My Second Year at University

After handing in last week, on 10th May, I officially finished my second year of university. As cliché as it sounds, it feels like not so long ago I was in the same position writing a blog post summarising my first year (you can find it here) and now, unbelievably, here I am again for round two. I'm going to attempt to be as concise as possible with this, but grab yourself a coffee and be prepared for a slightly wordy post... 

For those of you who haven't read my blog for long or don't follow me on social media, I study BA (Hons) Fashion Management. At the end of my first year, I had to choose whether to specialise in Management or Marketing and as there seems to be confusion around the difference between the two - I still get a multitude of questions about what it is I actually do, every fashion student will understand - hopefully this post will clear that up for those interested in studying something similar.

In comparison to Fashion Marketing, Fashion Management still retains some creative aspects but focuses on the behind-the-scenes business side of fashion that many consumers don't know much about, particularly the roles of Buyer, Merchandiser and Trend Forecaster. During semester one, I studied one core module alongside an option module of my choice. Product Management: Buying & Merchandising is one my favourite modules that I've studied since I'm interested in a career within buying in the future. The assignment brief was centred around researching a 'macro trend' currently affecting wider society, examining how this affected fashion trends for SS16 and ultimately translating this into a new product range for Topshop/Topman. I chose to develop a new workwear range for women, influenced by feminism and the fusion of masculine and feminine styles seen on the SS16 catwalks. This module involved group work, verbal and visual presentations and a lot of research as well as creating moodboards to visualise colours/shapes/fabrics for the collection and subject-specific skills, like creating a full range plan with merchandising elements. Upon completing the module, we were also able to display our work to the public in an exhibition which was very rewarding.

The option module I chose to study was Introduction to Writing for the Creative Industries. As the name suggests, this was all about writing and the assignments involved composing 2 short reviews then a longer piece of writing of which the genre was your choice. What I enjoyed most about this module was the flexibility as I was able to relate it to fashion or explore other topics that interest me, for example I reviewed a SS16 catwalk show and wrote an article about social media. Perhaps the best thing about the module, though, was no referencing was needed. That is a reason to study it if no other. 

During semester two I also studied two modules and, let me tell you, this semester flew past. I don't think it's quite sunk in that I have finished for summer as my last assignment really did consume my life for the past few months. The smaller module was Digital Fashion Commerce for which we had to make an app prototype, accompanied by a written report, to be used in-store by the staff of any retailer. I chose to create an app for Topshop which provides staff members (especially personal shoppers) with details about consumers, allowing the shopping experience to be tailored to their individual needs. This was another of my favourite modules as it was fun, creative and really demonstrated how my InDesign and Photoshop skills have improved since first year.

Fashion Chain Management was the larger module from this semester and, no surprises here, focused on the fashion supply chain. For this, I had to develop a new luxury or lifestyle brand with an innovative retail concept and a supporting supply chain proposal and UK and international expansion plans. We began working in pairs to develop a presentation before going it alone to complete the written assignment. It doesn't sound the most interesting or glamorous but I now know so much more about the supply chain and methods of retailing which will undoubtedly help me so much upon graduating. Being totally honest, I did find this to be the most difficult module I've studied but everything seems impossible until you've completed it and I got there in the end despite some stressed moments. 

As well as traditional weekly lectures and seminars, we are also able to go on various trips to London on our course and have some amazing guest lecturers visit us and pass on their knowledge and expertise. This year some of our trips included seeing the Louis Vuitton exhibition, visiting a UK apparel manufacturer and researching concept stores in Shoreditch, all of which were very insightful.

Overall, I have loved my second year just as much or more than first year. You do get thrown right back into the swing of uni from day one with no messing but I consider this a good thing. There's only so much lounging around and reading Vogue one person can do, right? Of course, it becomes more intense than first year because it counts towards your final degree classification meaning you're expected to step up your game but I feel like this should be expected. I have noticed how my knowledge and skills have greatly developed over the past couple of years and my friendships have strengthened too. My bank balance perhaps didn't love it as much though, as I strongly believe in treating myself when feeling slightly under pressure - I will need to seriously up my self-control next year - but at least Zara and ASOS benefit from that...

It really has gone so fast and I've been warned that final year will go by even quicker, so I'm going to cling onto my uni days and enjoy them until graduation this time next year (eeeep). As for my summer plans, I'm hoping to get an internship to gain some first-hand experience of the fashion industry so follow me on social media for updates. If you have any questions about anything related to this post, be sure to drop me a message. 




2 comments

  1. Love this - looks like such an interesting topic to study! x

    www.stylepetal.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! It is very interesting if you're passionate about the topic x

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