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Why I chose to study Fashion Marketing and Business in Norwich

Before pursuing Fashion, Charlie studied Textiles, Business, and English — and wanted to study a mixture of these at University.

In this interview, Charlie talks to us about why she picked BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing and Business (FMB), the projects she’s worked on so far, and shares advice for new applicants unsure what to pick.

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Tell us a bit about yourself — what were you studying prior to university?

I studied Textiles, Business, and English Language at A Level. Ultimately, I wanted to find a course that let me combine all those skills instead of picking one.

Textiles was arguably my favourite of the three (depending on the day, it was a stressful A Level!), so I did originally look into a textiles/fashion course. However, I felt like I’d be wasting all the effort I’d put into business. Whilst I’ve always loved fashion, I’ve never been much of a drawer and knew I’d struggle illustrating my ideas.

So for me, discovering BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing and Business was a godsend. It meant I could combine my two core subjects (and put my writing skills to use) into one course. I can assure you I’m very happy I did!

What made you choose Norwich?

I made sure to visit several Universities before coming to the Norwich Open Day. The vibe here really drew me in. The sense of creativity everywhere was incredible. I thought it was so cool that the courses are split between different buildings across Norwich, instead of being isolated on a dedicated campus. It makes me feel way more connected to the city as we’re literally right in it!

Also, having lived in Suffolk for my entire life, I knew I wanted to stay relatively close to home. Norwich is actually commutable for me, so I study at home, but still visit my friends in their accommodation.

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How did you choose between FMB and BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion (FCP)?

What’s great about the two courses is that you share a joint first year, and you get to try out projects relating to each specialism. This was perfect as it gave me an introduction to almost all of the fashion industry — photography, styling, editing, trend reports, mock-ups.

However, I wanted to go more in-depth to understand what’s behind a business and how I could potentially run my own, so FMB was better suited to me.

Since specialising, what sort of projects have you been working on?

Throughout second year, we’ve worked on Retail and Visual Merchandising, Fashion Buying, International Fashion Marketing, and a collaboration with BA (Hons) Interior Design on a live project with Blakeley Clothing.

I pitched my own product range for Carhartt WIP which included designing the stores and the products, while simultaneously doing the market research to backup my ideas.

What skills have you gained since being here?

Adobe Creative Cloud has become one of my biggest strengths since starting this course. I came to uni having never used it, but have grown to love Photoshop and InDesign.

I definitely felt so overwhelmed with all the programs at the start of first year. Most of my peers came from creative colleges and had used the software before, but I quickly got up to speed and literally use them everyday now.

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Who’s been your favourite guest lecturer this year?

All of our lectures have been insightful. However, Vanessa Belleau’s talk on making space for yourself in the industry and having confidence in your own work was a breath of fresh air. It gave me the motivation and positivity I needed to reach my deadline.

At the moment, what career path are you hoping to pursue after graduating?

This question has always made me panic, and in all honesty my best answer would be I’m not sure.

I definitely have ideas and have recently felt drawn to graphic design. At the moment I’m exploring the industry, myself and my goals — all of which has been heavily supported by the course.

I think heading into Year 3 I’ll have more of an idea of where I’m going once I leave — I’m enjoying the process right now and that’s okay! 

What would you say to someone who’s stuck between choosing FCP and FMB?

I’d say if you’re stuck between FCP and FMB then think about whether you’d thrive more in producing creative assets (photoshoots, styling, etc) or creating written reports.

FMB does include more written analysis and research as expected in a marketing degree. We still do photoshoots and digital assets, but we’re marked more on the ideas behind the designs than the designs themselves!

If you’re really not sure then take advantage of the joint first year and don’t be afraid to switch courses at the end! We had people reshuffle at the end of our first year and no-one regrets it, do what’s best for you and what you enjoy.

Looking for more? See a week in the life of a Fashion Marketing and Business student

Explore BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing and Business