The fashion design course at Kingston University helped Pip win a knitwear design placement...
I got my current job before I had finished my degree. In my final year we did an industry project with John Smedley, which I won. This gave me the opportunity to work with them for two weeks to develop the final designs of the project and work them in to their collection.
I knew that they took on students for paid placement years, so when I was there for the two weeks I asked if I could be considered for the placement year. I later got an interview and got the placement.
About half way through my year, I had some meetings with the creative director and stressed that I would love to stay if they had anything, so that is how I got the design development role in the department.
If I didn't have my degree I wouldn't be where I am today, and I think I use it everyday. In my fashion design course I studied and specialised in knitwear in my last two years. This was very relevant to my current role but I still hadn't come from a solely knitwear background. However, I don't think this mattered as my employers understand this and I have learnt lots from them.
There are a variety of tasks that I may carry out in my role at John Smedley. These can include sketching design, cading, making up prototypes, working with factory staff on developing new collars/fits/different silhouettes, pattern cutting, problem solving, and attending meetings.
I enjoy how much free reign I am given at John Smedley, both on developing new styles and using the factory. I also work with lovely people, which makes the job enjoyable.
The most challenging part of the job was coming from a design background and then having production constraints put on you, having to problem solve the best way to do garments.
I know students probably hear it all the time but work experience is definitely worthwhile if you want to get into this career; you can only learn so much at university.
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