After finishing my BA Fashion Business in Amsterdam, I didn't feel quite ready yet to enter the industry. I also wasn’t sure about the specific area that I wanted to work in. So I decided to apply for the Masters in Fashion Marketing & Communications since this had always been one of my main topics of interest during my BA course.
I used to be very self-motivated, and I guess I still am, but I discovered that the opinions of others really do help to improve your own work and encourage you to try something different. Some of my favourite experiences at Masters level have been the close friends I gained from the course, with whom I studied throughout the entire year.
I also absolutely loved the business lecture series, which allowed us to meet a variety of industry specialists within different creative roles of the industry, giving us a broad spectrum of what is out there, they were the highlight of the year! Their opinions were extremely valuable to me since they had come from the industry and could immediately tell you whether or not they thought the project had potential. I believe that research and presentation are key, they're skills I am definitely using at my current job.
The last three months of the course were dedicated to our FMP [final major project]. All the knowledge we gained throughout the lectures and previous projects had to be applied in this one project. It involved a lot of independent study, but lectures were always available to meet and review your progress!
The different projects we did really proved that I had chosen the right direction by choosing this MA. I loved the creative freedom and the fact that you could explore your interests. This ultimately helped me to discover what I actually wanted to do as a career. The support of my lecturers also helped to finalize my CV, put together a strong cover letter and reassure me that I was indeed ready to apply for jobs. I started applying for jobs whilst I was still studying so I had lots of opportunities to ask for advice etc, which definitely helped when I continued applying after I finished the MA.
Although I had done multiple internships during my studies abroad and whilst studying my BA in Amsterdam, when I came to the UK I didn’t feel I needed any more work experience. However, I soon came to understand that If I wanted to stay in the UK after my MA and find a job, I had to explore the industry a bit more and build up a solid network. From February onwards I interned/assisted Erna Leon from MERCER7 who just launched her curated womenswear website. I also interned at Village PR for about a month to learn more about the showroom and their fashion GPS system.
The most exciting placement, however, was at MATCHESFASHION.COM, where I interned for 2 weeks at the global content department. I spend most of my time at the Social Media department where I got to see first hand how they handle all social platforms for such a large company which was extremely interesting!
It is important to choose something you are extremely passionate about, something that gets you excited when you wake up in the morning! Go out there, do lots of research, and make use of the endless amount of facilities that the University has to offer (trust me, once you start working you wish you still had access to all of that). Also, try to network or ‘build relationships’ as much as possible. I would definitely say this particular aspect helped me to find a job later on and has resulted in long-lasting relationships with people from the industry who might be able to help me out one day in the future! Don’t be afraid to work hard!