Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Experience of a First Year Fashion Student

Hi everyone!

As of Monday 8th May, I have officially finished my first year at university studying Fashion Management. It has been an amazing year and I have loved it. I love my course, my friends, my flatmates, my city and everything else. I am sad that first year has ended but very excited to see what will come with my next year here.

I thought I would do a post talking about my course as I know many people who might be interested in or considering doing a similar course. Hopefully by sharing my experience of my first year on the course, I can help to give anyone who wants it a little more insight.  So for some background information: I am currently studying Fashion Management BA (Hons) at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Here's a link to the course content for some further information:

First things first: This is a BUSINESS course. It is not an art course or a design course and is not based on the creative side of the industry.  This course is ideal for people interested in becoming a buyer, merchandiser, fashion journalist, stylist, editor, etc. We are based in the business school and do reports and exams, same as any other business student. It is not an easy course.  My modules for first semester were Marketing, The Fashion Business and Fashion Design Concepts and Communication.  The Fashion Business involved research into fads and styles throughout the 20th century and what events/people inspired these fashions. Our coursework was a 2500 word report about a chosen clothing category (e.g. bridal wear) through the 20th century including a picture timeline of the category throughout the decades and then a discussion of current trends within the category. This was a really interesting module as it provided a good general background on the fashion industry and made me more aware of trends and important people within the industry.  This was, however, by no means an easy module. Our report had to be referenced correctly and filled with academic underpinning. It was a business report, simply about fashion. 
Our second business module was Marketing. For this module we had lectures with Events Management, Journalism, International Business and many other business degrees.  This was a pure business module and we all sat a 2 and a half hour exam involving a case study and business questions relating to the marketing mix, services, pricing strategies and many other features of business. It is important that members of the fashion industry have an in depth understanding of marketing strategies as fashion's main role is to sell clothes. 
The third module was a more creative one. We had to use design software such as Photoshop and Kaledo to design 6 mood boards showcasing a t shirt from a collection of a brand collaboration of your own invention (I did Zara Phillips for Jack Wills). If you are anything like me and not artistically talented, this may seem very intimidating. Don't worry. This is not a test of your photoshop or design skills, it is about your ability to stick to a brief and produce an appropriate end result. I did struggle with this module as I had never used photoshop before and there were people on my course who already had fashion related degrees and were experts in it. I should't have worried as most of the other people on my course were in the same boat as me: straight from school and hardly any experience. Our lecturers are always willing to help us out and mark us fairly, knowing that mostly all of us have no experience whatsoever. 

Another thing I was really worried about before joining my course was the people. It sounds really bad but I was worried that the girls would all fit the Emily from The Devil Wears Prada bitchy, stylish girl vibe. I could not have been more wrong. I can honestly say that everyone on my course is so lovely and friendly and I've made some amazing friends over this year.  There is a girl on my course who has studied design for 5 years, a boy with a degree in Vet Med and someone who studied Law and Management for a year. We are such a wide mix of personalities and experience but we all get on so well. It's great. There is literally nothing I would change about my experience this year.  

I hope that I've given a little more insight to anyone thinking about studying a fashion degree. If any of you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to help out!

Much love,
Cat x

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