Say hi to India Gustin, one of our Fashion Marketing and Journalism BA (Hons) students. She gives us an insight into her course and tells how it has already put her on a career path.
Hi India! To start, could you tell us a bit about your course?
I am currently in my second year studying fashion marketing and journalism. I think that the combination of the two is really important, especially now, since they both include a considerable amount of online presence. Of course we learn the basics of journalism and the writing rules but we also get to build our confidence when it comes to interviewing people face-to-face and building up the discipline required to be a journalist. One of the advantages of merging fashion into the degree is the additional creativity that comes with it. We have already worked on becoming creative directors for projects – there have been so many activities and assessments which have helped me make a list of possible career paths to choose from.
What made you choose this degree?
To be completely honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do in university. I really wanted to do something in fashion but I was always hesitant because of just how competitive a career in the industry can be. I had never thought of fashion journalism being something that you could do as a BA but when I saw it in the university’s prospectus, I immediately knew that’s what I wanted to do. I always loved writing so merging my interests with something that I was good at seemed like the perfect idea… and it really was.
That's great to hear! What's one of the best things about the course?
Definitely the practical side of it all. Even during lockdown, even if we couldn’t interview people face-to-face, I was busier than ever during my work placements. People were used to talking on video call anyway so there were no problems whatsoever. The course takes the practical side of it all really seriously and my lecturers encourage us to write whenever we can - which is why I started my blog. As one of my modules this year, I had to find a work placement and as an over thinker and anxious person, I sent out my CV all over, resulting in two internships and my very first job as a journalist for Lampoon Magazine. It is all thanks to my course and lecturers pushing us to write and teaching us how to create a CV which shows off all of your strengths, no matter the lack of experience you have in the journalism field.
Well done on landing so much solid experience! And what are the lectures and facilities like?
We have a lot of classroom lectures but several times a year we have News and Fashion weeks, during which we get to use different types of technology and learn about all the software. In my first year, when Covid wasn’t yet a thing, I was a presenter on the Holloway Express radio. It was such an amazing experience! The radio room is equipped with all sorts of professional technology and being able to feel like a radio host for an afternoon was really nice. I now write regularly for the Holloway Express website in my second year. The other activities in television and print also include all the professional and advanced technology with technicians available to help – it really makes you feel like you’re in a real newsroom.
What are your career plans?
Before attending university I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. Even after picking the course, I was still confused about my future job… a freelance journalist? A reporter? Maybe work my way up and eventually becoming editor of Vogue? I really value the work placement module in second year because thanks to this I have got an immense amount of experience in only about a month. It pushed me to pitch ideas to editors and actually think about what I was interested in writing about and who I wanted to talk to, which introduced me to the world of artisanal production and sustainable fashion, the topic which I specialised in at Lampoon. It has absolutely put me on my career path and without this work placement module, I would still be contemplating if I would ever make it as an editor at Vogue.
Well it sounds like you're on the right track! Finally, do you have any advice for new students?
If you want to make the most of your time during this course and are genuinely interested in writing, I advise you start to a blog. The lecturers will convince you to do so anyways so you might as well start now. It not only helps you practise your writing skills but future employers will be impressed at the work and effort you put into writing.