So You’ve Graduated – What Next?
1. Internship / Work Placement
In gaining hands-on knowledge in the fashion industry, an internship or work placement is a great stepping-stone in allowing oneself to see what it is really like to be a part of a working environment. A relevant internship or work placement is crucial in whatever field you wish to be a part of. This is because at present there is a high demand for work experience prior to working for a company, so that employers can see that you have been productive and have had some experience in the fashion industry and know your way round. It also enables you to get yourself ready for a job as it allows you to gain a greater insight into what it is like to be a part of a team focused environment and how the workplace functions alongside allowing you to develop and enhance your skills.
2. Direct Work in the Industry
Applying for work in the fashion industry can be an overwhelming process and most likely the first job you end up working in after university won’t typically be your dream job and that is okay. It is good to be prepared and have realistic expectations for what your first job straight out of university will look like. Although it may not be your dream job, if it is in the same field the job will help contribute to your experience and that is a bonus. The fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world with a wide array of opportunities out there, working in the industry can really enable you to grasp what the industry is all about in the most direct way possible.
3. Take a Year Out / Travel
After having graduated from university it can be especially refreshing to take a year out to travel and explore new places. Travelling can be very beneficial both on a personal level and a professional level as in enables you to gain greater confidence in yourself and allows you to really grow from outside your comfort zone and be more open to new and exciting opportunities. It can be overwhelming graduating and entering the workforce almost immediately, when you have no immediate plans or have not yet decided on your career path, so taking a year out to travel and explore new places and cultures can contribute in putting things into perspective.
4. Further Education
Further study is another great option to consider, as the workplace is not the only route out there to take on after having graduated. Further study can be beneficial for you if you have a desire to learn more in-depth knowledge into a subject that is of great interest to you and it can contribute to your growth also. The experience you gain can also enable you to prosper further in the subject area on a more advanced level and can be of great benefit to you when entering the workforce. Deciding on whether or not to do a postgraduate course can be difficult but researching the sector and finding out what is going to make you stand out and weighing out factors such as what is further study going to do for me? Will it accelerate my career in the long run? Will enable you to make an informed decision on what is right for you.
5. Practical Courses
If you feel your greatest interests lie in hands-on creative approaches and you would like to learn more about garment manufacturing then taking on a practical course will be beneficial for you. Practical courses are a great way to add to the skills you have previously gained throughout your degree and can open a range of new opportunities that you may not have thought were possible. The Fashion Technology Academy (FTA)/ Fashion Enter offer a range of short-term accredited courses where you can gain qualifications in areas such as stitching, production (fabrics, machine engineering and quality control) as well as pattern cutting. There is also the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) that offers a range of courses in retail, buying and merchandising. The options really are endless.
By Sabrina Shafi