I attended the recruitment and placement fair at NTU this autumn as I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to meet future employers. The fair gave brands the chance to promote their recruitment opportunities and allowed me to build brand awareness and to start the networking process.
Even though I am at University, I am still very much unsure as to what profession I would ideally like to end up doing. I am not going to lie, this scares me slightly. However, the fair did open my eyes to all of the possibilities out there. Opportunities include Ethical Trade roles, Global Trading, Editorial, Social Media, Buying, Trade and Digital Marketing as well as Creative schemes. There are so so many more; these were just the ones that caught my eye the most.
The stands that I found the most friendly and helpful were the Boots and Next stands. The lady called Lizzie that I was speaking to on the Next stand was particularly lovely and she was talking to me about how supportive the company are at developing young talent. She is a trainee Merchandiser at Next and this role definitely appealed to me. I have heard of visual merchandising before, but I have always been unsure what merchandising was.
Lizzie did a degree in economics and fashion and loves combining these skills every day to analyse sales and help create bestselling ranges. I feel that I would love a role like this as I have a love for fashion and homewares and during A Level Maths and Business I hope that I developed the beginning of a talent for analysis. Merchandisers work at the heart of commercial challenges and the creative excitement, helping to bring our latest looks to the highstreets. It’s about making sure the right products are in the right place, at the right time and at the right price.
Although the role is primarily numerical and analytic, the role still gets involved with the product. I will definitely be trying to get a graduate scheme place at Next in a couple of years’ time; I think that I would love working in such a creative environment like Next.
On the same day, I also attended a talk by ASOS who shared their placement and graduate opportunities and also gave some hints and tips when applying.
ASOS’s main aim is to be the number one fashion destination for 20-something customers. They attempt to be the first to market, be fast-moving and therefore stay exiting. I was surprised when they said that they sell over 85,000 branded and own-label products. However, I now realise that they are able to do this because they are not confined to shop floor space, they sell what they can fit in their warehouses. Newness is key; they are constantly getting new items in. This is evident since there most clicked part of their website is the ‘new-in’ page. They buy them in set quantities and once they are gone, they are got, which makes space for another garment to be added.
They attracted 146 million visits during June 2017 and as of 30 June 2017, it had 15 million active customers. I was also shocked when they said that 80,000 pieces of content are produced each month for their social platforms and website. They only use organic methods of marketing: using social media to contract and interact with consumers. The brand seems to be very innovation and forever pushing boundaries and breaking barriers in attempt to be the market leader round the world. Their main word of advice when applying to any of their roles is to show your passion, your drive, tell them what you love, where you get your inspiration from and even share your ideas.
Although I am a couple of years off apply for graduate schemes and jobs, I feel that it was still useful to see what options are out there and to get me thinking about what I would really like to do. This may all change as I progress through my course; there might be another area which I love!