BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion
Ever heard the phrase “You need experience to get experience?”
It’s born from the fact that employers want to know their staff understand the business environment as well as the theory behind it.
One of the most exciting elements of our course is seeing our students go out into industry to do just that.
It’s their chance to build CV experience, grow their network and discover how to apply the knowledge they’re gaining here to the professional environment.
Coming from industry myself, I know how rewarding a great internship can be! That’s why industry placements are so important to us.
Our second year students have recently completed three-week placements across a mixed range of fashion businesses, bringing back a wealth of experience and insight to develop their projects and CVs.
Beth worked hard to land a fantastic internship with best-selling fashion weekly, LOOK magazine. Hear about her experience and top tips!…
Sophie Johnson, Lecturer in BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion
Name: Beth Howcroft-Davies
Course: Second-year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion
How did you secure an internship and what made you choose LOOK magazine?
For our International Retailing module we were tasked with finding a work placement. I searched for contact details of brands, magazines and fashion companies I was interested in learning more about. I’ve always liked the idea of a buying internship or working for a magazine. After sending copious amounts of emails and phoning numerous people I received an email from LOOK offering me work experience.
I was over the moon as this is the main placement I wanted – LOOK is the UK’s biggest-selling fashion weekly magazine!
What help did you receive?
The good thing about this placement was that it was all down to us. Our lecturers began by giving us tips on the best ways of contacting people in the industry to help us along the way, however it was solely down to ourselves to find and secure a place.
In a year’s time when we graduate we won’t be able to rely on our lecturers for help, so it was great that they encouraged us to go out into the industry and secure something for ourselves, helping us be more independent and making it easier for the future.
Where and when did you do your placement?
I completed my placement in Southwark, London, for three weeks in November-December. So I lived away from home for a month, which was such a great experience!
Did you get first day nerves when you began the placement and what did you do to prepare?
I have a tendency to build myself up for things that are out of my comfort zone, however, I was SO excited that I had no nerves at all. I just wanted to get stuck in and enjoy my experience. Other than bringing a car down to London FULL of clothes and shoes, there wasn’t much to prepare for, I just turned up and got started!
What kind of work did you do at LOOK magazine?
My main duty as a fashion intern was general up-keeping of the fashion cupboard. There are huge deliveries every day from high street brands with samples for shoots. With organizing that and sending back any clothing to brands, liaising with PR companies and calling-in samples, it keeps you very busy.
I also got to help the Fashion Team with anything they needed, such as writing online articles (I had three published whilst I was there) to transcribing interviews. I also got the opportunity to assist a shoot for two High Street Hottest features in the magazine.
Which departments and employees did you get to work with?
I mainly worked within the fashion department alongside the Fashion Editor, Fashion Stylist and Freelance Stylist, which was just what I wanted. I also get the opportunity to help the Beauty Team with their beauty cupboard and assisted the Entertainment Editor with research for articles.
What was THE highlight of your placement?
The best part of my experience was assisting the High Street Hottest shoot. It was great to see what happens behind the scenes of a shoot and how it all works.
I met lots of new people there such as the stylist, model, photographer, hair and makeup artists. It was such a great atmosphere and something I really enjoyed doing and would certainly do again. Then a couple of weeks later seeing it in the weekly magazine with my name credited by the shoot was such a fab feeling.
How important do you think it is for students to do a placement within industry while studying for a degree?
I think it’s hugely important to try and do a work placement whilst studying, it gives you a first-hand experience of what it is really like when going into the industry. It can help you decide if it’s something you really want to do or not. It also looks amazing on your CV and can help getting a job in the future!
How did the placement inspire you for the future? And did it create long-term industry links for you?
It really made me want to keep interning whilst studying, it’s such a great experience and gives you a real taste for what you want to do. I now have different ideas of what I want to go into when I leave University. Without going into the industry I wouldn’t have found out until it was too late. I made some lovely friends when I was there, some who I still keep in contact with who all want to go into the fashion industry or are already in it, so it was great to meet them and have the possibility of working with them again
What advice would you give to future students on how to land a great industry placement?
Don’t be afraid to pester anyone, no one gets anywhere these days without being persistent! If your endless emails aren’t being answered, pick up the phone because you have more chance of speaking to someone and less chance of them saying no! It took me months to get mine but it was certainly worth the wait and I loved every minute of it!
Looking back, what 3 TOP TIPS would you pass on for making the most of your experience when on placement?
1. Just enjoy it! There really is no time for nerves, just get stuck in and relish your experience
2. Always say yes! Take every opportunity you can, you can only regret the things you never do!
3. Make friends! Start making contacts within the industry, as you don’t know when you might need them! Since leaving I’ve already been asked to return to London for a paid shoot as an assistant stylist because I transferred numbers with the right people!