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Grace Duval

Grace Duval

Fashion Business and Promotion BA (Hons)

After her original goal of becoming a history teacher didn’t work out, Grace followed her passion for fashion and has already landed her dream role at luxury retailer Kurt Geiger as she prepares to graduate.

“Growing up, I always wanted to be a history teacher and I went to college to do A-Levels specifically to be able to eventually study history at university. But the college I was enrolled at stopped providing A-Levels after my first year. I was told to go to a sixth form or a different college, but nowhere else would let me start with them as their syllabus or exam board was different. So I then had to revaluate what I wanted to do. I’d always loved fashion, so I started looking into fashion courses and came across BCU.

The course covered so much and seemed so fun, and how it was more business led rather than textiles really appealed to me. I soon moved college and studied business as I knew that would help me, and my love of fashion would get me through. Fashion wasn’t what I originally planned to do, but I look back now and am so thankful that I realised that it is what I want to do.

Before and during university, I worked in fashion retail at a number of beauty and fashion brands. My mum also has her own salon, and I’ve always supported her and helped with social media posts, which gave me a great insight into customers and audiences.

We got to present to the likes of Selfridges during the course, which was so cool. Having experiences like that gave me so much drive and made me want to be in the fashion and creative industry even more, and gave me so much incentive to do well at university.

Last year, I saw so many horror stories of graduates unable to get jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But I had support from the University’s Careers+ team for my CV and writing cover letters, which was a great help and it was helpful to have the support there from the team when I needed it.

I started applying for roles months before even finishing the course. I saw my current role pop up on a job website and applied. When you have a real passion for something, I think it really shines through and that helped me in getting the role as my first job after graduating.

I’m now a Product Copywriter for luxury retailer Kurt Geiger and I’m loving it. I can’t believe how lucky I am, it’s brilliant and exactly what I want to do. It combines my two loves of fashion and writing.

Since starting the job, I’ve been able to work from the local Kurt Geiger warehouse which is close to where I live in Northamptonshire. Working in the factory is really helpful for me to see and touch the products and understand them. On a website, you can’t always see if a bag has a pocket, a zip or what the inside looks like, so it’s really important for me to fully view the products before I can write about them.

I’d love to continue to make connections in the fashion industry in the future and work my way up at Kurt Geiger. In my final year at BCU, I also worked on a pre-loved fashion website concept which I would love to eventually make a reality.

My advice to other students is to definitely get yourself out there. Life doesn’t come to you, you have to make those connections and be proactive. University is what you make of it, so be the one to ask questions and get involved.

I AM BCU means being part of a community and doing it together. In the past year, we have all come together and worked so hard. There’s always someone to turn to and you’re not alone. At BCU, everyone has your back.”