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FRA News



25th June 2024

We're proud of the amazing accomplishments our students and graduates achieve, both during their time at the Fashion Retail Academy and after their graduation. 

We spoke to Will, who studied Level 4 Fast Track Buying & Merchandising, about his experience at the FRA and his role at Harrods. 

What course did you study at the Fashion Retail Academy?

My most recent course was the Fast Track Level 4 Buying & Merchandising.

What were your favourite elements of your course?

My favourite elements were the more creative sides, such as the talks from people in the industry, and the visits we did, such as the M&S press launch.

What did you learn on your course and what projects did you particularly enjoy?

I learnt a lot in a short amount of time about the industry, processes, terms and what makes a good buyer. I really enjoyed our final project as we were given free range to focus on what we wanted to do and show what we have learnt over the six months. 

Why did you choose your course?

I chose this course due to me wanting to get into buying and it had helped me massively to get the job I wanted!

I really enjoyed our final project as we were given free range to focus on what we wanted to do and show what we have learnt over the six months. Will - Level 4 Fast Track Buying & Merchandising Graduate

What is your role and what does your day to day look like?

I am a Buyer's Assistant at Harrods in furniture and my day-to-day can change massively! Mondays tend to be more trade lead, whereas Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be more creative. We do a lot of floor walks where we talk with retail managers and our furniture brand specialists! 

How does your role and department work with the wider business?

Our department works under the brand of home in Harrods, by being so close to many people in this branch we end up working a lot with each other. This has helped in many cases such as finding the correct products for an upcoming home and property magazine. 

What do you like about your role?

I like the creative side of my role; being able to find new brands or products has always been the selling point of this job. 

Do you think your course prepared you for working in industry?

Yes I do, with my three week placement it really helped me to understand what happens within this roll. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to study at the FRA?

Do it! It will be the best decision you make. I made incredible mates, contacts and grew my knowledge massively over my time at the FRA, and it looks really good on your CV.

How has your FRA experience helped you in your career?

My FRA experience has helped me to really understand this industry, I have met so many people (including my manager) who studied at the FRA and it is amazing to see where people are after studying there. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to go into the retail industry?

Always be yourself. People will see your style and the way you work and that’s how you get noticed. There will always be days where you want to give up but those are the days that you end up getting the best work done!

Will studied Level 4 Fast Track Buying & Merchandising with us at the Fashion Retail Academy. This 22-week course is designed to get you straight into industry as an entry-level buyer or merchandiser. You'll be taught over two full days a week, so you can continue working part-time whilst you study.

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