about your course?

The vast variety of topics within the course and the friends I made along the way.

What was your favourite experience at university?

Playing for the University Rugby League team, great set of lads.

Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

None that are suitable for the readers… Ha.

How did coming to university change your life?

University really gave me the confidence boost to go for things in life. Improved my social and work skills, which have helped me going forward in my career in which confidence, writing style and technique are key.

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

Originally I wanted to go into the health side of sport and by gaining my degree, yes, I did achieve that. However, being made aware of other areas of sport throughout my time at university, my goals changed and I feel I really have met my goals by gaining this position.

Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

Not at all. It was key to have a degree for the position I currently have. It was even more beneficial that I have a sports degree with a 2:1 level.

What are your current career ambitions now and in the long-term?

I wish to continue in my current job, gaining more on and off screen experience, increasing my show reel and improving my current level of Spanish. Within this time, I hope to meet more people who could offer me further opportunities within in sports media field.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of attaining this position off my own back after working hard to meet the right people and sell myself well. I am also equally as proud of getting the necessary 2:1 grade in my degree and starting my own clothing business completely on my own.

How did you stay motivated to pursue your dream when studying hard and enjoying the university lifestyle?

Competition with friends and desire to meet personal goals. I am a very competitive person, as were my friends, so the healthy competition saw me through.

What advice would you give to today’s freshers and prospective students about making the most of their time at university?

It’s key to make the most of all your time at university. Make sure you have the best possible time socially, but remember to keep an eye on your studies.

Interview with Kate Blythe, Editorial and Content Director at MATCHESFASHION.COM

Kate Blythe

Why did you decide to work in the fashion industry, and how did it start?

I always wanted to be a fashion journalist from the age of 10 or 11. I collected American and British Vogue magazines for years and fell in love with the beautiful images and inspirational features. From that age onwards I had my heart set on a fashion journalism career and so I focused on English literature and Language as my speciality. I took English, Psychology and History A Levels and then I went to Leeds University to study an English degree. Before university, however, I set up work experience at my local paper and then went to IPC to intern at various magazines such as 19 magazine and Just 17. As a post-graduate, I went to Time Out magazine in London where I worked for 6 months as a freelance writer, and from there I went to ELLE magazine where I worked for 4 years as fashion features writer before moving into the digital world after that.

 

What does a typical day for you look like at Matchesfashion.com?

I start work around 8.30am and have 30 minutes before the team arrive to get through my emails and answer any queries. I sign off, approve and commission all content across mens and womens digital and print titles so my day is a constant stream of questions from my team and proofs to sign off. I also oversee all video content, along with marketing emails, social media and all fashion. I can be approving a fashion rail full of clothes for a cover shoot one minute, then sitting in the executive team meetings discussing forward planning the next. It’s non-stop and very varied, which is why I love my job! I leave work at 6pm to get home to my three children before bedtime which is also when the US markets are up and so I then deal with talent agents regarding celebrity cover stories and shoots.

 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career has been building a world class team here at Matchesfashion.com and rebranding all of the website and content in a short space of time. It has been an exciting 18 months and the best is yet to come.

 

What do you enjoy the most about working in fashion?

I love all aspects of fashion – from the incredible talent of the designers behind the collection, to the beautiful product that is created to the editorial stories we pull together from the collections we stock. It is fast moving, exciting and inspiring.

 

What made you choose English as your degree, and what was your best experience whilst at Uni?

I have always been passionate about writing and would love writing essays at school and sixth form college. There is something about story telling that is very exciting to me and so there was really no other degree that I would have considered, other than fashion journalism. University was wonderful and I loved meeting great friends, learning new skills and knowing that I was preparing myself for a future in journalism. I couldn’t wait to get started!

 

Do you have any advice for students on how to stay creative and keep coming up with new ideas?

Read as much as possible – the news, websites, blogs, fashion commentary, magazines. Arm yourself with information and never think that you know it all. I am learning new skills every day and that triggers ideas in my mind for new ideas. Never plagiarise, always be original and stick to your passions rather than follow the pack. Then you will have the potential to be hugely successful!

 

Do you have any motivational words for students aspiring to make it in this very competitive industry?

Take on as much work experience as possible and when you are in a company doing a placement or internship, throw yourself into the role and make yourself indispensable. That is what I did and two months later I was offered a full time job. Never say no, always say yes to whatever task is given to you and your positive attitude and can-do nature will go a long way in impressing the right people.

 

What key skills do you need to get into fashion?

Great personal taste, passion for the subject you are working on and digital knowledge. Nowhere is purely print these days, so digital skills are a necessity for being a future fashion leader.

 

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice whilst you were a student, what would it be?

I used to have to read a whole pile of books every week yet I never allowed myself enough time to really enjoy them. I would have told my younger self to enjoy the time I had and to absorb the literature I was reading, rather than racing through it all. I never have any time these days to read a good book, so that was my perfect opportunity.