Casey Baker

After finishing my Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, at Central Saint Martins, I started working as a Visual Merchandising Assistant at Gap. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I felt something was missing and decided that I really wanted to study for a degree.

I was considering a full-time course, because I didn't know part time was an option, but of course the part-time option meant that I could continue working at Gap while I was studying. BA (Hons) Fashion Media (Part time) appealed to me because it combined theory with practical work. I specialised in visual communication during my Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and there was a strong element of this in the degree.

The great thing about working and studying at the same time, is that you can get industry experience, which can come in useful on your course and vice versa. During the degree, I progressed from an Assistant role at Gap to Visual Merchandising Manager.

Since then, I've been studying at LCF and have noticed the support improve, for part- time students. Student Services and other facilities, are open late in the evenings and on Saturdays and there are technicians and security staff available outside normal working hours.

Studying part time can be tricky in terms of fitting it in with your life and I found this especially hard once I held a managerial position. I work at Gap's flagship store so it can get very busy and sometimes I have to work evenings. As a result, I stopped working during my final year so I could just concentrate on my degree. I've gone back to Gap to work full time though now. My advice for anyone thinking of studying part time would be to really try and manage your time so that you can still have a life and relax with your friends.

The great thing about BA (Hons) Fashion Media (Part Time) is that it's quite flexible so you can tailor it to focus on your area of interest. I've realised that fashion photography is what I really want to go into, so I've concentrated on this in my degree and have now applied to the MA Fashion Photography [URL] at LCF. I feel like I have so much free time now that I've finished my degree, so I'm using this to build up my photography portfolio and contacts.