Interested in a career in Fashion?
Simon Chilvers, Men`s Style Director at Matchesfashion.com talks about the possibilities of getting into fashion and gives advice as to what people in the industry are looking for in this exclusive interview.
Why did you decide to work in the fashion industry?
I’d always loved music and clothes while growing up but it was while studying history of modern art, design and film at university that the penny finally dropped that I might be able to work for one of the many magazines I loved. I moved to London, did a Masters at London College of Fashion and started doing work experience at places such as The Guardian and Vogue. I then developed my CV and built up both freelance writing and styling work before taking a full-time role as assistant fashion editor at The Guardian where I worked for four years – here I had the opportunity to write features and report from London Fashion Week and style shoots. Working in fashion allows you to be creative in many different ways – this was always the pull of working in the industry for me.
Can you describe a typical day at Matchesfashion.com?
Or equally “To MA or not to MA?” though MSc just kind of sounded better. And it’s an appropriate question on this day of The Bard’s birthday and at this time of the academic year. Because, alongside completing dissertations and final year projects and beginning that crucial exam cramming, the question of whether to then apply for a Masters course to extend your time at university may be one on your mind.
The Guardian also thought it timely enough to feature this recent article debating whether it’s really going to enhance your job prospects. Given its cost and the extra year (2 years for part time Masters) it means inside academia and not outside in the working world gaining work experience it’s a question worth pondering! Particularly look out for the wise words of Charlie Ball of HECSU and Stephen Isherwood of the Association of Graduate Recruiters – wise owls indeed.
And if in doubt, ask the very employers you might then be submitting your applications to 12 months from now. If it makes you no more attractive to them than you are at this very minute then you may want to think again.
Jaz Rabadia (BEng Mechanical Engineering 2006, MSc Energy Environment Technology & Economics 2009) talks about how staying connected with the university has helped her to excel in her field, raise her profile and continue her professional development.
‘After completing my undergraduate degree, I didn’t feel ready for the big wide world of work. I’d developed an interest in the energy sector and decided to enrol in the Energy Environment Technology & Economics MSc. Throughout my studies I’d worked part time in my local Sainsbury’s and decided to do my project in the store I was working in. I carried out an energy study and implemented energy saving measures which caught the attention of the Head of Energy. Impressed by my project, he offered me a position in the team and supported me to work full time and continue with the Masters part-time.
Having a job that allowed me to put into practice the theory I was learning was really advantageous and made the transition between university and working life a lot smoother. After graduating, I maintained good relationships with the university and even went to lecture on the Masters course that I once studied on. This helped students better bridge the gap and appreciate how what was learnt on the course could be put into practice in a corporate environment. It helped me to develop my presentation and communication skills and inspired others to pursue careers in energy management. I even managed to recruit a student from the course to join the Sainsbury’s Energy team.
Volunteering my time to lecture helped show my commitment to developing a pipeline of future energy professionals and was a contributing factor to achieving Chartered Energy Manager recognition from the Energy Institute.
The School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences featured me in an alumni video to inspire more females into engineering, it felt rewarding to give something back to the university and was a great addition to my CV! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Z3-XHOQWc
More recently as Energy Manager for Debenhams, I have been involved in the universities ‘Insights into Industry Scheme’. This offered students an opportunity to meet with and shadow me, understand my career journey to date and have the opportunity to ask questions on an informal basis. It was great to offer advice on challenges I had faced when in their shoes and hopefully for the students it was good to know the challenges are not unique to them.
I’ve also taken part in events including undergraduate open days, Ada Lovelace day celebrations and women in engineering talks.
City University has been such an integral part of my career and the 6 years I spent there were 6 of my best. I feel indebted to the university as I’m sure many others do. I would encourage more alumni to reach out and offer their insights and experience to current students to ensure we have a pipeline of future professionals ready for what the world will have to offer’’.
Applying for graduate jobs and winding your way through the recruitment process can appear daunting for anyone. If you are a student with a disability or long-term health condition however, this prospect can seem to be even more of a challenge. When approaching employers, for instance, students may be reluctant to inform them of their disability or talk about what support or adjustments they require in the workplace.
Fortunately help is at hand in the shape of an exciting new website, www.greatwithdisability.com. This website is a unique resource for students with disabilities since it offers a step-by-step guide on how to navigate the whole graduate recruitment process. Topics include essentials such as being open about your disability, requesting adjustments or support, explaining gaps in the CV or a lack of work experience to name but a few.
Another area in which www.greatwithdisability.com excels are the top employers listed on the website who wish to market themselves to disabled applicants. Students can read about the support on offer, how to access it and browse through case studies of employees successfully working at these firms. To date there are over 30 companies listed on the site and this will rise in the coming months.
We wish you all the very best as you come to the end of your time at university and wish to remind you that your graduate future begins at www.greatwithdisability.com.
You can also follow us on Twitter at: @gr8withdis
Guest blog on behalf of greatwithdisability.com
Then a current internship vacancy at Portland may interest you. They are looking for a final year student who is interested in gaining experience in Public Relations as they specialise in reputation management. The role willl include political intelligence gathering and would suit someone with a strong interest in elections and campaigns. Read more here: http://www.portland-communications.com/jobs/internship-corporate-communications-and-public-affairs-team/
For thousands of Finance, Economics & Business students out there, this is a no-brainer – “when I graduate I want to be an investment banker” must be the world`s most frequently expressed career ambition this decade, a bit different from my “I want to be a ballerina or a psychiatrist” indecision when I was growing up. With the economic crash and the fall of the Lehman Brothers in 2008, as well as with the media attention banking has received since – we`ve all seen the Wolf of Wall Street! – investment banking is becoming the holy grail of careers and the ultimate dream of most young Financiers.
Now, I know what you are thinking… I chose City & Cass precisely because it`s in the City of London therefore I want a career in the City… but take a look at these graduate career gems in Business/Finance that will make you question just how appealing those 24 hrs workdays at investment banks really are:
– Lidl – yes, not the most attractive brand by student standards…. However, their Graduate Management Scheme pays a whopping £41,000 per year AND you get a car! And if that`s not enough to rock your boat, you will be given REAL responsibility from day one and will be dealing with everything from operations to people management Continue Reading
Latest stats from The Graduate Market in 2014 Report* has indicated that “ Recruiters have confirmed a record 37% of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work – and therefore are not open to other students from the ‘Class of 2014’ ”. This stat confirms the strong value employers place on experience, so how do you choose which is right for you – internship or placement?
What’s the difference between the two? Continue Reading
The applications deadine has been extended to Monday 7th March, so there is still a chance to win a summer placement at a top advertising agency such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, Ogilvy and more, through AdAcademy and AdSchool.
AdSchool – for penultimate year students. 6 weeks in 3 leading London advertising agencies this summer.
AdAcademy – for final year students and graduates. 8 weeks with one of the UK’s top advertising agencys this summer.
P.S. You don’t need to have studied advertising or marketing!
It is the final countdown for applications to become a CityBuddy this week. The deadline is Friday at 5pm.
A good number of applications have been received so far across Cass, Law, SASS and SHS but this is going to be a big programme across City, so we are encouraging more people to apply, whatever you are studying. We would particularly welcome more applications from Journalism and Economics students.
This would be a great addition to your CV as buddying (a kind of mentoring really) is classed as a leadership role – a quality that is highly regarded by many graduate employers. It is also very rewarding, the time commitment is not major and you do not have to be a friend for life!
Students can apply online at www.city.ac.uk/buddy