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UCA Epsom first fashion careers event is a hit with students and visiting brands

University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Epsom hosted its first Fashion careers event last week called Fashion First. The day gave UCA Fashion students the opportunity to meet with fashion brands including ASOS, Whistles, M&S and House of Fraser and gain advice on key topics like preparing portfolios, CV writing and employability skills.

Anna Boniface from ASOS, the UK’s largest online-only fashion and beauty store, gave a talk to students about what sort of candidates the Company looks for in graduate level jobs. Representatives from leading clothing brand Whistles and a range of recruitment agencies discussed potential career opportunities with the students, giving them the chance to ask questions and hand in CVs.

“We’re here to represent Whistles and speak to as many students and graduates as we can,” said Hannah Bates, HR Advisor at Whistles. “We’ve been talking to students about retail opportunities – we’ve got vacancies in our stores for sales consultants and managers, but we’ve also been talking to lots of students about Head Office opportunities and possible internships. Everyone seems to have been really receptive and be doing relevant courses. We’ve taken some CVs, so hopefully we’ll recruit quite a few people!”

UCA School of Fashion alumni Emily Smith, who is currently working as a Buying Assistant at House of Fraser, gave a presentation to the students at the event on Buying as a career choice. She gave students an honest overview of the role of a Buyer and a Buying Assistant, identifying key areas that students should develop if they are looking to get into Buying roles.

The event was organised by UCA Careers and Ayshen Ali, a School of Fashion lecturer. Having worked in the fashion industry prior to becoming a lecturer, Ayshen knows how difficult it can be for graduates to find jobs. She developed the Fashion First event to support student employability.

“I wanted to create an environment where students can build their networks and contacts as well as get some advice on how to look for the best jobs,” said Ayshen. “The day has been really successful; giving the students an opportunity to talk to industry experts and recruitment agencies has helped them find clarity around what career path they might choose after their graduate. We’re keen to run the event next year too, so we can continue to help the students studying Fashion courses at UCA, and build stronger relationships with the companies that attend.”

Third year BA (Hons) Fashion Management & Marketing student Maxime Lutin is keen to continue studying Fashion, and enjoyed the opportunity to sharpen his employability skills at Fashion First. When commenting on the event, he said:
“I’ve found today amazing. We’re surrounded by professionals that know what they’re talking about and I was able to sit down with individuals that had a look over my CV and portfolio. I went to the UCA MBA courses talk this morning which was really interesting too – I always knew that I wanted to keep studying so today was a chance to make sure I know how to write a CV and cover letter, and to meet some good contacts.”