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Ian Heffernan, Fashion Graduate shares his journey

Ian spent a number of years working in retail, across a variety of departments from sales assistant right up to management level before deciding to commit to study a specialised course. Ian always knew that he wanted to stay in the fashion retail industry but had a desire to move into a behind the scenes role rather than shop floor. “Having been exposed to a lot of display and visual work in my job at the time I was very much interested in pursuing this as a career.”

Ian completed the fashion buying and merchandising course at Portobello Institute and “really enjoyed the course and in particular the ability to study part time really helped with my schedule which was a great help.”

Overall, Ian found the college experience to be great. “We were a very small class and so I felt like we got a great deal of attention from our tutors. This led to a great learning environment encouraging discussions about numerous key topics.”

“From helping me to find work experience while attending the college through to frequent discussions with the course director, the college support has been great.”

The course content was strong. “I think the course provides a good deal of information for anyone undecided about which direction they want to take their career. I really enjoyed both the Visual side and the Buying element of the course and I thought that the course gave me a good sense of what it would be like to work in these fields.”

“There were a lot of things we covered in the course which were of great benefit to me, especially during work experience. The skills learned in class allowed me to jump straight in and work alongside the team, confident that I could complete any tasks required”.

Ian completed the part time fashion buying and merchandising course and so work experience was not compulsory. However, an incredible opportunity arose for him through the college who offered him a great placement at Harvey Nichols for Ian “this is where I am now working.”

Ian says he would definitely recommend the course to anyone interested in pursuing this career. “I would highly recommend gaining work experience while on the course also as it is great to be able to put the theories thought in class into practice.”

Future plans for Ian are bright with an immediate view to continue to grow in his current role. “Long term I see myself moving abroad and looking for greater opportunities and to continue in the fashion industry.”

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