The Wings of Hope Children’s Charity Speed Mentoring: Your Path To Success
7 February 2015 at the Royal College of Surgeons
Meet the Mentors
A welcome message from the organisers
Head of the Professionals’ Network, The Wings of Hope
Whilst at school I had a real passion for both science and helping people, and so thought medicine would be a great career for me. However with a last minute change to my UCAS, I went on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. I realised that I enjoyed solving problems be it in the commercial or social sphere. Almost seven years on and I am now CEO of Supreme Creations which manufactures eco-friendly packaging and products for brands and retailers. We supply all over the world and some key clients include London Fashion Week, Tesco, Topshop, and Nike. Ten years ago, during my gap year, I set up WOHAA with my friends, and am so happy that over 25,000 students from over 400 schools have taken part so far. Follow me @Smruti_Sriram
Below are the profiles of the mentors I have gathered for you. Enjoy reading up on them and see you on the 7th February!
With over 5 years’ experience in the fashion sector, Linda Imadojemun is currently Marketing Officer at British fashion retailer, River Island. Specialising in Retail, she manages the execution of integrated projects across the brand’s national and local Marketing strategies. Key areas of responsibility include store openings, advertising, brand promotions and in store events. In 2013, Linda delivered the retailer’s first local Marketing calendar, devising a schedule of events and activity tailored to drive footfall, sales and ATV at flagship stores around the UK. Previous to this, Linda worked for a number of fashion brands and agencies in the field of Public Relations and events. She is also an alumnus of the acclaimed Taylor Bennett Foundation Programme, a charity founded to support the need for greater diversity in the communications industry.
I graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in Marketing in 2009. I’ve always had a passion for technology and creativity, so I was thrilled to land an internship, and subsequently a permanent role, at the innovate digital agency AKQA. During my time there I worked with some incredible brands, including Xbox, Nissan and Google, then in 2014 I made the move client-side to join Google’s EMEA Marketing Team. I now lead campaign creative for Android and Hardware in the UK.
I am currently a recording artist / music producer but funnily enough I did my BA in Architecture at Cambridge. I enjoyed the course but always knew that the music industry was where I wanted to be; so I subsequently took a one year course in Music Production & Sound Engineering at Point Blank Music College in London. I then began an internship in Digital Media at Universal Music, which lead to me unexpectedly being offered a job in New Media & Marketing at Unilever. I took the job but continued to pursue music in my spare time, doing shows and networking on the weekends while building a following on YouTube. I was lucky enough to have a couple of videos that went viral and caught the attention of one of the UK’s premier management companies Crown Talent, which meant that I was able to leave my job and begin performing more internationally. After building a sizeable fan base and touring all over the world, I then signed a record deal with India’s biggest record label T-Series. Social media has always been my strength and I have now accumulated 75 million+ YouTube views, and we are over 600,000 strong on Facebook. Looking back I feel like the diverse range of experiences I had before I made music my full-time career has definitely helped me a great deal! Follow me @ArjunArtist
Barry enrolled in the Royal Air Force in August 1986 and joined the Salon Orchestra of the Central Band of the RAF as a violinist and in 2005 became the leader of the Salon Orchestra in 2005. In 2013 he had the honour of being award an MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours list for services to RAF Music. He is now based at RAF Northolt, West London. During his twenty-eight year career his primary role was to perform for her majesty the Queen and the Royal Family, and has been a soloist in all the major concert halls in the UK and abroad. Over the years he has been featured on many recordings with the military bands; most notably he was leader of the Salon Orchestra on the chart topping CD (Reach for the Sky) with Central Band. Barry has performed for classic FM Live, at the Royal Albert Hall and at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and performed along stars such as Russell Watson, Hayley Westenra and Camilla Kerslake. Barry is responsible for recruiting and attracting talented individuals to join the RAF Music Service.
Diana is passionate about how the latest innovations and technology can be applied in fashion. Diana is technology growth specialist with experience in enterprise sales, and operations management.
Over the years she has held executive and non-executive roles managing new business development and operations for established technology companies: Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room. Her portfolio of clients have included Adidas, Hugo Boss, Thomas Pink, Boden, Hawes & Curtis, Pretty Green, Barbour By Mail, Otto Group and Ermenegildo Zegna.
She also is involved in investment portfolio development with Angel & Series A funding rounds. She has an MA from Milano University in Luxury PR and Branding.
Technology/ Healthcare/ Computer Science
Tom is UX and Front-end lead at a healthcare technology startup. That basically means he’s in charge of designing and building websites and mobile apps.
He studied Computer Science at university, mostly because he wanted to build a video-game. He then had a crisis of confidence because he realised he wasn’t very good at it.
After several internships, he discovered that what he was good at was understanding people and how they wanted to use websites and apps. He found out you can make a career out of it and has been doing it ever since.
Wellbeing/ Fitness/ Teaching
After graduating with a Masters in Engineering from Downing College, Cambridge, I decided to spend a year travelling before working. This included a 3 months stint doing yoga in India, after which I got a job in a mining company. However, after 3 years, I decided to pursue my passion and become a qualified yoga teacher. It has been extremely rewarding and I get satisfaction from knowing I’ve been able to help people live happier, healthier lives.
I was born in London, and went to study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, at Lincoln College, Oxford before joining the international management consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. Here I worked primarily with large corporate firms across several geographies, my favourite projects having been in Spain, Sweden, and the USA. I left in 2012, and joined Elliott Advisors, a multiple strategy hedge fund that has been actively investing for more than 37 years. I focus primarily on Real Estate opportunities in the UK and Europe region, which involves a lot of the expected when you think about finance (e.g., numerical analysis) and fortunately, a lot of the unexpected (e.g., spending a good deal of time with a hard hat on when visiting sites). In my spare time I enjoy playing rugby and golf, and am the trustee for a homeless charity in London.
I graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, before going on to do an MSc in Economics at the LSE. Since then I’ve worked as a professional economist at the Bank of England, producing forecasts for the global and UK economies which feed into the decisions made by the Monetary Policy Committee. I’ve also spent time as an analyst for commodity markets, covering the exciting world of oil
Florence graduated from Bristol University with a degree in English Literature and spent two years working in film and TV. She then converted to law and has been practising as a barrister at mixed common law set 36 Bedford Row since October 2012. Florence specialises in extradition law following a secondment to the Extradition Unit at the Crown Prosecution Service. She also has an interest in criminal and prison law, which was sparked at law school when she set up a programme teaching debating skills to inmates in London prisons. Florence has written a chapter on prison law in a new book called ‘Criminal Judicial Review’ and is an updating editor of ‘Trading Standards and Consumer Law.’
After A-levels in History, English literature, French and Economics and an AS-level in maths, I studied History at Oxford. In my second year, I did a summer internship at an investment bank in London and was offered a job there after graduation. After graduating, I worked there for a year but soon realised I wanted to be a barrister (for which I needed to study again!) After leaving the bank, I spent two years studying law and training to be a barrister and applying for pupillages (the one year “on the job” barrister training). Having completed my pupillage at 1 Hare Court, I am now a barrister there specialising in Family law.
Clare is a barrister at Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, a leading set that specialises in clinical negligence, professional discipline & regulatory law, police law and public law. Clare also has experience of the criminal law and is happy to discuss the pros and cons of both areas
Studying in the USA
In university Rohan studied economics, finance, physics, poetry and philosophy. He could do this because he went to uni in America. After growing up in Holland he went to Bentley University in Boston, USA for his undergraduate degree. Now he lives in London full time and often thinks about how his experience in an American university has shaped who he is. He has also done a masters in the UK so has been able to see the pros and cons of different academic systems. If you have ever wondered about studying in an American uni, feel free to ask him any questions about his experiences.
Psychology/ Policy/ Education
When I finished my undergraduate degree in psychology and physiology I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do next. However, I knew I was interested in education and social mobility. After a year working as a community organiser, for a youth charity and as a maths teacher in India, I went to Cambridge and completed a Masters in Educational Research. I also completed a book linking evidence from psychology to educational practice. After graduating, I became a management consultant. I worked with public sector clients doing everything from financial planning to reducing the time patients stay in hospital. Last November, I finally moved back into the education sector and joined the Performance and Impact team at Future Leaders. The charity provides leadership training to aspiring headteachers. My team is responsible for measuring the impact that the leaders have on disadvantaged pupils’ attainment and life opportunities. Impact measurement is a relatively new field and I love the challenge of working out new ways to capture everything our participants achieve.
TV Presenter & TV Production
Babita is a presenter for BBC World News and co-host of Newsday, a daily news programme presented live from Singapore & London.
Babita got her first break in television in the UK, working as a student for Thames Valley Television and for BBC Radio Wales. She then moved to Dubai to work in TV and radio presentation for the network broadcaster Channel 4. Following a stint presenting for ITV early morning news, Babita returned to BBC News as a producer and Business Presenter for the BBC News Channel. Babita joined the presentation team at BBC World News in 2008. She has been at the forefront major stories including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the death of Osama bin Laden, the Royal Wedding, London 2012 Olympics and most recently India Elections 2014 and the Umbrella revolution in Hong Kong . Babita grew up in Caversham, Berkshire and studied Journalism, Film & Broadcasting at the University of Wales, Cardiff.
My name is Miles and I am a freelance Continuity Announcer and voice over artist currently working for Channel 4 and Sky. I studied Politics with Management at Loughborough University, which ironically made me not want to go into either after I graduated. I worked for the Home Office in various roles for a year and a half before I decided I wanted a career change. I started volunteering at a hospital radio station, visiting patients and putting on radio shows for them to cheer them up and fell in love with presenting and media. After a long search I finally found an internship with Channel 4 as a Continuity Announcer (I had no idea what that was) and managed to get it. I then became freelance and started working for Sky, and the rest is history. The worst job I ever had was being a roofer.
I studied Law at Kings College London and trained at the international law firm Clifford Chance. I spent 5 years working for Clifford Chance and have recently moved to global law firm Latham & Watkins. I specialise in Private Equity Mergers and Acquisitions. I spent a year studying in Holland as part of my degree, worked for 6 months in Dubai and spent 7 months travelling around the world during the gap between my studies and starting working, so it goes without saying that I love to travel! My first job was on the Customer Service Desk at my local Tesco.
Having left school with Maths and Science A-levels, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do next. The Materials Science and Engineering course that I picked provided a broad enough background to allow specialisation in a variety of different fields. From there I went on to do an MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London and have continued onto a PhD in Biomaterials within the same research group, allowing me to combine my Engineering background with an initial interest in Medicine. The group is working on developing new materials which could be used to regenerate and repair bone that has been damaged through injury or disease – this includes making novel polymer-glass hybrid materials, developing and creating nanoparticles and investigating the potential of new 3D printing techniques.
Link to our research is here
completed my undergrad in Chemical Engineering at UCL which was a very interesting course and an extremely fun university to be at. I jumped straight into the Oil and Gas Industry, where I worked at Shell for 3 years in Qatar (and Holland/ Malaysia on occasion). Work was extremely dynamic; we commissioned the largest and highest profile Gas to Liquid plant in the world. I then changed my career path to academia where I did an MSc in Biomedical Engineering and now a PhD in Biomaterial Sciences for Tissue Engineering applications at Imperial College London.
Having always had a passion for Maths and Science at school, I chose to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester. During my third year, I decided to complete a year in industry at Sellafield Ltd and fortunately, I was lucky enough to secure a graduate job with them at the end of my placement. I spent three years working at the nuclear facility and their design office, after which I left to join the gas industry and I am now working for Air Products. My next career goal is to become a Chartered Engineer in the near future. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, experiencing different cultures and keeping fit.
Having studied Engineering Science at Oxford I went on to work in the Marine industry for a year before realising I was really interested in energy. From there I accepted a job at Toshiba’s European Research and Development labs based in Bristol where I worked on European and UK energy projects as well as completing a fully-funded Engineering Doctorate. My interests moved towards energy markets and commercial challenges and as a result I am now working for a newly acquired Toshiba business called cyberGRID who are in the virtual power plant business. I am responsible for growing the company through commercial and project development in the EMEA region. Energy is a really exciting industry to be in right now and also gives me a lot of travel opportunities so I’m usually out of the UK for 3 weeks every month.
I studied economics at Oxford and the LSE, and now work as a professional economist. I currently work for the Bank of England, where I examine risks to financial stability arising from household indebtedness. I previously worked as a researcher on the economics of happiness for a think tank called the new economics foundation, where I helped construct a global index of happiness and sustainability.
I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University from 2005-2008. Upon graduating I joined Goldman Sachs within the Investment Banking Division where I’ve worked for the last 6 years. I was initially part of the Healthcare team, although more recently have changed focus to Real Estate and Leisure. I’m a keen sailor, and last year successfully completed an 800 mile doubled handed race to the Fastnet Rock and back.
Mayan has spent over 4 years working in M&A and Equity Research at an Investment Bank. Mayan completed a MSc in Finance at the University of St Andrews. Prior to that, he graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. Mayan enjoys cycling and has a strong interest in architecture and design.
Baafour studied Chemical Engineering for his undergraduate degree at Imperial College London. From there he went on to benefit from a range of internship opportunities in America, Ghana and China, before finally coming to work at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in London where he recently attained ACA qualification. Baafour is also one of the founders of Career Journey Africa which provides internship placements to students within one of the world’s fastest growing economies – enabling them to stand out and develop an international skill set at an early stage in their career.
I am CEO of a fast-growing technology company, Raising IT, making a difference to the world by powering charity websites to raise more money. We have over 100 clients including some of the largest charities such as Guide Dogs, RSPB and the RSPCA. I’m a graduate in English Literature from Oxford. Follow me @tomlatchford
Social Enterprise/ Business/ Tech
Although I was never interested in politics at school I cared about the issues affecting people and how campaigning could change them – so after studying Geography at Nottingham University I got a job in Australia working for the innovative online campaigning organisation GetUp! Since then I’ve worked with a range of International & UK NGOs, including Oxfam and the Global Campaign for Education. 3 years ago I was asked to start Change.org in the UK to empower anyone, anywhere to create the they want to see in the world. I’m now the UK Country Director at Change.org, which has grown be the world’s biggest petition website with 80 million users worldwide and over 6 million in the UK. My motto is ‘life begins at the edge of your comfort zone’ and last year I was named one of the BBC’s top 100 Women of 2014 and awarded Women of the Future for Tech & Digital in 2014. Come and chat about technology, activism, social enterprise or your favourite Kylie song! Follow me on @brie_rl
Having studied at both Oxford University & University College London, I finally qualified as a doctor in 2010. Since then, the realm of medicine has been a whirlwind of opportunity; I’ve been lucky enough to work abroad in Nepal and I am currently specialising in General Practice. I also organise community art projects in Hackney for people with mental health issues which allows me to express my creative side! The best part of my work is undoubtedly being a part of someone’s journey, and I very much see it as a privilege.
Kate is the features editor of Management Today. Kate’s been a business journalist for the past 14 years, editing Real Business magazine and writing for The Times, The Guardian and The Financial Times. She studied English Literature at Southampton University and got her first taste of journalism writing for the student newspaper. These days you’ll find her interviewing business big shots and entrepreneurs, commissioning columnists and running Management Today’s Inspiring Women event.
I manage the container conversions division at Bell Container. We supply shipping containers (for on-site storage) and also site accommodation units – converting shipping containers into portable offices, canteens, changing rooms and welfare units. I recently launched Pop-up Containers which focusses on customising shipping containers into ‘pop-up’ spaces: cafés, shops and retail units, studios and bars, to name a few. We also help companies showcase new brands and products through more experiential units all within the ISO container framework. Whilst at university, my brother and I developed the BBQ TOWER (a multi-level charcoal barbecue) which we launched into the UK market a few years ago. Prior to joining the world of business, I was a corporate lawyer at the City law firm, Slaughter and May. I would be happy to talk about both business and law.
I qualified from Imperial College School of Medicine in 2009 having completed a 6 year medical degree with an intercalated BsC in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Fast forward 5 years and I’ve worked in A&E, Intensive Care, Gastroenterology, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Paediatrics. I’ve finally completed my specialist training and I have just embarked on my next adventure…working as a full time freelance GP. It’s fantastic, fun and gives me career flexibility with plenty of time to pursue other interests. Medicine is hard work but extremely fulfilling and has endless opportunities to suit every personality! Outside Medicine I devote time to the other love of my life – food!
I studied Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge (now called Politics, Psychology and Sociology), and was totally confused about what to do next. I was two months into a Masters degree, with a place at law school and a job offer at a Technology start-up in Silicon Valley when I finally realised that I wanted to be… a doctor! I’m now four years into Medicine at Manchester, and absolutely loving it!
I am currently in my final year of dental school at King’s College London. Having previously studied Biomedical Science I entered the degree on a shortened course and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of training, studying and soon to be qualifying with my first job secured. The degree itself is challenging but hugely rewarding and I cannot wait to start practising!
After graduating from Kings College London dental school and completing my VT in Bedford, I spent a year as a Maxillofacial SHO fixing the broken jaws and stitching up the scarred faces of Luton. I then spent another year in a dental practice before taking the opportunity to work and travel through Australia and South East Asia for 18 months. I now work in a mainly private dental practice and I am completing a post graduate course in aesthetic and restorative dentistry. Feel free to ask me questions about travelling or Dentistry.
After growing up and studying in France, I came to Oxford to study Philosophy & Theology. After graduation, I spent time working for arts magazine Apollo and as a researcher on Lisa Chaney’s biography of Coco Chanel for Penguin, before joining publishing house Thames & Hudson. I’m now Associate Editor for Thames & Hudson, where I focus on developing tiles for their Fashion and Design lists. Also curating an art history festival for the Institut français in London in my spare time – on Twitter @AdeliaSabatini.
Travel & Sustainability
Ed has had a varied career involving travel and environmental issues since studying Geography ay Oxford. Upon leaving university he went over to India to work for Greenpeace, before joining BP Alternative Energy where he spent the next 4 years. In 2013 he embarked on a flightless journey from Thailand to the UK writing about environmental issues en route. Since being back in the UK he has launched his own start-up: World in London (www.worldinlondon.co.uk)
I set off to study International Relations at the University of St Andrews with the intention of becoming a diplomat but during the summer holidays at university I did some internships in travel around Europe and became really interested in the airline industry. I did a Masters in Transport Management to learn more about it back at home in Italy, at Bocconi University, and now I work for TUI Travel better known as Thomson/First Choice, a global travel company. After completing their graduate scheme I have taken on a role as commercial support manager and am loving using my languages, working with international colleagues and travelling with work. Outside work I love to travel and my latest adventure was in Tanzania where I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Crystal is a PR consultant with 6 years of experience in the industry. She began her career in Singapore after graduating from business school, doing stints in journalism, marketing and in-house communications before entering the agency world with Edelman. With experience in a range of disciplines spanning events, crisis work and media relations, she has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Kraft, Shell, Microsoft, HP and Autodesk. Her journey has taken her from Singapore to London, where she is now focused on running events at Formula 1 races all over the world, and bringing together teams in over 20 countries to deliver great, memorable work.
Travel & Languages
Nuria joins us from Spain. She’s always had a passion for travel – studying tourism at Bilbao university, before working for one of Spain’s largest travel companies – el Corte Ingles – in Spain. She worked there for a number of years before moving to England for a new challenge (and to improve her English). Since being in London she’s worked for a Cuban travel company, and has just started at a small travel company specialising in South America
Strategy Consultancy/ Healthcare
I currently work as the General Manager of the Paediatrics and Adolescents Division at University College London Hospital (UCLH). I run part of the hospital business, which includes everything from staff management, finance, strategy and anything else that people need help with! I was always drawn to healthcare provision and problem solving and after trying 10 different work experiences, I finally settled on a BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics from the London School of Economics. After graduating, I worked in a number of NHS organisations such as Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and North Middlesex Hospital in internal management consulting and operational roles. The best piece of advice I got was the following; ‘Choosing a career is like choosing your favourite chocolate – you never know which one you will like the most until you try it’, so ask around for opportunities for work experience.
Strategy Consultancy/ Airlines
I studied e-commerce and digital business at Nottingham University and later did an MSc in Business analytics and consulting at Warwick Business school. I currently work for British Airways as a senior operational research consultant. No two projects are ever the same in my job. I get to advise my colleagues on areas ranging from helping to decide where to fly, which airlines to forge alliances with, predicting passenger flows around the airport and deciding the configurations of aircraft.
I grew up in Wales and studied Law and Anthropology at the LSE. Unlike most aspiring lawyers, I ducked out of corporate vac schemes and spent my summers working in local shops on checkouts and travelling on minimal savings, before spending a bit of time working in Parliament. Having always wanted to be a jury trial advocate, I somehow fell into, and in love with, family law. It’s a great combination of problem solving and people skills. I joined 1 Hare Court in the Temple as a pupil and, subsequently, a full-time tenant. I have also taught law at King’s College and the LSE. Last year I joined St John’s Chambers in Bristol to spend a bit more time with my family in the area, and to develop my practice in other areas, and I now split my time between London and the West Country. I love the flexibility of my job which enables me to maintain a decent work-life balance.
I studied Architecture at the University of Westminster and the University of Nottingham. My key interest is in Classical and Traditional Architecture and I am working in a small firm in central London specialising in Classical design. I have previously worked on a variety of projects, ranging from residential extensions and large new-builds, to schools and football club sports facilities.
I read Law LLB at King’s College London from 2003 – 2006. I completed the LPC at the College of Law in 2007 and went on to train at Manches LLP (now Penningtons Manches) and was admitted as a solicitor in October 2009. I then took 2 years out to teach English and travel around South America. I have trained as an attorney in New York and have worked for Adecco and Sportingbet. Currently I am a Legal Counsel at Tata Communications and deal with commercial contracts for our European and African markets.
My passion has always been in the arts. After graduating in Architecture from the university of Westminster, I returned after a year’s work experience at an award winning practice dealing primarily with high end interiors and finely engineered staircases, to complete my diploma. Having refined my skills in the digital composition of imagery and developing detailed 3D models I decided to start up a visualisation company with a fellow uni graduate and friend. We are now 3D visualisers at our own company called Fumo Studio.
Having studied pharmacy at King’s College London, I am now the head pharmacist in a community pharmacy based in Hayes. The profession requires you not only to be an expert in medicines but also to provide as many services as possible to your patients including Smoking Cessation, Emergency Contraception and Flu Vaccinations to name a few. I have chosen the community path in pharmacy but I will also discuss the other options available when graduating with a degree in Pharmacy.
I studied Biological Sciences at Oxford University because biology was my favourite subject at school. Realising that I enjoyed human physiology and talking to people, I later decided to embark on a post-graduate medical degree at Imperial College. I have now been a qualified doctor for 3 years and am really enjoying it. I am currently in General Practice and find it challenging and rewarding helping people to solve problems. The other great aspect to working in medicine has been the ability to teach others and to undertake research work.
I graduated from Durham University in 2012 with a degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. I then went straight into an undergrad degree in Veterinary Medicine at Bristol University. I’m currently in my third year and cannot wait to start practising!
I studied Business Management at Cass Business School then did a Law conversion at BPP Law school doing the GDL and LPC. I’m a professional dancer/dance teacher. I currently run my own dance lessons and have built up my own Zumba school, teaching dance classes every evening around London. Since I was little I’ve always wanted to be a dancer and have my own dance school. Getting there now. Advice I wish I had been given at school: you don’t have to make one choice, or take one path in your career. It’ll always be changing, you’ll always be able to do more than one thing so don’t feel you have to stick to the choices you make as a teenager.
April has experience working with leading brands in the retail, technology and FMCG sectors including Carphone Warehouse, Starbucks and Radisson Blu Hotels. She has been at Edelman for over 2 years, working on a wide range of clients. April’s skills lie in media relations and proactive news generation. She understands how to creatively bring a story to life, and how to make it relevant to different segments of the media. Her work on Carphone Warehouse and Starbucks has seen her become a pro at proactive news generation and gain extensive experience on major project launches including Starbucks first at home coffee, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One M8 and iPhone 5.
Graduated 4 years ago, my degree was in fashion design and marketing, where I specialised in menswear for my final collection. After a few fashion internships I decided that I didn’t want to go into design, but I did want to stay in the fashion industry. So I decided to go into merchandising and have worked for Jack Wills, House of Fraser and Lipsy, and am currently working as an Assistant Merchandiser at Lyle and Scott. Here, I plan the range in terms of options and quantity, always ensuring we have the right stock at the right time.
Sales/ Design/ Languages
As a teen I was convinced about being a Fashion designer so I spent part of my summers doing summer courses to widen my knowledge and increasing my UCAS profile by going to fashion design introduction courses at the Grafton academy in Dublin, Central Saint Martins and Wimbledon. These courses helped me realise I preferred the image making to pattern making, hence I started from square one and did an Art and Design foundation at Loughborough university , where I specialised in Visual communication. Following this I graduated from Aberystwyth University in Fine Art, with a focus on photography. Although I enjoyed my course I did not identify with the other students who dreamt of setting up their work in galleries, so I went on to study an MA at the London College of Fashion in Strategic Fashion Marketing, as my creativity was always more commercial minded. During my studies I freelanced as a photographer, volunteered at Oxfam, worked at Selfridges, interned at the Centre for sustainable Fashion and London Fashion Week. Ever since my MA graduation, I have been a Sales Executive at Supreme creations, where I get to explore both my creative and commercial knowledge on a daily basis.
All the way through school I had a keen interest in art and design, mainly for the creativity and freedom I felt it had when compared to other subjects.
I went on to do an art foundation course at London Metropolitan University, followed by an undergraduate degree in graphic design at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Since graduating I have worked freelance, doing everything from websites, to corporate branding, to printed/online marketing materials and much more. At the moment my main clients are a small design studio in North London, a record label in Soho, the Wings of Hope and their partner Supreme Creations.
For me personally, graphic design is the ultimate career because it gives you the opportunity to be creative and challenged every day of your life; I have never once woken up in the morning with that feeling of dread you can sometimes get from thinking about the day ahead!
I would advise it as a career choice to anyone!
Gillian is a fashion designer and entrepreneur, launching her own women’s wear brand online in April 2015. Her designs combine bright cheerful colours mixed with elegant neutrals for a bold yet sophisticated casual look. Gillian focusses on recycled and organic fabrics catering to the conscious consumer. She used to work in the environment sector and graduated from the University of Oxford with an MA in Environmental Policy, writing her thesis on the textile industry in India. Gillian is also on the committee of UKFT Rise, a supportive community for entrepreneurs and professionals in the fashion sector for under ten years.
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