So, you have set your sights on a career in fashion after leaving university. Exciting times are ahead! As with anything in university life, you get out of it what you put in, and if you put in the hard work you will be rewarded by a number of interesting options from which to choose when your education ends and your career begins. When you are ready to commence your job search, have a think about who to approach. Employers in fashion vary from high street retail outlets and supermarket labels to leading designers in studios, each offering a range of roles. Of course it’s not all about you approaching them – many employers are proactive and will speak to universities and attend university shows in a bid to discover the best designers, while retail chains have trainee schemes in place for graduates. Work experience is also a tried and trusted way of making your mark in these formative years. Have a chat with your university’s careers department to find out more about work experience opportunities in the fashion industry. Not only does it ‘put you on the map’, it provides you with the self-belief and confidence required to go out and make a success of this career path you have chosen.
Work experience is not simply about carrying out the tasks that are asked of you. It is about learning how to interact with your new colleagues, meet deadlines and deal with the demands of the business. You can also fire off your CV and portfolio to designers, retail chains, supermarket labels and studios. Any foot on the ladder will go a long way to helping you establish yourself in the industry. Showing potential future employers that you have thrived in a real work situation and coped with all of the challenges that brings will make you a desirable candidate. Think about the kind of role you want in fashion. Retail is a popular route to go down for many students who leave university armed with a shiny new degree – Retail Merchandiser, Retail Manager and Retail Buyer all pertain to your qualification. If design is your passion, you could also look into becoming a Textile Designer or Fashion Designer. As well as making sure your CV is up to scratch – full of honest statements and completely free of any glaring errors – your portfolio will be absolutely pivotal in your journey to a career in fashion. Consider what would make you stand out when you are applying for the same position as several other people. Don’t just share the work that you did during your studies, keep building on it. Showcase your flair by demonstrating what you have produced in your spare time or on a work experience placement. Make yourself the stand-out candidate by possessing a portfolio that wows everyone who views it. One success story definitely worth checking out is that of Haleema Hussain. Haleema has put the skills and knowledge she picked up during her university studies to good use by starting her own clothing business, and is selling her own designs. Why not check out her Instagram page here.