Aimee Howes, Graduated 2013, L3 Fashion Retail and L4 Buying, works at M&S.
"Choosing the Fashion Retail Academy was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The work placement opportunities were a key highlight for me, as this was invaluable knowledge that you could not learn in a classroom, and set me up for a career in retail. There is nothing I would change about my time at the Fashion Retail Academy, only that I wish I could have stayed longer!"
Annabella Sharpe, Graduated 2015.
"The FRA has offered me opportunities to expand my knowledge of the fashion industry. It allowed me to gain advice from some of the best. Not only was I able to attend a master class from Richard Storer - the Global head of PR at Topshop; but I was then given the opportunity to apply for one of the most incredible first jobs doing an internship at Arcadia. With the help of my lecturers who had all the industry experience and exposure, alongside some determination, it just went to show that I could achieve something in which I never would have dreamed possible without the help and support of FRA. My advice for future students is to definitely grasp all the experiences the college has to offer and you always get out what you put in. Work hard, get job placements onto your CV and you can be on the road to an unimaginable career."
Arrdena Taylor-Cassell, Graduated 2015, studying Fashion Business & Promotion at Birmingham City University.
"The FRA has helped transform me from a High School student to a forthcoming University student. The teachers and the college have given me the knowledge, skills and work experience needed to progress to a higher level. I have matured throughout my 2 years at the FRA and gained more self confidence in my abilities and for that I am very grateful."
Callie Walters, Graduated 2015, works at Topshop.
"The FRA introduced me to a range of exciting opportunities such as work placements, industry projects and competitions linked to high-profile retailers throughout the year. This challenged me to think professionally and offered the chance to work with the companies I aspire to."
Chloe Blake, Graduated 2010, L2 and L3 Fashion Retail, works at Henry Fox Recruitment.
"The FRA was the best time of my life; I met my three best friends there. For my current role, they specifically wanted to recruit someone who had been to the Fashion Retail Academy and I was recommended by my friend. I would come back straight away and it it all again."
Ciara Healy, Graduated 2015, works at Primark.
"I was a Level 4 Fashion Retail student who graduated in June 2015. I am now currently working as a Supervisor in Primark and love my job! I have high career expectations within Primark and within the Fashion Retail industry. The Academy gave me so much experience and invaluable knowledge to get me the job I am in today. What is learnt within the academy can help you when looking for a job or are in current employment, and vice versa as they work in complete sync with each other."
Courtney Spellacy, Graduated 2013, L4 Fashion Merchandising, works at M&S.
"Whilst studying at the Academy I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a number of industry experts through which prepared me for what life in merchandising would really be like. With the help of the Academy's careers fair, I was able to achieve my goal and secure my first job within the lingerie allocation team at M&S."
Delal Akdag, Graduated 2015, works at Arcadia.
"The lectures and independent researches enabled me to understand how the brands operate, compete and stay afloat in the ever-changing market and that the need for effective merchandising is crucial to companies’ success. The practise the FRA provided me with, such as retail calculations, formulas set up on Excel and Oracle are invaluable. I now work in Arcadia and practise all the skills that I acquired at the FRA.''
Ella Taylor, Level 4 Visual Merchandising.
"I thought the course was brilliant. It was challenging and fast paced, but always exciting. There was never a moment I wasn't pushing myself or learning new things, and the opportunities given were more than I would have expected. Working on a multitude of different projects, with a mix of practical work and digital, has extended my portfolio and opened up so many more future opportunities in terms of a career.
Currently, I've just finished a work placement at Selfridges working within the visual display team and I'm about to start a three month fixed contract at Mothercare, working as a buyers assistant."
Frankie Farmer, Graduated 2011, L3 Fashion Retail & L4 Buying works at Office.
"The tutors are amazing because they are industry experts. I had work placements at Austin Reed, Tesco and Topman. If you don't have work experience on a CV, it's really hard to get a job, so that's where the FRA really helps. I love my job, I love footwear - so I'm living the dream."
Hannah Leaning, Graduated 2014, L4 Buying, works at Next.
"The Fashion Retail Academy provided me with so many opportunities. From the master classes to the work placements, by the time I graduated in 2014, I felt prepared for working in the fashion industry. Following a placement at Next, I was offered a job as a Trainee Lingerie and Hosiery Buyer."
Harriet Louise Moth
Harriet Louise Moth, Graduated 2015, L3 Graphic Design, works at Ursalondon.com as a Digital Marketing Executive.
"I spent two years at the FRA studying Graphic Design for Fashion which incorporated many digital elements. I learnt how to design, develop and build a website, how to use photoshop to edit photographs, layout and typography, and how to create a digital ad campaign. My job involves managing all of the social media platforms for Ursa and creating engaging content which was another key area of the course. I loved it so much I couldn’t bring myself to leave and am now studying L4 Fashion Retail!"
Holly Meloy, Graduated 2014, L3 Fashion Retail & L4 Buying, works at Next.
"The Level 3 course really confirmed for me that I wanted to go into buying, and Level 4 taught me all I needed to know to begin my career and gave me so many opportunities. I took part in the Next competition and from this was given a work placement, which led to my job here as a Trainee Buyer. I was lucky enough to received 4 job offers and the Student Ambassador award when I graduated."
Joe Taylor, Graduated 2010, L4 Visual Merchandising, works at Vision On.
"I loved it at the FRA. It was the most amazing year - the best year of my life! I won Outstanding Student of the Year, and someone from New Look was in the audience and offered me a job there and then. I loved the course - if I could come back tomorrow, I would."
Thom Scherdel, Graduated 2006, L3 Fashion Retail, works at The Idle Man.
"The FRA was totally and utterly life changing. Without the tutors and experience that I had there, my life would not be the same. They spotted skills in me that I didn't even know I had - and they nurtured and supported me in my career choices. It changed my life and I hope it continues to change the lives of others."
Liam Price, Graduated 2007, L3 Fashion Retail, works as the Digital Marketing Manager at Warehouse.
"The Fashion Retail Academy was an amazing experience. The work placement was so valuable and gave me the opportunity to learn the skills required in a real environment. It has opened so many doors for me."
Jade Azhar, Graduated 2010, works at Burberry as a Visual Merchandiser.
“I was fortunate enough to be employed by Burberry, whom I’d completed work experience with as part of my course. I began as a VM assistant and quickly thereafter was promoted to Visual Merchandiser based in the UK and working in Europe when necessary. I now look after Beauty VM in the UK and my most recent progression with Burberry sees me taking my expertise to the Middle East to oversee an area there."
Jessica Sporle, Graduated 2014, L4 Garment Technology, works at Wallis.
"I have the FRA to thank for where I am with Wallis. I won the Outstanding Student of the Year award and after doing my work experience at Wallis, they invited me back after I graduated. The whole experience has worked out so well."
Katherine Hyde, Graduated 2014, works at House of Fraser.
"The FRA has helped me by providing me with exciting opportunities such as meeting some of the key people within fashion retail, work placements and participating in industry projects. These experiences have allowed me to begin my career and have enabled me to work with companies that I love. "
Leah Pask, Graduated 2015, works at Arcadia.
"Without FRA I wouldn't be where I am now. Before starting in September 2014 I didn't know which career route I wanted to take. The Fashion Retail Academy opened my eyes to career paths that I had never even thought of before and allowed me to be prepared to go in which ever direction I wanted within the retail world. Without all of the theory I gained through lectures with knowledgable lecturers, as well as the work experience I was offered there I wouldn't be in my dream job role at Arcadia, fulfilling my dream in the world of fashion which I have completely fallen in love with."
Natasha Gledhill, Graduated 2015.
"I previously worked in accountancy but found it too restricting. I quit in September and travelled for two months, then found the course online and moved to Huddersfield within a week to start it. I am really enjoying such a change and hoping it'll lead to a VM role. I like the fact the course is tailored towards employment. Other VM courses I have looked at are out of reach without arts qualifications but this course offered me exactly what I want."
Nicole Shears, Graduated 2015, works at ASOS.
"The FRA introduced me to a range of exciting opportunities such as work placements, industry projects and competitions linked to high-profile retailers throughout the year. This challenged me to think professionally and offered the chance to work with the companies I aspire to work for."
Rosalind Shimmen, Graduated 2010, L2 & L3 Fashion Retail & L4 Buying.
"My time at the Fashion Retail Academy was extremely beneficial and I can't thank the school and my teachers enough. I learnt so much within my 3 years spent at the school. The teachers were from the industry so their knowledge was from personal experience and the students were sat in class for a reason, they had the same love and passion as me. It's been 5 years since I left FRA, since then I have worked in Fashion Buying for the Arcadia Group, became the Editor of MTV Verge Magazine and just recently launched my own boutique PR Agency, Rosalind Shimmen PR."
Sam Browne, Graduated 2014, Enspire Programme, works at F&F.
"The FRA provides an excellent environment for learning through its great facilities and wealth of knowledgeable tutors, it has a real sense of community as everyone there has a strong passion for the fashion industry. Being a part of the Enspire programme working for F&F and studying in partnership with the FRA meant that the course itself allowed me to gain huge amounts of knowledge on both buying and merchandising functions."
Tiffany Stanton, Graduated 2014, works at Harrods.
"By covering different modules and gaining work experience, I was able to pursue my career as a senior online administrator at River Island. I have since been offered another job and am off to work at Harrods to help develop their on-line marketing.”
Tzara Plummer, works at M&S as a Visual Merchandiser.
"After graduating from The FRA I received the Visual Merchandising Student of the year award and went on to work for M&S, I was soon recognised for my level of work and was promoted to a larger store to manage the team there. None of this would have been possible without The Fashion Retail Academy and staff."
Morgan Griffiths, Graduated 2010, L2 & L3 Fashion Retail.
"I look back fondly on my time at the Academy where I learnt invaluable skills and tricks of the trade. Meeting influential industry leaders led me into a career I had only dreamt of and also led me to make some amazing lifelong friends. I left the Academy in 2010 and have since worked in Press and Marketing for Arcadia, BHS and River Island. I then decided to spend some time travelling across the world and living in Canada and Australia. I now work for kikki.k a Swedish stationery and homewares company based in Melbourne. They are launched in London last year and I now working in the Retail Operations team to spread the brand across Europe."
Kate Kamsa, Graduated 2015, L3 Fashion Design.
"My time at the Fashion Retail Academy taught me so much, I gained confidence in my work and myself. I have continued to work on my personal style in fashion. The FRA gave me best friends of life as well as good industry contacts. The teachers are so experienced and have opened to me the world of fashion."