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My experience of working in Branding and Marketing at Boden

Meet Amy Paske. Amy is currently in her final year of study on BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion. Like most students, Amy decided to get some real-life work experience during her studies and managed to get a placement at British clothing retailer Boden focusing on their branding and marketing. We caught up with Amy to find out more about her experience, what it was like, and what she learned on the job.

BA Fashion Communication and Promotion student Amy Paske, wearing a black jacket, standing on a metal bridge surrounded by greenery

How did you get your placement?

If I’m honest it all started with a mid summer panic when I realised I was near the end of my university experience and I had no real, helpful work experience.

Sure, I’d done a few weeks in the past in a graphics department, but my interests had changed immensely since then so I decided I should probably do something about it.

I didn’t go the usual route of applying for placement, instead I was the one to reach out first. I got the placement via a long list of emails, first to a mutual contact, then a receptionist and eventually to the branding director. Luckily Boden were enthused by my cover letter.

What did your role involve? What sort of projects did you get to work on?

I had several roles over the duration of the placement, mainly within the Art and Branding departments. When discussing my placement with the branding director I mentioned a few interests of mine, and the kind of job skills I wanted to learn.

She was extremely helpful in co-ordinating a variety of roles for me to undertake (none of which included making coffee or organising rejected cupboards of long lost files).

I worked as a branding assistant, compiling brand competitor reports and market trend research.

I worked as a catalogue production assistant, re-touching catalogue images, and as a shoot production assistant, working on a womenswear location shoot and finally as a social media assistant, updating the brands UK and US website content.

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Student work: Amy Paske

Was the experience at Boden what you expected? Did anything surprise you?

It was a total surprise. I had no idea they would be so welcoming, so accommodating and so enthusiastic to take time out their day to talk to me, mentor me and to give me real, useful jobs to do.

I had my own email, laptop and desk. I know that sounds like that should be the norm, but many fashion internships and placements aren’t always as inclusive, accommodating or open to giving young talent experience/opportunity.

What was the most challenging thing about the placement?

If truth be told, the placement itself wasn’t immensely challenging, I understood a lot of what was going on and everyone around was happy to help. If anything the most challenging thing was the commute; 6am starts with grumpy train commuters are not my thing.

“Having actual [work] experience has taught me a lot of different things, like identifying the skills I have and the ones I need to improve on to get me to where I want to be”

What did you enjoy the most about working at Boden?

How insightful the whole experience was. I never considered a brand like Boden before, probably because it’s not my style of brand, but their full internship program is highly successful, many of those who apply end up getting really good job positions. However I do think it could have been a totally different story if I wasn’t as engaged as I was. I’ve learnt that a work placement in a good company is definitely shaped by you and how you apply yourself.

Has this experience helped you figure out where you want to forge a career in industry? What is your dream role post-uni?

I already had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted to do in the future, (classic aspirational art student) but having actual experience has taught me a lot of different things, like identifying the skills I have and the ones I need to improve on to get me to where I want to be.

My dream role would definitely be within the realm of creative branding and content creation. I know I have a lot more to learn, but I’d love to work in house at a contemporary/luxury brand directing campaigns and creating artist content for the label (Raf Simons or Jil Sander – please call me).

You can take a look at Amy’s work by following her on Instagram @amyrebeccapaske

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