Case study

Gemma Theobald

I’d researched many similar courses but the content of the course at UCA and the different modules really resonated with me. At the time I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go into buying or marketing and wanted to make sure that the course had a good business element in case I decided to work outside of fashion after graduating. Knowing that I wanted to complete an internship during my studies, it was important that the campus was in close proximity to London. Visiting the campus on the Open Day and meeting the Course Leader and other tutors really finalised my decision – I thought they were great with a real passion for the course and their students.

The Business School building, where the Fashion Management & Marketing course is located, felt like a great learning environment and I could really see myself studying there. Finally, I was impressed what previous students had managed to achieve after seeing some of their Final Major Projects and hearing about the roles they had gone into since graduating.

I really enjoyed working with Whistles for one of our projects in the second year. As a group we were able to come up with creative Visual Merchandising ideas for the launch of Whistles Menswear. My group were shortlisted to present our ideas in front of the Creative Director and I was able to secure an internship there following our presentation. At the start of this project we visited Paris for a few days and met with ethical fashion designer, Jeff Garner. Jeff was really inspirational and the whole trip was hugely enjoyable from fun nights out drinking cocktails to exploring the city during the day. I also met some of my closest friends and experienced some of the best years of my life whilst at UCA.

After completing the course and a number of internships in the fashion industry I decided that I wanted to transfer my skills to the automotive industry. When applying for jobs they were impressed with my wide range of experience and studying something a bit different to everyone else helped me to stand out. The course sets you up extremely well not only just for fashion companies but for other sectors too.

Many of the projects I worked on crossed over into different sectors such as homeware, technology and even automotive as well as traditional womenswear and menswear. The skills you gain from the course are very transferable to any business model and it really showcases your creative talents. The university itself are also great at careers advice from CV writing to holding careers fairs. My Course Leader was particularly helpful in supporting me with my application to Volkswagen Group.

My Final Major Project is something I always keep in the top drawer of my desk at work. It’s a great conversation starter when meeting new people in the business and highlights the different abilities I can bring to the corporate environment. Although we predominantly work with creative agencies, my knowledge of marketing and producing creative documents has been a great benefit in all of the teams I have worked in.

The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone is pick something that you enjoy. A lot of peers at school wondered whether a degree specialising in fashion would be as respected as some of the other traditional choices, but I disagree. Picking a business degree tailored to the creative industries brings your projects to life and helps you stand out from other candidates when moving into your career – it also provides with a diverse range of transferable skills.