Fashion lover and environmentally aware Allie Davies talks to us about life at Manchester Metropolitan University.
What course are you studying: I'm studying International Fashion Promotion (BA Hons) at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), which covers fashion PR, journalism, creative direction, elements of buying and merchandising, social media and blogging.
What did you study at school/college: At A-level, I studied French only until AS (I just didn't have the knack for it) but continued Maths, Psychology and Textiles until A-level. I obviously enjoyed textiles, and even enjoyed maths a little too, plus it's extremely useful not only in everyday life but on applications for university and jobs, but definitely not essential.
Why did you choose this course?
Having loved fashion all my life, I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry, but as a child you only think of the job roles 'designer' and 'buyer', after doing a little bit of research, you'll find there are infinite possibilities within the industry. I've collected fashion magazines since primary school and started blogging a few years ago now, so promotion seemed like the most interesting area to me, plus there are so many job opportunities for me to explore!
Why did you choose this uni?
It's so important to research the universities that offer the course you want, although the course should be the deciding factor, not the nightlife or location of your university. I attended plenty of open days and narrowed my choices down to MMU, UCLAN and Westminster. I didn't feel comfortable at Westminster, I instinctively knew I wouldn't settle there and didn't feel comfortable, so this narrowed my choices even further. It was a tough decision, but MMU offered a placement year on my course and seemed to have great connections. Plus, coming from Liverpool, I was more comfortable with the idea of living within a city rather than a town I didn't really know. Not to mention, MMU has great facilities, excellent mental health support and is the UK's greenest university!
What are the facilities like?
Manchester Metropolitan University's library is open 24/7 during term time, perfect for all nighters during deadline season! I'm always amazed by our faculty's section of the library; we have hundreds of issues of Vogue spanning decades and countries worldwide, a subscription to trade journal Drapers, and not to mention access to trend forecasting agency WGSN - apparently, out of university, this would cost £60,000! Whilst I can't comment much on our sports facilities or labs (my time is spent reading, shopping and on Netflix...), I can recommend MMU's halls. Most of the student accomodation is within a ten minute walk of the city centre campus, which just happens to be a fifteen minute walk from the shops. There are more 'luxury' accommodation options a short bus ride away too.
What's the student experience like?
Being located so close to the city centre, you're never stuck for things to do in Manchester - and that's from someone coming from rival city Liverpool - whether you want to enjoy the nightlife nearby, which caters for all music preferences thankfully, or you want to get involved with societies and volunteering schemes, there is something for everyone. I joined the fashion society, which has trips to Berlin and Paris, and even have a part time job as a student ambassador at open days on campus.
Best thing about studying at your uni?
For me, the best thing about studying at Manchester is my course, i genuinely enjoy the modules, especially creative fashion direction and digital promotion. There's so much freedom of expression, nothing is too controversial or forward-thinking, there is a really friendly and accepting feeling on campus. It's great to be a part of such an exciting, creative group of people.
Have you done any work-experience?
Aside from my part time job with really casual hours to fit around your studies, I have managed to secure a short internship at London fashion week, which was incredible. I did source this internship myself, but there is a dedicated placement office for each faculty, who are always available to offer advice and advertise placements. Honestly, these are seriously competitive, but there are always opportunities being emailed to students both local, nationwide and even abroad.
What are your future career plans?
At the moment, I'm still not entirely sure what job title I would like to have, but it would be great if it had the word 'director' in it, wouldn't it? I really enjoy the creative side of the fashion industry, and take a great interest in digital communications like websites, apps, blogging and social media. Integrating digital and creative elements would create an amazing job for me.
Any tips for students thinking about going to uni?
University is a big decision. What do I want to do? What course shall I apply for? Where shall I study? Where shall I live? Will I make any new friends? How many UCAS points do I need again?! But honestly, it is all worth giving a try. University isn't for everyone, a lot of my friends from school have gone on to do other things, taken gap years or decided to move back home after first year, and that is all completely normal. You might not enjoy it, but hey, at least you gave it a shot and know now a little but more about what you would like, but then again, you could love university and all it entails. Do your research, be brave, and give it a shot!