Published on 08 July 2022
After missing out on a graduation ceremony with family and friends last year due to COVID restrictions, University of Sunderland Fashion Journalism graduate Caitlyn McAdam now has two reasons to celebrate.
Not only has she finally been able to celebrate achieving a First Class Honours degree with her loved ones at the Stadium of Light this week but her passion for content creation has bagged her a top job at one of the UK’s leading fashion and homeware retailers.
Caitlyn will begin her new role as Social Media Executive at Matalan’s head office in London next month. Her responsibilities include researching and creating content for the company’s social media platforms, scheduling content, and attending campaign photoshoots.
The 22-year-old admits her success has been a mix of hard work and fate.
“I remember seeing the job advert but it was too late to apply, it had expired,” Caitlyn, from Newcastle, explained.
“I was so disheartened as it seemed such an incredible position. However, the ad was posted again, and it felt like fate, that it was a sign I had to go for it. I had no idea where it was going to lead to, and I didn’t think I had a chance, but I had to try my best.
“Then I got invited for a first interview, followed by a second interview where I had to create a presentation for a Matalan summer campaign, which then led me to great success and being offered the job.”
Caitlyn added: “The thing I’m most looking forward to in my new job is that every day is going to be different. One day you could be going to a campaign photoshoot to shoot content, next you could be on an event trip. The opportunity to grow and progress is endless.
“I can already tell I’m going to love my new role because I get to do what I love every day – fashion and social media. Not to mention working for an incredible company with such a positive and friendly team in a brand new city. It’s a dream!”
During her time at Sunderland, Caitlyn grabbed every opportunity to hone her skills as a fashion journalist with both hands.
Programme Leader for Fashion Journalism at the University, Carole Watson, said: “From day one, Caitlyn was a model student with a can-do positive attitude to her studies and to extra-curricular work as a student ambassador and Fashion North editor.
“She grabbed with both hands every opportunity put her way during her studies, and as a mediaHUB intern for the last year, she’s been amazingly supportive to me and the students.
“I’m sure all the skills and knowledge she’s accrued at Sunderland will make her an invaluable asset in her future job, and that she’s going on to great things.
“I’m so delighted for her, and Matalan are lucky to have her.”
Record numbers of students are attending the University’s biggest ever graduation celebration, which is being held over two weeks.
Caitlyn is one of around 2,500 to have returned for the ceremonies at the stadium this week, after missing out in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.
Next week (July 11 – July 15) a further 2,500 students from the Class of 2022 will celebrate their graduations at the venue.
The University hosted a series of online graduations during the pandemic but always pledged to invite students back to graduate in-person.
Caitlyn said: “I was meant to graduate last year as part of the Class of 2021, but due to COVID we never got an official ceremony, which was heartbreaking.
“One of the main parts of university life is to graduate at the end of your degree, standing in your cap and gown surrounded by all your friends, loved ones and academic staff. It officially closes the chapter on your time at university, so it feels great to know we still have that opportunity to graduate the official way; even if it’s a year later, it’s still great.”
Caitlyn added: “A huge thank you to all the academic staff who have taught me and supported me across my university journey. The support and knowledge you have shown me over the years have allowed me to grow into the person I am today. I could not thank you all enough.
“A special thank you to my course leader, Carole Watson, who always believed in me, taught me, guided me and supported me along the way. I am proud to say I was taught by you, and I wouldn’t be where I am without you.”