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Student placement: Nadya Araia at Hunkemöller

A series of small b&w model head and body shots on a wall
A series of small b&w model head and body shots on a wall

Written by
Kat Smith
Published date
29 April 2021

"My study exchange really lived up to my expectations", says Nadya Araia who is a BA Fashion Buying and Merchandising student at London College of Fashion. She spent 12 months on a buying internship at Hunkemöller in Hilversum, The Netherlands between August 2019 and August 2020.

At Hunkemöller, Nadya enjoyed an extensive internship programme with over 40 other interns. It included social activities, breakfast with the CEO and a career day. There was also Dragon’s Den-style event where interns could pitch how to improve the company. Nadya came 2nd in this:

"The idea was to start producing gift boxes in mushroom packaging so that they can be used as biodegradable plant boxes."

Getting industry experience

"I really believe it will give my CV an extra push when I apply for graduate positions. A lot of entry level jobs are requiring experience in industry – this gives us who took place in an advantage."

The most memorable part of Nadya’s internship was the fashion show and working backstage just before the start of the COVID-19 lockdown where she began working from home:

"Afterwards, I had this feeling of accomplishment. It was a great way to bond with the other interns and shortly after this day, in early March, we had to start working from home so this was a sort of goodbye before the quarantine."

A backstage long shot from a fashion show
The fashion show and working backstage.

Life outside of work

Nadya also made amazing memories outside of her internship while in The Netherlands.

"I made friends for life, got to experience Dutch culture, travel round the whole of The Netherlands and broadened my horizons. Going abroad was an experience of a lifetime. Spending a year in Amsterdam was wonderful - I loved everything about it."

A young black woman smiling with shopping bags
Nadya on her last day at Hunkemöller

Support for your placement

If you’re looking to go abroad on an international study exchange or placement, we will support you with all stages of the process, from the initial application to your return flight home.

"The support we received from UAL during the application process was really helpful as well as all the contact points and the visit when Sally, our tutor, came all the way to Holland!"

More information

To students considering taking a part of the placement year, DO IT! You learn so much that you can’t get behind a school desk. You learn about workplace behaviour and professionalism, make friends, gain experience, and get to then return to university with a wealth of knowledge that will benefit you for final year. My year in Amsterdam was the best of my life.

— Nadya Araia