I think the environment at NTU was very friendly, the tutors were amazing and the staff throughout the university were so helpful
More about Rebecca
Rebecca graduated in 2018 and now has a successful career in the fashion industry. We caught up with her to find out how things have been going.
What does your current role involve?
I currently work as a print designer for DAKS London, a luxury British tailoring brand. I provide all of the mainline seasonal prints for the womenswear, menswear and DAKS 10 range sold across the UK and South East Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China.
I’ve also launched my own small business, providing specialist products that protect clothes from makeup transfer. I developed these from personal experience after struggling with makeup transfer on my own handmade, hand-embellished designs developed during my studies at NTU.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day at work includes developing prints as part of my role at DAKS, then moving on to connecting and discussing new products with clients, as well as researching marketing strategies that will help promote my own products.
Can you share details of how your career has developed since leaving NTU?
It's progressed very quickly! I owe a lot to NTU as it helped me showcase my collection at Graduate Fashion Week in 2018. Straight after this, various stylists were asking to see my designs, with a view to featuring them in magazines and on digital platforms such as Vogue Italia, Atlas and Hunger magazine. My collection was also been worn by Paloma Faith and featured on her social media networks.
Have there been any challenges along the way and if so, how did you overcome them?
I feel like you face lots of challenges throughout your career. They all vary in scale, but the biggest one for me so far has been getting my ‘foot in the door’ with the fashion industry. Prior to DAKS, I worked in a variety of temporary positions, but always had an ambition to focus more on the design side of things. The fact I was already working within the industry really appealed to my employers. It showed initiative and that I wasn’t going to give up the search in finding a design-based position.
How has your experience at NTU – the learning environment, academic and social life – shaped or helped you in your career?
It shaped my career because of all the skills and work experience opportunities provided. All the tools, design processes and software I used at NTU have developed since, but without my studies I wouldn’t have known about them in the first place. In a social sense, I still keep in touch with a lot of my university friends and get to see them on a regular basis. Most of them work within the industry too. It’s good to know I will always have some fantastic industry contacts in the future.
How friendly and supportive an environment did you find NTU?
I think the environment at NTU was very friendly, the tutors were amazing and the staff throughout the university were so helpful.
Can you share some exam revision tips?
For most creative courses we tend to have more deadlines rather than exams. My main advice would be to just put your head down and focus, especially in final year. Still try and keep some form of social life, but final year is one very short year and if you do it right, it will take you to some wonderful places. I would also suggest students should utilise the University library whenever they can. I found it helped me focus more and work with my course friends. If I was struggling with a design problem, there’d always be someone there to help me, and vice versa.
Any advice for students and fellow graduates?
Don’t give up, stay focused and enjoy your life! You only get one chance to live it so don’t shy away from any opportunity that presents itself to you. In terms of business, I would try and look for every opportunity to bring an innovative idea to the industry, no matter how big or small, you never know where or what it will lead to.
Finally, what are your tips for success?
Well, I have a few!
- Contact Industry Professionals directly (via work emails). The job platforms are great, but I think it shows initiative if you approach them directly.
- Cover Letters are so important so write a good one!
- Get lots of experience under your belt, try a range of roles. You may be surprised with what you enjoy more.
- Grab every new opportunity that comes your way, you don’t know what will come from it.