I’d known I wanted to study Fashion Journalism since about year nine, so upon leaving school I went to the sixth form and studied English Language, French and Textiles.
I chose Sunderland because the course wasn’t very widely offered at the time and upon visiting I found the students and staff super friendly, which is always a good sign. The facilities were fab and it was also somewhere I didn’t know anyone, which I think appealed to me as a challenge.
In my third year, I received financial support from the Futures Fund to allow me to complete my placement at Hello! Fashion Monthly.
As part of the Creative Ops team for Harrods online, I work in a busy studio alongside the .com’s production, styling and photography teams. On a daily basis, we have hundreds of products to copy, style and photograph so each day brings something different. As a Junior Online Copywriter, you’re expected to write up to 45 product descriptions a day. Fashion is by far the most exciting for me as there’s nothing better than seeing a Marchesa gown on set with a model and styled, before having the chance to sit down and write the copy with the product right in front of you.
However, when we’re not copying garments, we regularly work across all categories. One day you’ll be writing about a Savigny-Les-Beaune Chardonnay and a 6ft teddy bear, and the next you’ll have fine jewellery and a so-called “anti-social” jacket with a detachable panel that covers the face (so extra). Working at Harrods has really allowed me to broaden my experience writing about different areas I would never have considered before - I mean, who knew that I would become the perfume copy queen? Surprisingly that’s my niche.
During my studies at Sunderland, I completed work experience at Hello! Fashion Monthly on two separate occasions before going on to intern with the branded content team at Hearst Magazines (working across Elle, Harper’s, Esquire and NetDoctor) post-graduation. I am fully indebted to this course as it’s my degree in Fashion Journalism that landed me my current job. After a pretty gruelling interview process at Harrods (for which Carole, the fabulous course leader, was always on hand for support) it was when I spoke about my role as Editor of Fashion North that I knew I had it in the bag.
Without the opportunities the course had to offer I wouldn’t be where I am today, as a fully-qualified NCTJ journalist. The experience gained across three years of study taught me about shorthand, media law, video journalism, editing and subbing, interview techniques and much, much more. In creating my own magazine for my third-year project, I discovered, through a lot of hard work, what I was truly capable of. And I genuinely surprised myself with the resulting 140-page-piece which spurred me to pursue a career within the industry.
I can’t express just how much I enjoyed my three years at the University of Sunderland. I made friends for life (great connections too), gained confidence I’d never dreamed of and found a true passion for my craft. I couldn’t be more thankful to Carole and the fabulous staff in the journalism department, because if you’re looking to study Fashion Journalism then look no further than Sunderland, as from what I’ve seen, heard, researched and experienced - there’s nowhere better suited to providing you with all the tools you need to succeed.
Published 18 March 2019