My Third (and Final) Year at University

2 Jun 2017

19th May 2017. The day which marked my final university hand-in and my last ever day in education. After 17 years of school, college and university it is safe to say that not knowing what the next step in my life will be is very daunting, yet exciting at the same time. Long-time followers of my blog will be familiar with my annual posts summarising my experiences during the past academic year and here I am already with the final instalment in the series. As per usual, I will outline what my final year consisted of but also share my thoughts on my entire time studying Fashion Management at Winchester School of Art, plus what I hope to do next.

S E M E S T E R  O N E

Those who follow me on social media will know I interned twice over the summer period in 2016, which resulted in me returning to my third year of university one week late due to being in Paris for fashion week. Returning to London on Friday, I caught up on missed lectures easily over the weekend before Monday came around and didn't at all regret having to skip the first week back. The core module studied in semester one was Strategic Issues in Fashion, for which I chose the brief that involved investigating how opting for a 'see-now, buy-now' strategy affected Topshop Unique's business model and what changes could be made to make it more efficient. The topic was one that I was really interested in, but being such a new concept meant it was slightly difficult to find research on. This required a 7000 word report to be written, the biggest I've ever done while at university in a smaller amount of time than usual, and the lack of creative work meant it was a heavy one. While my hard work was worth it in the end as I achieved one of my highest grades, I don't think I've ever cried so much over an assignment in my life; it was like I became a different person throughout the semester because I felt so emotional and under pressure and I'm not somebody who cries easily. It's safe to say I was extremely glad when it was over.

I also studied my chosen option module during semester one, Writing to Publication, which continued from second year and consisted of two assignments. The first was a 2000 word piece of writing, of any genre on a choice of your topic. I chose to write an article about the realities of interning in fashion and I was actually really pleased with the final outcome, so much so that I have debated posting it on my blog. Following this, the second assignment was a portfolio of 6 different documents to accompany the article as if it were to be published in a book, including a letter and a press release. This module was a nice relief away from Strategic Issues, easy to manage as I could dedicate just one day a week to it and has definitely assisted towards improving my writing, which I know will be useful both now and in the future.


S E M E S T E R  T W O

As opposed to a dissertation, we are required to complete a Final Major Project (FMP) on the Fashion Management programme instead. This still involves an extensive amount of research and analysis but encompasses the creative elements expected of an arts course too. My FMP is something that I began thinking about at the start of third year because coming up with a research focus can be a hard task, particularly since it has to be something you will allow to consume you for numerous months. After a well-deserved rest over Christmas (the only benefit of December deadlines), the Final Fashion Management Project module kicked off with a 1000 word proposal to outline our ideas. Aspiring to a career in branded womenswear buying, I decided to investigate how luxury multi-brand retailers can more effectively target luxury consumers from the Millennial generation, focusing on Net-a-Porter as a case study. After this was approved, I was able to get properly stuck in and begin planning and compiling my 5000 word report. It's hard to describe what doing an FMP is like as you experience many ups and downs and therefore have a mixture of feelings towards it. What I can say is I did the greatest amount of research I have ever done for a piece of work and despite having such high expectations of myself (and therefore piling the pressure on), I didn't feel as emotional as I did in semester one. Though stressful, it was an enjoyable experience seeing my ideas evolve and come to life, particularly through the supporting creative elements of my work, and teaching myself new skills proved very rewarding when the final outcome was complete. There were many moments of panic, particularly when sending things off to print, but setting up my work for our upcoming degree show at hand-in was a moment of great relief and I felt proud of myself and my friends for getting through it. After living and breathing this project for the past couple of months, it feels utterly weird to be so disconnected from it now but I think my body is grateful that I'm not consuming as much caffeine and sugar to keep me going. 

I  also studied a module focused on professional planning during this semester, which involved writing a succinct career plan to examine my suitability for a role within buying and undergoing an assessed mock interview. Sounds incredibly nerve-wracking, especially with FMP to focus on as well, but it was actually a positive experience which I am certain will help me with job applications.


M Y  T H O U G H T S  O N  T H I R D  Y E A R 

Overall I enjoyed my third year at university and I am incredibly sad that my time at Winchester School of Art is over.  I do believe I favoured second year, but I think this was probably because I didn't feel quite like myself for a lot of semester one. Also third year involved less lectures, seminars and group work and more tutorials and independent study instead. This meant a lack of funny, memorable times with my friends in seminars and more sitting in my room with my laptop for company all day. I think I was able to manage independent study rather well, however, as I am naturally super organised and live by to-do lists. Plus, I was able to balance out my stress levels with coffee dates with friends and inexcusable amounts of online shopping. 

For anybody thinking of studying Fashion Management at Winchester School of Art or something similar elsewhere, I would wholeheartedly recommend it if you are dedicated to pursuing a career in fashion. It has been hard work but my experience on the course over the past three years has been incredible; my career intentions have become clearer, I've had some great opportunities come my way, met lifelong friends and witnessed myself grow so much as a person. 

W H A T  N E X T ?

It still doesn't feel official yet that I've finished with education forever and am approaching the next stage of my life, I think it is more likely to properly sink in after graduation. I can't go a birthday without uttering the words "I don't want to grow up" so I'm definitely partially longing to be back in second year with all of this to come, but as somebody who also welcomes change I am excited for employment prospects. All I need to do is remember how much I didn't want to return to university after my internship and I realise I am 100% ready for work.

If you've made it to the end of this post I applaud you. Feel free to tweet me or message me via Instagram (@freyaellab) or email me if you have any questions regarding my university experience - I would be happy to chat! 


2 comments

  1. I loved University, I would definitely go back! This is a exciting time for you, good luck with everything.

    Zeynab
    The Beauty Load

    ReplyDelete

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