As of Thursday December 13th last year (2018), I was offically awarded a Distinction in MA Fashion Communications by Nottingham Trent University. But what made me give up my career in Buying to embark on a years blood, sweat and tears to create a 25,000 word Thesis you may ask? (or you may not, but I'm gonna tell you anyways!) Read on my friend...
As Maria Von Trapp would say, Let start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (Don't lie and deny you sang that in your head!)
You could say, my academic journey began when I started applying for Universities back in Sixth Form (all that time ago!). I knew I wanted to study Fashion but was no good at designing or drawing so, 'Fashion Designer' was off the table! I'd picked up Business Studies as an added AS Level; as quite frankly, I needed all the UCAS points I could scrape together if I wanted to get onto a decent course. I seemed to be good at this particlular subject and looking back, regret not starting it sooner and gaining a full A Level from it but hey #noregrets! With this in mind, I saw that a handful of Universities were offering BA Fashion Marketing courses, which peaked my interest. I did the whole Open Day ritual and decided to apply to three similar courses at; Nottingham Trent, London Metropolitan University and University of Northampton. After being rejected for the Nottingham Trent one (oh dear), I pinned my hopes on the two conditional offers I'd had from London Met and Northampton. Several A Levels and many a retake later, results day came around and the panic was on to muster whether I had in fact got into Uni or failed miserably at my exams (I'm just not an exam person!). Alas, HOORAY, a stressy phone call to Northampton (my first choice) later, it was official, I WAS GOING TO UNI!
Fast forward 3 years, horredous amounts of alcohol intake and a few questionable decisions later, I graduated from Nothampton with a 2:1 in Fashion Marketing with the world as my fashion oyster. I'd dreamed of entering the fashion industry since my mid teens and finally I was there, ready to take that MAHOOSIVE step into the real world.
What no one every fully prepares you for (in my opinion) is the stream of rejection and stark reality that applying for jobs (especially entry level ones) is a full time job in itself and many a time your sending these applications into the HR abyss and hear ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BACK for the days worth of time, effort and pouring out of your soul you put into your CV & cover letter and sometimes even those weird tests or questions you have to answer to assess whether you have the basic abilities for the role (?!?!)
(me at my celebratory graduation meal. Always here for the Rose!)
A year after graduating, I FINALLY secured a job as a Buying Assistant! The new job would mean a move down south, heralding a new, fresh start to my adult life that I had been craving for so long. Buying wasn't my first choice career but my mindframe at the time was that it was better to get into the industry to then move around, a foot in the door! It was life changing for me both in a positive way but also a real challenge. It's a long story so maybe I'll go into it in a future post but for now back onto topic...
A few years down the line (around 2016/17), I've moved into another Buying job closer to home so now back living at my family home which had taken some of the 'life pressure' off. Them, BOOM, it suddenly hit me like a punch in the face that buying, was NOT for me, which I'd known in my hearts of hearts but really wanted to stick with it and 'adult' properly in a 'proper' job, to do the whole 'in your 20s rituals' of saving up for a house etc etc.
Being in a job I didnt see myself in for the immediate future let alone 10-20 years down the line was doing me no good and I had a rough few months establishing what the hell it was I should be doing with my life. I was applying for any Marketing & PR jobs I could find and getting nothing back. Then, one day I googled 'Fashion Marketing Masters' with the hope that some kind of inspiration would strike. After reading up on all the different courses aimed towards the Fashion PR/Communications area, something within me just said 'FUCK IT, why dont you just apply and see what happens?!'. After a visit to the post grad open day and a short chat with the course leaders, a mini essay on an area of interest within the industry (loosely based on my Undergrad disseration) was sent off with a short statement on who I was, why I wanted to do the Masters, that kinda thing! Still in my Buying job, and just trying to get through everyday, I kept checking back at my application in the hope a decision had been made and to be honest I'd already prepared myself for a big fat NO THANK YOU under the decision column, until one lunch time, I checked back and there it was, my future was about to change like never before, I'd only bloody got in hadn't I?! So there I had it, I was going to quit my job and go do a Masters at Nottingham Trent University (the very place I didnt get accepted for my Undergrad remember?! Isn't it funny how things happen sometimes?)
A few months later I had handed my notice in and starting what I didnt know then, would be the most life changing year of my life. BUT, more about that later on in the series.
So, I guess the moral of this first post is, NEVER limit yourself! Like I said, I have never been 'the academic one' and I would never have believed that one day I'd have an MA to my name! It's truly amazing what you can acheive if you have the passion and drive to succeed in it. I managed to write a full on thesis for christ's sake, like a proper academic one and everything, I mean c'mon!
I'd love it if you stay tuned to my MASTERED series. More posts to come on what it all entailed, my research and what on earth I'm doing now! It's sure to be an interesting one, I can tell ya now!