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International Partner Award: Winner! H&M

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Written by
akerr
Published date
08 December 2014

We are pleased to announce that H&M is the winner of the International Partner category as part of LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards, which celebrates all the amazing work businesses and industry people have done with LCF students.

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H&M has been selected as the winner thanks to their ongoing enthusiasm for LCF students, whether its hiring them or working with them on projects. Despite their head office being based in Stockholm, Sweden, the brand has continually provided time and resources to the development of LCF talent within their business.

In addition H&M always promoted their design competitions to our students and have a presence whenever possible at the Careers Fair and all our other Careers talks and events.

LCF News caught up with two people from the company – someone from the top and someone new, to give you a feel of how a career at H&M could progress.

First up is third year student Lydia Watkins, BA Fashion Design and Development, currently on placement with H&M in Sweden…

I get up… around half 7, get ready and head to work.

To get to work… I take the tunnelbanna/subway to work and get in for 9. One ritual I have is planning what I’m going to wear the night before, so I can mindlessly get ready in the morning.

The first thing I do when I get in to work… is head straight for the coffee machine

What I’m working on… varies from day to day, sometimes I’m working on new styles, other days I might be updating styles with changes we’ve made from a fitting.

I have lunch… around 12, sometimes I bring my own lunch in but mostly I buy lunch from the H&M canteen as it’s so good, I usually eat and hang out with my friends.

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In the afternoon… sometimes we have a fitting where we fit new styles to our models, then after I will make alterations to the designs and art works and send them out to the pattern cutters. Or we might be working on new designs, or having meetings about collections we’re developing.

I finish work… around 6, and I usually have a quick browse around the shops then head home.

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In the evening… during the week I mostly cook dinner with my flatmate, sometimes we get take away sushi. If there’s a good band playing at Pet Sounds we’ll go see them.

The highlight of my day was… working on some shorts with a really beautiful embroidery design, that was really fun.

My advice for other students is… Really put yourself out there. It’s good to have confidence in yourself, send out your work to people, or ask for an interview. Work experience is very important because it’s a great learning experience for the student, and it’s also good for the company because then they can take on students after they have graduated.

I’ve loved… the whole experience. I’ve learnt so much and I feel like I have a greater understanding of how high street fashion works.

We also caught up with Ann-Sofie Johansson, Head of Design for New Development at H&M. Here is what an average day in her life is like…

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I get up… really early at 5.30. I have breakfast and read newspapers. Depending on what you have to do during the day it can be a fun, creative day or a challenging day – hopefully both.

I get to work… by tube. It takes about 10 minutes and I arrive at 7 – 7.15. I usually start with flipping through some magazines and read some blogs to feel up to date and have a cup of tea.

In the morning… depending on the day, I may have meetings, be answering mails, looking into the collections, do research for coming collections…

For lunch… since I´m so early at work I usually get hungry quite early so around 11.30 – 12.00 is a good time. We have a very good canteen here at H&M so either I have lunch here or I go out to a restaurant with colleagues.

In the afternoon… I don’t have a set schedule. It´s always really exciting to start a new collection with all the possibilities open.

I finish the day… usually leaving the office at 16.30-17.00, however if there is a work related event in the evening then I leave later. I walk home which is a good way of getting some exercise and clear the head.

In the evening my plans are… Meeting friends for dinner or just being home watching telly or reading.

When I’m at home I think about… Fashion, almost always fashion and the collections we are working on.

The highlight of the day was… Receiving great samples or seeing a beautifully made campaign.

My advice is… Be creative, be a nice person and let it take time.

It is important for companies to offer work experience to students because… In many ways it’s a reality check for the students which I think is good and it secures the future of fashion.

At H&M placement students can expect to learn… how a big company functions and the excitement of seeing your idea develop and end up in our stores. Also how important teamwork is and why having good people around you is crucial to the end result –  and of course to have fun at work!

We look forward to continuing this very positive international partnership in the years to come.

Also highly commended in this category were:

  • Urban Outfitters
  • Phillip Lim
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Alexander Wang.

A big congratulations to everyone!