Giedre Baliutaviciute is an international student from Lithuania, currently studying a MA in Fashion Retail Management at London College of Fashion
Could you introduce yourself and what you are studying?
Hello! I am Giedre and I am 27 year old girl originally from Lithuania. I am studying a Masters in Fashion Retail Management at LCF. Currently, the majority of my time is dedicated to writing my dissertation about Corporate Social Responsibility from fashion retailer's perspective and its effects on male consumers' buying behaviour.
What was your job before?
Before arriving to London to study this Masters program, I worked within the automotive industry in Gothenburg, Sweden. At both Volvo Cars and Volvo Trucks I worked in a quite technical and masculine environments such as warehouse and manufacture of vehicles. Some of my work tasks were monitoring stocks and continuously optimising warehouse space; managing orders and daily work in terms of people and resources in order to meet deadlines under high pressure.
Why did you choose to study at postgraduate level, and why LCF?
I knew that the automotive industry was not to become my future. Since I was a little girl, I was very interested in clothing and aesthetics. My grandmother is a tailor so I grew up seeing how pieces of cloth were turned into wonderful garments. Having a Bachelor degree in International Business Management it felt natural and exciting to continue studies in business, only this time with the focus on fashion. Choosing to go back to academia was not a simple decision, I needed to make sure I chose the best school offering the highest quality of studies. I found London College of Fashion; it had great references and a very tempting course in Fashion Retail Management. I applied only to this one course and was lucky enough to secure a place.
How did you get your internship at Diesel?
The internship at Diesel, which was in Retail Operations and lasted for 6 months was a great exposure to the actual fashion business side. I found out about this internship through my course leader Bethan Alexander, who sent an email about this opportunity to my course. After an application and interview I was happy to start interning there.
How did LCF Careers help?
LCF Careers post many different internship opportunities as well. It is a great resource for this. In the very beginning of the course, I spoke with Postgraduate Industry and Employability Coordinator Frances Odell about my career plans and the insecurities that I had. She was great in helping me to edit my CV, giving some advice and helping me to see that my non-fashion background was not a disadvantage, but the opposite- something that made me different.
What other extra curricular opportunities have you had at LCF?
One of the memorable extra activities that I was involved in was helping to host and manage the Fashion and the Senses Symposium at London College of Fashion, which was organised by professors Bethan Alexander and Sara Chong Kwan. Also, as my Collaborative Unit I took part in a project with luxury brand group Kering. Later, I did extra work at the university with a summer Short Course and was employed via UAL's temping agency ArtTemps.
What do you think is different about postgraduate study compared to undergraduate?
The undergraduate and postgraduate studies differ quite significantly. The latter requires a lot of individual engagement while studying but it also offers highly qualified teaching from the industry professionals. Postgraduate study requires you to be more focused and motivated to learn.
What are your ambitions for the future?
After completing this Masters I would like to work at an international company with business development and internationalisation. Understanding that the industry is highly competitive, I am ready to work hard and start at an entry level position and work my way up. I believe that with this knowledge, experience and having met some great people from the industry will be a good foundation to start reaching my goal.