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How this student secured a once in a lifetime placement at Ralph Lauren

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Northampton University Fashion Marketing student Alice Daish, has seen out all the competition to secure a highly coveted placement at luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren. 

The brand offers just one placement a year, Alice was up against hundreds of students for the year-long placement at Ralph Lauren's Watford head office. 

We caught up with Alice to find out all about it...

Alice came across the highly sought-after placement after casually browsing through LinkedIn, she spotted the job and applied right away. “After applying on LinkedIn the process was quite quick. I had to answer a few questions and upload my CV on LinkedIn and only a week or so after applying I received a response.”

The interview process was tough, and Alice had to go through a handful of stages before she was offered the job. “They wanted me to do an online interview which I had never done before, so I got some advice from tutors and career support or at our university the change maker hub. It was five questions and was a bit like a Skype interview but with none on the end! They were obscure questions but having prepped some answers it wasn't too bad. After that it was a day assessment centre at their office, which consisted of a group task, interview and maths test. I really enjoyed this part, meeting the other candidates and getting to know the team.”

Fashion Merchandising wasn’t always in Alice’s career plan; “I never really planned to go into fashion, I didn't know, like everyone, what I wanted to do.”

Studying business at college helped Alice to decide what she wanted to study at university, “I studied business at college and when I finished I felt like I had learnt enough about just business and wanted to specialise into a business topic. When this course came up, I knew straight away it was for me." 

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She wanted to work in the business side fashion but was unsure of what path to take; “After learning about different careers paths available from industry guest speakers, lectures, and career hub, I knew I wanted to go into merchandising. I love maths but am still very creative, so merchandising was a nice fit.”

Alice has plenty of great advice for students hoping to land a prestigious placement, “Keep trying and never give up, but at the same time only apply for the ones you truly want. I applied for quite a few but not as much as people I had spoken to, some had applied for over 100! I think I only applied for about 15. If you are passionate about the role, it will show and they will pick up on that. I didn't think I did too well in the first stage but from the feedback, it was my passion that shone through.”

If you’re thinking of studying Fashion Marketing at uni or are unsure of what avenue to go into, Alice wholeheartedly recommends Northampton “I would definitely recommend my course to any wanting to study fashion marketing. It has the right balance of fashion knowledge which is backed up with marketing theories.

"The lectures have been in the industry themselves so have real-world knowledge and are very supportive of you. The modules study relate to one another, so it isn't like learning about just marketing or just fashion, it blends nicely. There is also a great trip to New York and a fashion marketing society!”

As of right now, Alice has started her placement at Ralph Lauren and will remain there for a whole year, but what are her plans for the future? “ I am going into this placement with an open mind to see if it is the right career for me and I couldn't be happier to have such a wonderful experience doing it at Ralph Lauren"

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