Cheryl Owen, Gemmology graduate, employee at The Fine Jewellery Company and is returning to study at the School of Jewellery!
What course did you choose to study at Birmingham City University and why?
I completed the Gemmology Diploma and the Diamond Diploma at Birmingham City University. I decided to do it because, at the time, I was working at the Birmingham Assay Office and there was a job opportunity to become a gemmologist for them. It was something that I have always been interested in. I also make my own jewellery in my spare time so this is something that I always wanted to do for a career.
When you started University, did you have a career path in mind?
Because of the love I have for jewellery, I knew that I would end up working in that industry as it is a real passion of mine. There's no better place than Birmingham to study and indeed have a career doing just that! The course in Birmingham meant that I was able to be successful in my job as a gemmologist in the Assay Office, and those skills have made it possible for me to move on in my career working for The Fine Jewellery Company in Birmingham. It's quite a new company so it's exciting to be part of something that is growing!
Since graduating what industry experience have you gained/what projects have you been working on?
I have gained a lot of experience since graduating. I worked in the gem lab at the Assay Office for a few years before moving to work where I am at The Fine Jewellery Company.
What is your current job role and what does it involve?
It's a varied role and no two days are ever the same which makes it an exciting career - and to top it off I'm passionate about gemmology so I couldn't think of anything else I'd be rather doing. One day I'll be looking through our stunning range of gold earrings, and cataloguing them. Next I'll be working with exquisite diamonds and using my wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to help our customers find the perfect piece of jewellery! It really is a rewarding job.
Do you have any tips for current students about ‘life after graduation’?
If you love gemmology, if you love studying jewellery, make sure you keep going! Networking would be my second tip. It's a very small industry and you will get to know a lot of people.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I'm passionate about jewellery and I think it's important to keep growing and learning - so I've enrolled on two new courses at Birmingham City University. This is something that I'm doing for enjoyment as well as my own personal development. One of the courses is about stone setting and that will really help with my role at The Fine Jewellery Company. I'll also be doing a course in Computer-Aided-Design that is something that will be useful for me for my career going forward.
What advice would you give to students thinking to apply for your course?
Try and look for to the future as far as the jewellery industry is concerned, what is coming up and what will people want. If you want to work in this trade, find out what is lacking and what the trends might be.
How have your studies supported your professional development?
It's helped me to get the career I want and helped me to get the foot in the door for that first job at The Assay Office!
See what courses the School of Jewellery have to offer.