The Fashion Retail Academy - By Hannah Regan
I first heard about the Fashion Retail Academy, during my 1 week work placement at Wallis' Head Office in London. I was SO keen to learn more about the fashion industry that during my last year at sixth form I emailed every single retailer within the Arcadia Group and managed to get a response from Wallis. I had no idea what jobs were available in head office or what I would be good at? I just kind of went for it! I spent a week during October half term working alongside the Buying and Merchandising team and I knew that it was Buying that I wanted to go into.
I wasted no time asking the buyers at Wallis how they began their careers within fashion and where they studied etc. Many of them 'stumbled' into the fashion business after University, however the majority of them recommended the Fashion Retail Academy.
Long story short, I went to one of the open days at the Fashion Retail Academy, interviewed and was lucky enough to get a place at the Academy!
What qualification do you get out of the course?
So the academy offers a range of different courses including, fast track and full time courses. Each course is different and offers different content - so be sure to do you're research. The course in Fashion Buying & Range Planning that I completed means that I am fully qualified to work within specific job roles in fashion as I have a Level 4 Diploma to prove it.
What jobs can you apply for after completing the course?
Well the world is your oyster - if there is one thing that the Academy has taught me it is to never be afraid to try new things/ say yes to new opportunities. You can't ever plan your future, but you can make sure that you have the skills, knowledge and confidence to go after every opportunity. After completing my course, predominantly I would be looking to apply for jobs within Buying, Merchandising, PR or Digital Marketing.
Why the Academy?
I had looked at SO many Fashion Marketing/PR/Design courses, however NONE of them stood out to me. The thing that I loved about the Academy was the fact that I knew I would be receiving the top knowledge/experience/skills. All of the teachers had worked in the business for years and years and knew exactly what they were talking about - they all offered such in depth support, guidance and knowledge.
The course also included a 3 week industry work placement, which was such a great experience. The placements are arranged through the Academy with their amazing contacts. I was lucky enough to work at ASOS for 3 weeks - which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Upon graduating from the FRA I have just landed my dream job working at Lipsy as a BAA on the dresses department!