High street fashion placement gives student new outlook on career

News Page 9th January 2019

A BA Fashion Marketing student’s placement at high street fashion giant New Look has helped to fix her focus on her ideal career path.

Third year University of Northampton student, Margaret Zawedde, admits that the placement role of copywriter and studio assistant at New Look’s e-commerce studios in Bermondsey, south London, came out of the blue.

She said: “Before I began my second year I knew that I wanted to do a year out on placement before starting my final year. So as the year began I made it my goal to apply to as many placement openings as possible. I had been unsuccessful in all my other applications throughout the year until the summer of 2017, when the New Look opportunity appeared pretty much at the last minute.”

Margaret, 22 from Tulse Hill, London, enjoyed every minute of her year-long placement, learning the ropes behind the scenes at the high street clothing chain.

Margaret added: “Working at New Look was honestly amazing, they made me feel really welcome and I was treated as an employee rather than an ‘intern’. They respected and valued my opinions and expected me to deliver in the same way as their employees.

“Working in e-commerce studios has been something I’ve been interested in since starting my degree. I have a lot of interest in the creative side of marketing products and working with New Look really helped me to explore this.

“I also had a really supportive manager and team that allowed me to rotate roles and be involved in jobs that were more aligned with my personal interests, for example styling and art direction.”

As Margaret explains, the application process for the placement was no walk in the park.

She said: “The process consisted of three stages – I originally applied online which required the usual application questions – name, age and why I wanted the role, etc. I also uploaded a CV and cover letter, which the University’s Changemaker Hub helped me construct.

“Once successfully through this stage I had a telephone interview. This interview was specific to my role and they asked me a lot on how I could apply my current skill sets to the role and dealing with certain situations.

“On the same day, I learnt that I was successful and asked come in for an interview with the studio manager. Prior to this interview I had to prepare examples of good copywriting for the New Look website, to show whether I would be a good fit for the role. On the day, I presented my ideas and had a physical activity to organise clothes onto a rail that were going to be styled that day.”

After completing her placement at New Look, Margaret is now back at University finishing her Fashion Marketing degree and she feels energised to take on her dream career.

She added: “I think taking a placement, earning money and experiencing the industry has given me an insight into life after I graduate. Coming back to university to complete my final year has felt more motivational as I feel I am one step ahead in knowing what industry professionals are looking for. It has made my last year at university more enjoyable also, because of the time I’ve had to reflect on what I really want to do.”

For more information on BA Fashion Marketing, you can visit the course page.

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