Year out in industry..
Loughborough University offer an amazing opportunity to do a sandwich course, which is a four -year course with one year out, before your second and final year to go and work out in the industry (placements). If there is one piece of advise for any college students who may read my blog or for any parents who have kids at that age, is, 100% do a placement year if it is something that is available to you. It creates so many opportunities and helps you to understand a working environment without having the pressure of feeling like you should know everything in your first day, granted you may not be paid very much at all but they are such a good way of learning and they also help you to create more of a professional looking final degree show, because you have the experience and you have seen the trends and maybe even worked on the latest trends. You don’t have to go to all of the high end , well known places. I packed boxes/parcels for four months at a small company, but it has allowed me to pick up skills and ideas of how a small business is ran, some of those ideas which I use in my own business today.
My placements were at George Spencer Designs in London, Margo Selby in Whitstable, Mary Jones Designs in Stafford, Fusion CPH in Copenhagen and Karolina York in Sydney. I learnt so much over the year, it was hard work don’t get me wrong, and as an intern, you don’t get the best jobs in the world but the experience is pricless, and could open up so many opportunities for when you graduate.
Anyway, back to Cushy Paws…. Needless to say I took my fabric library with me, and my sewing machine….
So Whitstable was the first placement I had, whilst staring Cushy Paws.
I lived with a family down in Whitstable, whilst working at Margo Selby 9-5, I did Cushy Paws after work when I had the time to, and at the weekend my friend (Emily) and I would go and rummage through the Charity shops for fabric scraps, (Charity shops are amazing in Whitstable). It was often extremely cold in the house I was staying in, so I had to wrap up in about ten layers whilst working away on my designs, with the iron by my side to keep me warm, and to use on my work as well.
The next placement was Fusion in Copenhagen, although I couldn’t take my sewing machine, I did take a full 22kg extra case just to take my fabric with me and I borrowed a sewing machine from them that I rode home very carefully on my bike through the city of Copenhagen ( do not try this at home, it was not easy).
Then, my next adventure was Sydney, and again the 22kg suitcase full of fabric came with me, this time I couldn’t borrow a sewing machine so I had to post them home in a batch for my mum to sew for me… that was dedication!
After that I had my final year of university to finish… my advice to anyone, don’t try and write a dissertation, run a business and create a final degree show all at once…. There were many tears and tantrums I can assure you, my mum will also vouch for that.