Having been obsessed with Fashion since she was a little girl, Jessica spent her uni days racking up internships and real-life fashion experiences on location, in the studio, creative space and even the retail floor.
Refusing to be tied down to a single path, Jessica is still in her exploration mode when it comes to her career goals. After an extensive job hunt, in the final week of her degree, Jessica found the perfect role for her! One that allows her to be dynamic and “wear many hats” at once as an all-rounder.
With a strong awareness and outlook towards the future, Jessica aspires to be a part of an authentic, ethical and conscious company. As she’d love to see herself working at a company that’s rightfully an industry leader.
In a Q&A with the T.M. Edit, Jessica shared all about the amazing experiences and insights she got from her internships and her latest role as a Marketing Assistant in a small, women-led, sustainable business!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Jess and I'm a recent graduate from Holmes Institute. Fashion is a huge passion of mine and is something I've always been determined to pursue. I think my love for fashion started when I was a little girl. I was obsessed with Bratz and desperately wanted to live out my "passion for fashion." Fast forward to now, I'd say I'm on the path to achieving my dream career.
How did your role at Shampoo with a Purpose come about?
I had spent my last year of uni desperately trying to find paid work within the industry. I truly applied to well over 100 jobs, had several interviews and had been ghosted by several employers. I was honestly losing hope and I found this incredibly frustrating because I was confident in my resume. My degree had given precise knowledge and I had gained practical skills through internships at Marie Claire Magazine, Agency B&Co (PR), Sweaty Betty PR and Giorgio Armani.
However, during the final week of my degree, the stars aligned and my hard work finally paid off. I successfully landed my first role. I was stoked to be a Marketing Assistant at a hair and body care brand called Shampoo With A Purpose. They are a small female-led business that specialise in vegan, plastic-free and eco-sustainable products.
What is it like to work as a Marketing Assistant?
I think the most surprising thing I have learnt is how much a small team can get done. I always envisioned these huge busy offices. But once I started interning, and even at my current role, the teams have been small. Which leads me to what my role involves.
I spend most of my days creating magazine ads, planning Instagram posts, shooting and editing product photography, working with influencers, developing digital ads and graphic design tasks.
What are your favourite parts about the role?
I LOVE seeing the fruits of my work. It was an absolute 'pinch-me' moment when my first ad was published in a magazine. For the month of January, I had earned the business the most revenue from Instagram/Facebook ads ever before ($33,000). I also did an EDM which granted the business approximately $10,000 within 2 hours. And today a shipment arrived of product catalogues I developed, and they look incredible. It genuinely feels really good to contribute to a small family business.
Tell us about the experiences you get while studying!
Uni was usually 2-3 days a week, which meant we could find time to do internships. During my 3-year degree, I interned at Marie Claire Magazine, Agency B&Co, Sweaty Betty PR and Giorgio Magazine. Whilst these roles were unpaid, they were still incredibly valuable to me. They gave me industry insight and I learnt how to function within a creative office space. Another great experience was simply being on campus with friends. It was super fun to brainstorm and work on assignments together.
How did you land these internships?
I landed my internships in various ways. I got my first internship (at Marie Claire) with the help of Agency T.M. My second internship (Agency B&Co) was through word-of-mouth by a fellow peer Lauryn Sealey-Brown. My third internship (Sweaty Betty PR) was obtained by a cold email I sent out. And my last internship was another word-of-mouth scenario through fellow peer Laurielie Casal.
What were the most valuable learning moments during your study at Holmes Institute Fashion?
My most valuable learning moments occurred on campus. Whenever we got to work in the photo studio, play around with textiles/fabric or take a walk to QVB to check out the VM at luxury stores. It was great having a tangible sense of learning. We could actually put our knowledge into physical practice. Brainstorming and working alongside my peers was also incredibly beneficial.
What are your ultimate career goals?
I'm not currently tied down to one career path. Whilst I'm in my early 20s, I'd like to explore as many paths as possible. And my current role is perfect for that. I get to be a bit of an "all-rounder" at a small business. But for a general sense of direction I'd love to work in creative direction, PR or event management - something where I can be on my feet, working on sets/locations and be physically interactive. Regarding where I'd like to work, it's really important that I'm part of an authentic, ethical and conscious company.
Do you have any advice for anyone who aspires to study or work in Fashion Business?
Studying and working in fashion is something that a lot of people want. It's very competitive and you really have to put the work in. It's so much more than styling a pretty outfit or taking a cute Instagram pic. You need to have a thorough understanding of marketing and consumer behaviour. But if you find yourself loving the best of both worlds - creative and business, this degree and this career path is the perfect one for you. Even though it's not alway accessible to everyone, I encourage doing internships and networking. This industry has a lot of connections, and you have to do your best to get your foot in the door.