Final year Fashion Buying and Merchandising student Ellie Hussey-Yeo has successfully landed an internship at Burberry in Hong Kong. We talked to Ellie about how internships can be the best way of breaking into the sector you want to work in and to discover how she has made the most of the opportunities available to her whilst at Manchester Met.
Why did you decide to apply for this role?
I really wanted to gain more experience in the fashion industry by exploring the different roles available. I applied for an internship with Burberry in Hong Kong as I was excited by the idea of gaining work experience in another country and culture. I am also very keen to work in the luxury sector and gain more insight into how the market works. I decided Burberry would be a great company to work for, especially as I wanted to experience a working environment that is more corporate.
What experience/employability skills did you gain whilst at University to help you to secure a graduate role?
I tried to make the most of all the careers and networking events that the University and my faculty held. In first year this led to me gaining contacts at JD Williams and meant I was able to organise work experience in their Manchester Simply Be store. This looked great on my CV, as I knew this was what I needed if I wanted to get into the fashion industry. Therefore, I would say these events are definitely beneficial and would advise any student to take up all these opportunities whilst you can, as you never know where it could lead! Furthermore, networking events and company presentations held by University were amazing for when I was looking for placements and during my graduate search as I could meet people from these companies and gain more knowledge on the application process, what they look for etc. to then be able to tailor my CV for the different roles and companies.
What advice would you give to other final year students who are starting to plan their next steps for after graduation?
One of the biggest things I’ve learnt is that if you’re not sure what career path you want to go down, I would definitely recommended gaining as much experience as you can and doing placements and internships to gain more understanding of the different roles that are out there. I would advise to take every opportunity you can and don’t be afraid to go for things as you never know where it could lead or what you might get the chance to do. I would also say to network as much as you can and get talking to different people in the industry as a lot of the time that’s the way you find positions or potential experience. Overall, be passionate and show your enthusiasm for everything you do and make sure to throw your everything into it, including the willingness to learn. Also, ask lots of questions!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I would love to be working in the fashion industry for either a high street or a luxury brand and being able to work with exciting product. I would like to be perhaps working in buying or marketing department and be working my way up in a company towards a Buyer’s position.
Did you use Careers and Employability in your graduate job search and how did it help you?
I emailed David Nelson, the Hollings Careers Consultant from Careers and Employability to ask if he could advise me on the internship role for Burberry. He gave me fantastic feedback on what to prepare and what questions they may ask. This allowed me to do further research and prepare a range of questions. He also offered to meet me for a one-to-one and the chance to take part in a practice video interview with feedback as my interview was via Skype.
Throughout my time at University, I attended a number of the sessions held by Careers and Employability such as how to prepare for career events, using LinkedIn and creating the best application, which helped with developing skills such as networking, organisation and time management. These sessions also helped me to prepare for the Graduate Job & Placement Fair. This event hugely helpful to talk to different companies, some that I had not even considered before the event and to meet different HR members to discuss graduate possibilities, when to apply and what they look for in an applicant.
If you are a final year still searching for your first graduate job, you can access a range of events and support from Careers and Employability to help you with your next steps! Attend Focus on Your Future Week (6 – 10 June) to meet employers, develop your skills and explore the options available to you after graduation or check out our website for further information about what we can offer.