Post 2, August 2012
Cat graduated from her fashion design degree at the University of Leeds and is currently on the hunt for her dream job.
After a month of hardcore job hunting and constant rejections, I began to wonder if becoming a buyers admin assistant (BAA) was out of my reach. Even though I had a year of work experience, many graduate roles were demanding two years. I started applying for buying roles in other sectors and had an interview for a distribution role with a charity. However, my lack of experience let me down again.
Through gritted teeth I signed up for Jobseeker's Allowance. The gloomy atmosphere in a Job Centre is enough to make anyone try harder to find a job. I did find out that they have lots of funding available for 18-24 year olds to pay for college courses, travelling expenses to interviews and even interview outfits. They don’t tell everyone about this but are most likely to give it to anyone who asks.
Luckily a few days later a recruitment agency set me up with an interview with a high street retailer for a BAA role. The agency was great at helping me prepare for the interview by checking my CV and sending me information on the company history. I was asked to prepare a SWOT - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats - analysis on the company and visit one of its stores so we could talk about it at the interview. I visited two shops to look extra keen.
During the interview I felt more confident than usual as I was being asked questions that I had answered in my previous four interviews. I decided to bring my design portfolio to show that I understood the teenage girl target market. The interview went well and a few days later I was offered the job!
On my first day I was given a tour of head office and introduced to the buying and merchandising team. Throughout the week I had inductions with people in other departments, who explained their role in the company. This meant I recognised a few more faces each day.
The buyers assistant explained how the buying process works. Once a design is created (usually based on something found on the high street), the specification is sent to the supplier. The supplier sends us the first sample, which we try on 11-12 year sized model. If the sample fits badly or is of poor quality, more samples are made until it is good enough to be sold in stores.
My job is to process orders for suppliers on the system, approve samples that are ready for production, chase suppliers who are late delivering to the warehouse and help PR and visual merchandisers pick out stock for magazines and shop windows. I also have to try on samples when the model is unavailable, which I am sure is not in my job description!
The first week and a half has been crazy. My boss has been on holiday for a week so I have been covering some of her work while figuring out how to do mine. My contracted hours are 9am-5pm with an hour's break, but it's more like 8.30am-6pm with lunch at my desk. I'm enjoying myself, but I am shattered, so I’ve invested in some eye-brightening drops and concealer. I will keep calm and carry on!
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.