“I had absolutely no idea I would end up doing this, but everything’s worked out fine in the end and I’m perfectly happy.” – Andy’s Answer

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Andy Grayson, Secondary School Teacher

“Hello, my name’s Andy and I graduated in 2014 from Bath University, with a 2:1 in Sociology.

Having always had low aspirations, my intention since about GCSE stage had been to take the easiest possible subject at the best possible university, then by hanging onto the coattails of the institution’s prestige worm my way into a mediocre office-based role with a large firm. Ideally, this company would be large enough to engulf me into its badly-run workforce so inefficiently that my idleness would go unnoticed, and I could look forward to 40 years of uneventful chair spinning and a comfortable retirement package.

In view of this, I took a work placement in a little known Japanese outfit that apparently made some sort of technological items, within the obscure “sales operations” department (we were responsible for processing theoretical price quotes for server configurations, on the basis of which potential clients would compare with other similar manufacturers and subsequently decide whether they wanted to actually become future customers. Quite.)

Exactly in line with my long-term plan therefore, and I arrived with the full intention of becoming a run of the mill undervalued member of the lacklustre “team”. In the event however, the job turned out to be so chronically boring that even my puerile attitude couldn’t lighten the mood (I got moved desks twice for “being silly”), and in the end I only just made it through the year without being asked to leave the premises.

As such, my life goals in disarray, I had to have a complete reassessment of exactly what I was going to do with the bit of your existence between grinning shiny-faced wearing a flat hat and holding a fake scroll for your parent’s mantel piece, and putting my name down for a stair lift. One option was of course to spend a year desecrating ancient monuments in the Far East while wearing board shorts and stroking comatose tigers for my tinder profile, but even I’m not unbearable enough for that.

After a few confused months of applying to all sorts of bizarre career paths (in one particularly unsettling incident I appeared before the Royal Navy Admiralty Interview Board), like so many others of my generation mistakenly seeing myself as “good with people”, I did a PGCE course with a view to being a secondary school teacher. This may seem one of the most miserable experiences possible in the developed world today, since not only do the kids see you as a complete doss and climb up the walls, you actually have to pay for this humiliation, since as a university course it’s a 9 grand day out.

However I unaccountably passed the year and now find myself teaching Religious Studies (obscurely) at a pleasant school in south west London. I have a year 7 form and have just seen my first batch of year 11s through their GCSEs, and even have my own seat in the pub at the end of the road, which incidentally is where I’m going as soon as I finish typing this. I had absolutely no idea I would end up doing this, but everything’s worked out fine in the end and I’m perfectly happy”.


This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

What are you going to do after university? No idea? Discover more answers on the Careers Blog at: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/careers/myanswer/ 

“If I had one bit of advice it would be this: Don’t look for a career.” – Glenn’s Answer

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Glenn Tosek, Digital Information Assistant, University of Reading

I graduated from the University of Southampton in 2014 and was completely relaxed about careers and the future. I’d had an amazing three years at university and always felt these things have a way of figuring themselves out in the end. Besides, I felt I’d earned a good summer holiday after finishing my final exam!

I worked part-time at a supermarket during my studies and was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position a couple of months after graduation. It was not really my plan to use my degree to work my way up the retail ladder, but I figured I may as well get started in the meantime to earn a bit more each month.

However as time passed, the issue of a fulfilling career started to worry me. I loved my time at university and didn’t want my education to go to waste. I didn’t study the Emancipation Proclamation of 1864 to stack tins of baked beans every day. I didn’t want just ANY office job that paid a reasonable entry-level salary. I knew I wanted something that could challenge me and set me on a new, exciting path.

I had always had a few ideas of what I could see myself doing, whether it was a sports journalist (like 90% of my fellow classmates in university), magazine/content writer or radio broadcaster. However with these being nearly impossible fields to break into, I did have another idea. Go back to university.

Now when I said that, I didn’t literally mean go back and do a Masters. My dissertation was stressful enough already. I did, however, always fancy the idea of working on a university campus. Having been on one for three years previously, I always loved the atmosphere around university. As I am only 24 years old as well, I felt I was in a good position to communicate and help current undergraduates.

After regularly checking the jobs websites for local institutions, I eventually found a position within the Careers department at the University of Reading. I spent ages on my application, and customised my CV for the role before sending off my application. After securing an interview, I researched the university’s Careers Centre thoroughly and was fortunate to be offered the position.

I am now a Digital Information Assistant and am really enjoying it. Within my role, I aim to engage students in the Careers department through our various social media sites and newsletter. I am often out and about on campus taking photographs and ‘live-Tweeting’ from various events and workshops.

If I had one bit of advice it would be this: Don’t look for a “career”. If you keep worrying about finding a whole lifelong career, you will end up with the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Instead, just look for that first job. Just a job. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine! You can always find another and try something else out. If it does work out, then you will be well on your way to a happy and fulfilling future.


This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

“I resigned at the end of my first day.” – Nicky’s Answer

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Nicky Denovan, Co-Founder and Director, PR agency EvokedSet

I graduated from Reading in 1998, equipped with a clutch of student loans, a good degree in English Literature, and a very sketchily-formed notion of working as an editor.  The week after graduation, I accepted a job as a junior editor at a scientific publishing company.  But the realisation swiftly dawned that it would be a long crawl to an editor’s position from this particular entry point. And when I say swiftly, I mean that I resigned at the end of my first day.  My glorious career in publishing lasted a full eight hours.

It was time for a radical rethink.  In the meantime, I took an admin job at a software company, and was soon invited to interview for a newly-opened position in marketing.  Serendipity struck. I was entrusted with responsibility – eventually running European marketing communications – and travelled extensively in Europe and the US, managing events and dealing with the media. It was pretty much an ideal first job – creatively challenging, working alongside super-bright and ambitious people, and it was exhilarating (and, to be honest, sometimes overwhelming) to be fast-tracked from raw graduate to specialist in such a short space of time.

Having fallen into a profession – PR and marketing – in which I felt I could actually achieve, I wanted to round out my experience by working in an agency environment. In 2000, I left for a year-long role at a technology PR agency, delivering media campaigns for telecoms clients.  I then returned to an in-house PR role convinced that, while agency life was socially fun and the work varied, I was perhaps more a “corporate” person deep down. My brief time at this rollercoaster start-up (which eventually went bust) gave me a very different perspective on the perceived security – and trajectory – of a corporate career, and I spent several months afterwards as a freelance PR consultant, relishing the freedom and autonomy.  By this circuitous route and following a welcome period of consolidation, I had arrived at some fairly fundamental truths about what motivates me, the environments in which I best thrive, and the level of risk that I am prepared to take (and for what reward).  These were the right questions, and the answers were quite surprising.

I launched my own businesses (PR agency EvokedSet and online press release distribution company NeonDrum) in 2006 and 2007, alongside my business partner – my hiring manager at my very first job in marketing nearly ten years before.

When I left university, with a mostly untested interest in publishing, I had more idea of what I didn’t want to do than what I did want to do – and that’s actually no bad thing.  I now work in a different area, but I get to write for a living and work with journalists and publishers every day.  Roles that are slightly tangential to your idealised job can still take you there via the scenic route, or even to a more interesting destination altogether.  So find out what drives you, don’t let your career satnav lead you up the garden path if it doesn’t feel right, and be open to offbeat ideas and opportunities. You will almost certainly surprise yourself.

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EvokedSet is a Reading-based PR and web marketing consultancy serving business-to-business clients – from award-winning start-ups to global brand leaders.
For job opportunities, please contact Nicky or Lloyd on 0118 947 3038.
www.evokedset.com.

This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

“Three years after graduating, I plucked up the courage to get my dream job.” – Beth’s Answer

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Beth Leslie, Content Writer, Inspiring Interns

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. But although I studied English Literature at university, I was too scared to pursue my dream upon graduating. I knew how competitive the industry was and although I believed I was a good writer I thought that without a strong portfolio of published works my CV would be thrown straight in the bin.

Instead, I took a year out to go travelling, saving up the money by working retail. Part of me felt guilty for not making the most of my degree by going straight into a graduate job, and I was also worried by well-meaning advice that having a gap on my CV would make me unemployable.

I spent six months travelling all over Asia, from India to China. Nothing has developed me so much as a person as travelling independently in countries so different from my own – I learnt to think on my feet, solve problems quickly, and developed the confidence to talk to anyone, about anything!

When I returned home I was still unsure what to do with my life. Lots of my friends had done unpaid internships to get them into their dream careers, but living in London I couldn’t afford to not have a wage. I ended up going into sales. Even with the confidence boost of travelling, at first the idea of calling up big, important CEOs and asking them to buy from me was terrifying! But I persisted, and soon I was holding client meetings in swanky restaurants and closing deals worth thousands of pounds. I learnt so much about the world of business; from the importance of company branding to navigating workplace politics.

Although sales had loads of great perks, I knew it would never be my dream career. So I bought a plane ticket and spent several months in New Zealand and Australia. I did so many crazy things – bungee jumping, skydiving, diving with deadly bull sharks… and I realised that just because you’re scared of something doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

What I’d applied to great heights and shark-infested waters I applied to my professional life: I conquered my fear and threw myself in. Three years after graduating, I started applying for writing jobs. I spruced up the travelling blog I’d kept intermittently and started applying to writing competitions in order to develop a portfolio. I wound up in an interview for Inspiring Interns, a recruitment firm who were looking for a content writer. They were impressed by the commercial awareness and transferable skills I’d developed in my sales role and offered me the job!

Now I write careers advice pieces for loads of different websites. Not only do I get to tell people what to do (another long-term dream!) I get to be creative and to write every single day. I’m living proof that it is never too late to go after your dream job. These days, my writing portfolio is bulging at the seams.

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Inspiring Interns are the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency. Check them out if you are looking for an internship or want to explore the graduate jobs London has to offer.

This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

“All I had to do now was quit”: Stephen’s Answer

stephen answer headerStephen Barnett, Founder at Catalyst Founders.

“I graduated from Cambridge University in 2009 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences. It was a fantastic course; broad in scope and profound in its study of how humanity works. It was, however, far from vocational.

I was therefore presented with an alarming range of graduate careers. Large corporates were never far away, and all the while I was unsure as to exactly what is was that they wanted me for.

So I went into teaching. It was great! I had autonomy within an understandable structure, a daily opportunity to say something significant, that could just be that something that alumni would look back on and credit for an important life decision. There were also the long, well-deserved holidays.

However, the call of the City was never far away. Lured by impressive satisfaction credentials and an attractive salary, I indiscriminately applied to every graduate employer imaginable. I finally ended up with a job at HSBC, taking up a role in Mergers and Acquisitions.

The job satisfied me, to a point. I was still learning, but I couldn’t quite see how what I was learning had any effect on what I really wanted to do.

How do I know what I really want to do? What happens if I quit and end up just as unhappy? In this instance ask yourself three questions; what do I enjoy in my current job, what do I love outside of work, and what type of company would I most like to work for?

In the spring of 2015 I was sitting in my office and I ran these three questions through repeatedly. I love the strategic side of working for a large bank. Outside of work I loved talking to my friends who were building companies. Finally, I realized that I loved the idea of working for myself. And there it was! A set of potential careers options laid out before me. All I had to do now was quit.

Which leads me to Catalyst Founders: I am a believer in providing a real alternative to people that have a strong desire to start something from scratch. At CF, we look high and low to find the very best young entrepreneurs who cannot think of doing anything else but building amazing companies.

So, why do we encourage school and university leavers to take this life-changing leap of faith and start building their own company?

Firstly, your age! By starting a company at 21, you can fail, refine, tweak and ‘pivot’ to your heart’s content. If you try to start a business in 10-years’ time with the burdens of say, a family or mortgage, the risk/reward clearly becomes appropriately weighted towards risk.

Secondly you are helping to change the face of employment and incentive, across all sectors. Millenials largely look beyond monetary compensation, towards job satisfaction, flexibility, and autonomy.

Finally, you will be more fulfilled! Countless studies have shown that, when we take control of our current working condition, we are more likely to be productive, successful and satisfied. Trust me, there is nothing quite so liberating and rewarding than taking control and pursuing your own venture.

I am therefore calling out to those of you who cannot get excited by traditional graduate careers, and are ready to take a leap of entrepreneurial faith. It might just be the best decision you ever make.”

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Catalyst Founders seeks to invest in and support the best young entrepreneurs from across the country.

 

 

 

This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

“It started with stacking shelves, not a Masters degree for the sake of taking one”: Adam’s Answer.

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Adam Tosek, Local Editor (Partnership Services Chronicle), John Lewis Partnership

“Leaving University is a daunting prospect. Let me say that again in case you think it’s just you thinking that, or if you think I’m paying lip service to the idea of this blog. Leaving University IS a daunting prospect.

Whether you like it or not, your uni days are coming to an end. Those late nights of partying, days spent drinking, those hungover lectures, snow-ball fights in the winter or playing frisbee in the summer. Some of those memories may be fresher for you than me, but believe me I was in your position once, and either way you spin it, they will soon be just memories for the both of us.

So just how scary IS the ‘real world’? Well, honestly? Not that scary.

When I left university, I genuinely had no idea what I wanted to do. I studied History at the University of Leicester. I only took History because I didn’t know what else to do. Sound familiar? Ok, good. Well, unfortunately I can’t give you the answer in a 500-word blog post.

But what I can say is that leaving uni doesn’t have to be as scary as you think it might be. You’re still free to live life however you choose. If you want to travel for a couple of years, travel for a couple of years. If you want to move home with your mum to save money, do it. If you want to move to London and rent a flat with your mates, and carry on living the uni dream, do that as well.

After completing my degree, I actually went back to work for Waitrose. Good old Waitrose. I worked there before University, stacking shelves. And then, after uni, I went back there, and stacked some more shelves. A step back? I don’t think so. Just because you have come out of uni that doesn’t mean you have to go into a 30 grand job and live in Kensington. It’s just not likely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible. I have friends who have done exactly that. But for the most part, don’t feel like a failure if you aren’t able to do that.

While I was stacking shelves at Waitrose, I kept a lookout for potential jobs within the John Lewis Partnership. Don’t get me wrong, I was applying for all sorts outside of the business, but I thought, if I’m in the company, it’s a foot in the door. After about a year I moved to Waitrose Head Office to work in a Personnel administration role. Hardly ground-breaking, admittedly. But suddenly I was in a full-time permanent job in the head office of a reputable company. While working there I had access to new people and jobs, including the one I have now.

Working in Internal Communications allows me to harness skills that I built at uni, but I have also picked up new skills such as event organisation, communications planning and magazine design. Voila – I’ve found myself on a career path that I genuinely love, and I’m even based in London. And what do you know? It started with stacking shelves, not a Masters degree for the sake of taking one.

Sometimes taking a step sideways is needed to move up. Sometimes, it’s a step backwards, apparently. It’s a business cliché, but I’m living proof that if you just try out new things, they will open up new doors you may not have even known existed.

If you don’t know what you want to do, just try something different. You never know, you just might like it.”

The John Lewis Partnership’s 91,500 Partners own the leading UK retail businesses – John Lewis and Waitrose. Our founder’s vision of a successful business powered by its people and its principles defines our unique company today. You can find out more about jobs and opportunities within John Lewis at http://jlpjobs.com/.

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This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

“There was some method to the career madness”: Matt’s Answer

MattMatt Arnerich, Content Writer for Inspiring Interns.

“Having graduated from University in 2014, I left with a good degree, and absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I had an interest in using my writing skills in my career, but with no idea about how I could make them applicable. So I took the next natural step and spent a year travelling…

There was some method to the career madness. I wanted the opportunity to work out what my skills were and what I wanted to do, while getting the chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Travelling can be a great way to improve your confidence and communication too, great soft skills for any career.

To pursue my career a little while travelling, I chose to blog the experience (albeit inconsistently) which in the end proved really important for me securing a job. When back in old blighty, I bounced through a few copywriting and general writing gigs through friends and local companies I approached. This gave me the confidence to finally put my CV together properly and start to apply to some jobs.

After some very limited success, I stumbled upon graduate recruitment specialists Inspiring Interns, and thought they’d be a great fit as I found that they specialised in the creative industries.

Unbelievably, they offered me a job in their own marketing team, as a position had recently come up and they were impressed with the writing on my blogs, university newspaper and various jobs I’d managed to get since I returned from travelling.

Almost 5 months in, I’m still loving my new role at an amazing company. I work as a content writer, which is a role I didn’t really know about before Inspiring Interns. Turns out it’s perfect for me. I get to write advice articles for graduates who are looking to get their foot on the first rung of the career ladder.

It’s all about creating engaging content and building relationships with other websites and blogs, which are always two things I’ve loved doing. More importantly, working in an internal marketing department gives me the opportunity to learn skills all across the marketing discipline, and for someone looking to learn a broad range of skills and gain responsibility quickly, going in-house as your first job is a really great step.

Also, if like me you’re a keen writer, and are interested in marketing, content marketing is a great option. Not only is it a great way to use your creative skills, but it’s one of the fastest growing disciplines in marketing, with more than 77% of brands saying they’ll increase their content marketing spend in 2016.

What’s the thing I learnt most during the start of my career? That giving myself the time to work out what it was I wanted to do was the best thing for me, and that when I had an idea, by remaining open to opportunities, I ended up finding a job that I love.”

Inspiring Interns are the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency. Check their website out for more than 200 live graduate jobs & internships across a whole range of sectors.

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This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

“I found myself applying to jobs for the sake of it”: Russell’s Answer

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Russell Collier, a Biological Sciences graduate from the University of Reading (Writing in December 2014).

“After graduating from University I was hit by the bombshell of pressure to find work as soon as possible, stressing myself to find a job and aspire to a long term career. Hearing others who graduated with me this year in Biomedical Science, I can safely say that this feeling is mutual amongst most graduates up and down the country.

So where do you begin? Well in today’s world the first thing you do is grab your laptop, open up Google and search “graduate jobs”, only to scroll through endless job lists on recruitment websites hoping for some inspiration.

It goes without saying, but this process is extremely tedious. I did this for two to three months, going into the science sector on recruitment websites and looking for relevant jobs. I found myself applying to jobs for the sake of it. After just a few days I had applied to dozens of jobs, half hoping I could get some work, half hoping I would be rejected from a job I didn’t really want.

From my experience of doing this I can say that most of the time I was lucky to get a reply. I applied for about 50 jobs, being ignored by 40 and immediately rejected by six. Four employers offered a phone interview, with two subsequently going onto a formal interview.

By this time, however, I had found my inspiration, having found a job in “medical writing” advertised. I quickly read through the details and I felt I had found my future career – now I just needed to get in. I continued to apply online to medical writing jobs, only to find the same result: I was getting nowhere. Someone then suggested that I speak to the careers team at the University of Reading.

So I went in and spoke to a Careers Adviser on Quick Query. The main piece of advice was that I just approach these companies directly, first looking to harvest information on this career. They called this approach “Informational Interviewing”.

At first I was un-confident in this approach, expecting to be ignored like before. It required some effort but I found a few people in the industry and after a couple of polite emails I was talking to these people about medical writing. This helped me gain a network of professionals who could help me get my foot in the door and I also learned a lot about this career path in the process.

After doing this a few times I was offered an interview! They said they liked my pro-activeness and were very impressed; interesting since I hadn’t applied for the vacancy. I have now written to most Science Communications companies near me and have had several phone calls with professionals, including a freelance writer. I now don’t even think I have the time to meet all of the people who have agreed to it!

With this approach, I feel that I have made so much more progress not only in the pursuit of finding a job, but also I have confidence that this career is right for me. After meeting these people, I wrote to thank them for their time and sent a copy of my CV to be considered for any future openings. These conversations have also allowed me to ask “which attributes do I lack,” so I can go out and better myself for subsequent applications.

Don’t get me wrong, many people do still ignore you, but I believe I am moving in the right direction. This approach requires devotion and the faith that eventually you will come across the right person who can get you a job. Patience is key, but if you’re looking for work, don’t waste your time with online applications, be pro-active.”

This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

My RED Award Experience

My RED Award Experience

by Arianna Chatzidakis

Although the RED Award may sound like a lot of work, it’s actually super easy and fun to complete! I am currently in the process of doing it for the second time. Yes, fifty hours of extra curricular activities does seem daunting, but once it’s broken down it’s actually really simple. Thirty-five of those hours can be made up from work experience, paid work or an internship.  The remaining hours must be from volunteering and attending training and development courses run by the university.

I really enjoyed volunteering as a Freshers’ Angel to gain my volunteering hours. It felt nice to be able to help new students settle in, as we’ve all experienced moving away from home and being thrust into a new environment. Not only that, but I got free entry into the Union and Fresher’s Ball events as I was helping out on those nights. You also get to meet lots of new people.

As well as looking brilliant on your CV and degree transcript, the RED Award provides you with some great life skills. It shows that you have the dedication to complete a task, it provides recognition for your extra-curricular activities, it helps you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, and it generally helps you build a wider skills portfolio. It’s definitely something to think about doing before you finish your degree!

Career insight into the fashion industry with Kate Blythe

Kate Blythe is the Editorial and Content Director for MATCHESFASHION.COM. Below she tells us why she decided to work in fashion, and how she got started…

 

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.

 

o   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.

 

o   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.

 

o   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.

 

o   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!

 

o   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!

 

o   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 along way in impressing the right people.

 

o   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.

 

o   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.

 

This article has been provided by an external organisation – please read our disclaimer