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Ready for Ralph – student gets the gig at fashion giant

Date 12.06.2018

A fashion marketing student at the University of Northampton has secured a once in a lifetime placement – at Ralph Lauren.

Alice Daish, second year BA Fashion Marketing student, fought off stiff competition to bag the one UK student placement the global fashion icon offers each year.

A fashion enthusiast, Alice admits that the year-long placement, which officially starts in July, is a dream come true.

Alice said: “I have always loved fashion, especially luxury fashion and when I found out I was successful in getting the placement I was ecstatic! I attend a lot of luxury fashion exhibitions and know the extent of the work that goes into making the garments and creating new collections each season.”

Unsure of whether to take on a placement during her course, this opportunity came out of the blue for Alice.

“I was looking on LinkedIn for internships and placements for the summer, as I was not set on taking a year out unless I found something I really wanted to do. I saw this and knew I had to apply, I had no other responses from the summer placements and Ralph Lauren got back to me quite quickly that I had been successful in applying.”

She was up against hundreds of other students’, all vying for the prized position in the planning and merchandising department of Ralph Lauren’s UK head office, based in Watford.

But Alice thrived on the competition, adding: “Overall it was enjoyable and I just took it one step at a time, each time I was successful I was shocked but very pleased. It was a very competitive placement as at the applicant day they said over 500 people had applied from over 70 universities. Most of the people who attended the applicant day were from Oxford Brookes, Manchester or London, I was the odd one out!”

But as to be expected for one of the world’s biggest fashion brands, the application process was no walk in the park – for Alice the key to success was patience and a positive outlook.

Alice said: “Once I had applied on LinkedIn with my CV and answered a few questions, I had an email a week or two later about an online interview to complete by a certain date. This was a new experience for me as I had never done something like that before but it felt a lot like a Skype call but without looking at someone the other end!

“The online interview had five questions to answer within one minute and two practice questions which you can go over as many times as you like. After I had completed that, I had to wait another week or two for a phone call to say I had been successful again and needed to attend an applicant day at their office.

“The applicant day consisted of a half an hour interview, a maths test and a group assessment – where we needed to choose which stock to allocate to stores to cover it for seven weeks.

“Overall it was a great process and I really enjoyed each stage, especially meeting the other applicants and hearing about their stories and where they have applied to. I just took it one step at a time, each time I was successful I was shocked but very pleased.”

Alice, who received advice and support from her course tutors and the University’s Changemaker Hub during the application process, also credits a guest speaker from the industry for giving her the drive to take on this career.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in fashion, I never wanted to be a designer as I had liked business at school. After attending a guest speaker talk who came to give us an insight into her job as a merchandiser, I knew then it was something I would like to pursue and this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

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