Tell us a bit about yourself Jade.
Hello! I graduated this year from LCF with a first class degree in BA (Hons) Fashion, Media, Culture and Communication Part Time. I was the youngest member of my class and found learning with such a variety of ages and characters one of the most exciting, scary and amazing experiences of my life. The wealth of knowledge of my classmates and tutors from within the industry, made for a great dynamic throughout my time at LCF.
Were you working prior to coming to LCF and what was it that made you want to start studying? Was it a change of direction for you?
Prior to studying at LCF, I had taken a year out after my A Levels, to travel. Before I left for my year away I had accepted a place at Winchester University to study a drama degree, but after some serious thinking I took a drastic change of direction and accepted a place at LCF the day before I was meant to leave for Winchester. There were a few reasons for changing my mind, but mainly because of the unique variety within the course. I felt that this would help me to decide which particular area I would like to specialise in and the reputation of the University is fantastic.
What made you choose this course?
It was really by chance that I chose part-time, although I don't really consider part-time and full-time very different from each other, other than the obvious difference in the hours of contact time. I think the workload, teaching and support is very much the same.
How did you find the course in terms of fitting in with your life? For example, were you working full time whilst studying?
As I started at LCF after a gap year, my study and life balance was extremely easy to start with. During my first term I started an Assistant Buyer job with an independent boutique and it really wasn't a problem to fit both in. The main issue with studying part-time for me was travelling into London, as I decided to live at home whilst studying. It took me around an hour to get into London but all of my tutors were aware of this and were hugely supportive. So, other than being frustrated with the tube and train delays, the balance between work and study was a relatively easy transition to make.
How does LCF help part time students?
There are so many things that LCF does to help part-time students, possibly too many to list! The main areas that I found hugely helpful throughout my four years were the library hours, study support, the constant availability of the various tutors (in person, on the phone or via e-mail) and the extra activities such as exhibition visits, to supplement the module, that we are working on at the time.
Could you describe a couple of the projects you worked on during your degree?
The course was so vast that I worked on many projects throughout my four years of study. I really enjoyed my final year and specifically the projects that I worked on for my dissertation. I chose to do a 100% theory independent project, which meant that my dissertation didn't have any practical elements. My dissertation title was "The televised female fashion body: examining the interaction and response of eight-year-old girls through the use of oral testimony and analysis", using Wonder Woman as the female fashioned body. I combined my own independent research and interviews with current theoretic and topical debates.
However, I felt that to back-up my research it was important to include some kind of visual, and so I produced a short film of the girls that I interviewed. The film was amusing and light, showing the emotion, tone and gestures of the girls that would have otherwise been lost through translation and scripts of the interviews.
What have you been doing since you graduated and what are your aspirations for the future? Has your degree helped you?
Since I graduated I have continued to work as an assistant buyer for a small independent boutique in Berkshire. 2009 has been a relatively tough year to graduate, as there is a huge lack of jobs on offer. However, there are a few options that I'm considering as a future career and my degree has certainly helped me to make these decisions. Whilst I'm still hugely passionate about the fashion industry, this degree has helped me to discover that my strengths lie within researching. I would very much like to follow this path further and am looking into an MA in research methodology.
What tips would you give to students wishing to study part time at LCF?
You have to be totally committed to part-time study. Many people see part-time as an easy version of the full-time courses. But the reality is very different. Studying in the evening and at weekends whist working and (trying) to have some kind of life is a lot more difficult than it seems. You have to be really on top of the work load, which gets a lot harder during the final year. It also helps to have an understanding boss! Other than that though, my advice would be to do it and enjoy the entire process.