Royal Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex visits Lime Grove

LCF’s Royal Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex visited our Lime Grove campus last week and spent time meeting staff and students from across a range of courses. The visit was part of her 3-year patronage of the college and aimed to introduce The Countess to varied creative work produced here at LCF.

The Countess was welcomed to Lime Grove by Calum McKenzie, Dean of the School of Media & Communications and Professor Hilary Grainger, Dean of Quality Assurance and Academic Development. The tour began in Block D with a visit to a BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Knit workshop where third year students were working on their Final Major Projects. The Countess took time to speak to each student, asking them about their work and discussing both the machinery and hand knit techniques.  The Countess, who is an accomplished seamstress, then showed some of her own creative skills, during the visit to the year 3 embroidery workshop, where she was set a task by BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery tutor Andy Kenny. The Countess explained to the students that she had a lot of experience using sewing machines but still quipped ‘Where’s the nearest A&E?’ when warned by Andy to keep her fingers safe from the needle.

The next stage in the visit saw The Countess meet 1st year BA (Hons) Costume for Performance students. The students, who are all in their first term at LCF, were creating corsets and The Countess took a great interest asking each student about their pieces.  The visit then continued to a 1st year Intro to 3D Make Up class with BA (Hons) Hair, Make-up & Prosthetics for Performance where students were focussing on character realisation by producing a character based on their study of the play Ikuta by Zembo Motoyaso. As can be seen from the picture above The Countess took great delight in hearing the students, who were working in pairs, discuss their inspirations and techniques. The final stop in Block D was a visit to the Intro to 3D workshop where BA (Hons) 3D Effects for Performance & Fashion students were creating latex model heads and then painting and flocking their creations.

The group then moved on to Pigeons & Peacocks Lab in the main block. The Countess was met by BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration course leader Sue Dray and two 3rd year students Amy Gwynn and Rochelle Dwyer who presented her with their unique illustrations.

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HRH The Countess of Wessex meets with BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration course leader Sue Dray and 3rd Year students Amy Gwynn and Rochelle Dyer.

The tour concluded with Lime Grove site administrator Chris Tookey presenting Her Royal Highness with the latest issue of Pigeons & Peacocks and a jar of LCF’s Organic Fashion Honey, harvested from the Lime Grove bees.  Upon being presented with the honey The Countess said ‘Oh great, we are a honey household. It’s lovely to have the College’s honey because bees are always so fashionable, wearing black and yellow.’

HRH The Countess of Wessex is presented with LCF's Organic Fashion Honey during her Lime Grove visit

HRH The Countess of Wessex is presented with LCF’s Organic Fashion Honey during her Lime Grove visit

The visit was a resounding success with staff and students being wowed by The Countess’ warmth and the genuine interest she took in all of the College’s activities.

HRH The Countess of Wessex was appointed Royal Patron of LCF in March 2013.  During the patronage The Countess will support all aspects of LCF life including championing the College’s commitment to Better Lives where fashion is used to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve well-being. The Lime Grove visit was the second time The Countess had visited LCF and she intends to visit each of the college’s six campuses during her patronage in order to understand and support the vast range of courses and talent at LCF.

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Images: Hanna Puskarz, BA (Hons) Fashion Photography

Industry Partner Awards: Project Collaboration – Winner! PVH Corporation

We are pleased to announce that PVH (the corporation behind major brand names such as Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein) are the next winners of our ongoing LCF Careers Industry Partner Awardspicking up the Project Collaboration Award for their amazing work with LCF and our students.

PVH Corp have supported BA Fashion Cordwainers Fashion Bags & Accessories and Footwear courses over the last three years by delivering student sponsored project briefs to these groups. The creative projects are based on the Tommy Hilfiger brand and have allowed the design cohort to work with a leading industry partner to develop their commercial skill set, whilst positioning themselves for placement and graduate opportunities at the company’s head office in Amsterdam. The team at PVH have been amazing to work with and offer so much insight and guidance to the next generation of LCF Talent and we continue to work with them on exciting new initiatives.

LCF News got in touch with PVH Intern & Graduate Recruiter Kristina Bolling to find out what her average day to day looks like working with many talented graduates and student interns. She also offers some great advice for future students who are looking to work in fashion retail head office based roles. Many congratulations again to Kristina and the PVH team.

I get up… around 7am. I think about the day ahead during my mornings like: what I need to do during the day, things I have to remember, tasks I didn’t complete the day before etc. Every morning my partner and I sit down and have breakfast together, talk and just take the time to be together. This has become a priority for us as our work days are quite long and we don’t see each other that much during the weekdays – so it means a lot for us to spend time together during the morning.

I biked to work today, like I do every day. Even though I only have a 5 minutes bike ride it is a nice way for me to get some air and wake up properly. I also think being from Copenhagen (THE  biking city) it is the most natural form of transport to me. Plus I hate waiting for the bus/tram/train, I am way too impatient. So my morning bike ride is my ritual.

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Student styles Second Hand First

This month, as part of TRAID’s Second-hand First week, LCF students were invited to come together for a clothes swap at our JPS and Lime Grove sites, encouraging students to be more sustainable when it comes to their clothing.

Image: Nelly Rock

Image: Nelly Rock

Students were also encouraged to take TRAID’s #secondhandfirst pledge and commit to sourcing a percentage of their wardrobe second-hand rather than buying.

Involved with helping people style the swapped clothes at TRAID’s events was BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Print student, Nelly Rock.

LCF News caught up with her to hear all about the event and how she thinks fashion will become more sustainable in the future.

LCF News: Tell us a little bit about Second-hand First…

NR: Second-hand First was a week long initiative hosted by the the textile charity TRAID last week from the 17th – 23rd November. The aim was to encourage people to invest in secondhand fashion and reduce waste. As part of this TRAID host a number of activities and events across their stores to engage customers and consumers in the secondhand initiative which is where I contributed with personal styling.

LCF News: How did you find out about it and how were you involved in the project…

NR: Being a textile designer I love all forms of clothing; especially secondhand. I use TRAID to source clothes for shoots or other creative projects and especially to add to my own wardrobe! I have a blog on which I mainly cover ethical and sustainable fashion. I did a review on my blog on one of the late night talks that TRAID host and decided I wanted to get involved in some way in the fashion side of things.

My role involved being based in 2 stores during the week; Hammersmith and Camden and helping customers make the most of their second hand purchases and putting together outfits.

Image: Nelly Rock

Image: Nelly Rock

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LCF students learn the Art of Fashion Entrepreneurship

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The panel getting ready for their talk. Follow us on Instagram @lcflondon_

As part of Creative Enterprise Week 2014, LCF Careers invited industry professionals along to John Princes Street this week, to give a talk on ‘The Art of Fashion Entrepreneurship’ giving students advice on how to get their fashion start-ups off the ground and thriving.

The panel consisted of Samson Soboye, Creative Director and Fashion Stylist at SOBOYE, Sara Simmonds, Fashion Consultant and Digital Entrepreneur at House of Simmonds Ltd, and Viviane Jaeger, Director at Squid Kids and Squid London.

The talk kicked off with each panelist taking students on their entrepreneurial journey, and it was evident straight away that there is no one route to starting your own business, with Samson starting out as an assistant before freelancing, Viviane starting her business whilst studying, and Sara having 15 years experience in industry and in the past year branching out on her own.

And in the same way, each had different reasons for becoming an entrepreneur. Samson said:

“For me the reason was because we were in the depths of a recession in the early 90′s after I graduated. We had to be entrepreneurs because we had to make our own jobs. There was a really good energy and it was a time for change.”

Sara added:

“It is a very scary thing to do but you have to say to yourself, what is the worst that could happen? It was the safety net of a regular paycheck that made me scared, but it’s thrilling!”

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Student wins placement with Tim Walker for photography fanzine.

First year BA (Hons) Fashion Photography students were given the chance to win a day’s work placement with photography legend Tim Walker, through a course project that asked students to create their own fanzine.

The project was done in collaboration with the world renowned photographer, and students were asked to design their fanzines around the theme of ‘The Body and Space as Interaction’.

Tim Walker selected Sam How as the overall winner, who received one day of work experience on set with Tim himself, and Evgenii Shishkin was selected as runner up.

Emma Dalzell, Tim Walker’s First Assistant said:

“We want to say what a high quality of work there was across the whole board, it was really impressive.”

A big well done to Sam, Evgenii, and all students involved! Check out their beautiful zines in the gallery above. You can also buy a selection of these zines at the LCF College Shop this December in the Fashion Photography zine corner.

Inspirational Speaker Award: Winner! Geraldine Wharry

At my desk working on trends

At my desk working on trends

We are pleased to announce that Geraldine Wharry, fashion designer and creative director of Trend Atelier, is the winner of the Inspirational Speaker category as part of LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards, which celebrates all the amazing work businesses and industry people have done with LCF students.

Geraldine Wharry has been a fashion designer for 13 years and has always had a strong eye for trends. She moved to London and got involved in trend forecasting after living in Los Angeles and New York. She was born, raised and studied fashion in Paris, however, her mother was from the US and her father from the UK. This multi-cultural outlook, as well as her global perspective of design, means that students and graduates find her talks and involvement at panel discussions a pure joy and particularly motivational to LCF’s diverse student body.

In her talks, she offers unique insights into working for larger brands such as 7 for all Mankind, Ripcurl, Triple 5 Soul and WGSN. She also offers top tips on freelancing and becoming a consultant who travels the world, which supports the idea of the diverse career opportunities open to our students and graduates. Geraldine is a down to earth speaker, with an infectious and gregarious personality. She really believes in supporting talent, which comes through in her talks, making her a popular and inspirational speaker whose connection with LCF is very much valued.

LCF News caught up with Geraldine to find out what she does day to day. We hope you find her as inspiring as we do!

I wake up…at 7 or a bit before. I don’t start the day without breakfast. As I sip my coffee, my cats snuggle up against me on the couch and that’s how I start the day. The day before, I was probably busy crossing things off my list one by one because my schedule is busy and I manage all aspects of running Trend Atelier, from PR to sales to creating the trend forecasts. At the end of each day I regroup and think of what I need to do next. Every Monday I have my goals for the week and touch base with the assistant on what is priority. As the saying goes “The devil is in the details”, in other words it’s about all the different tasks I do during the day to gradually reach the “Big” objectives.

The unofficial staff members of Trend Atelier, Jeannie and Jasper who don't get much work done ever

The unofficial staff members of Trend Atelier, Jeannie and Jasper who don’t get much work done ever

I get to work…easily because right now my design studio is sectioned off part of my home. I’m one of those creatives, a bit like Rick Owens, who lives on top of his studio… So my commute is short and that’s what I like. I start work at 8am. During busy times I start at 7:30. I don’t like working late that’s why I start my day early. My morning ritual when I wake up is not to immediately check my phone and emails. I take 20 minutes to have breakfast. I know it sounds long but it’s during that time that I do my thinking, meditate before the day. Then when I get to my desk I am ready to pounce and very focused.

The studio

The studio

The first thing I do is… look at my calendar which has my to do list and meetings for the day. Then I reply to emails. I also catch up on design and worldwide news with the BOF, New York Times or design newsletters I receive. It depends on the mood and what I need to do that day. For example, if I need to write a trend article, sometimes I don’t reply to emails until mid day and just focus on writing as soon as I get to my desk. I find my writing is better in the morning. But if I need to do visual research that day, I reply to emails first and then migrate to researching trends for the rest of the day.

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Guest Post: Follow Your Dreams – A trip to The Pentland Group

Visitors Pass

Pentland Visitors’ Pass

On the 14th of November the BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear and BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear students took a trip to The Pentland Group whose brands such as Berghaus, Boxfresh, Brasher, Butterfly Twist, Canterbury, Ellesse, Hunter, KangaROOS, Kickers, Lacoste Chaussures, Mitre, Prostar, Red or Dead, Speedo and Ted Baker Footwear.

BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear student Flower Perdew tells LCF News about the day.

The outside patio behind the reception at Pentland.

The outside patio behind the reception at Pentland.

The trip involved speakers from a number of the brands sharing their experience with the students. The first was Design Manager for Lacoste, Paul Bodill. He has worked in the industry for some time, but wanted us to know that he didn’t start off wanting to design shoes; He graduated from university with a degree in printing.

In fact most of the speakers studied something completely different to what they ended up doing for their career. He said his proudest moment was collaborating with Usain Bolt, “The worlds fastest man”, for Puma. One of the most important things he said in his presentation was, in my opinion, to ‘build good relationships and have good communication.’ With those two things you should be able to do anything.

BA (Hons) Footwear students looking at some of Rachel Kelly’s work for Ted Baker Footwear A/W 2014 collection.

BA (Hons) Footwear students looking at some of Rachel Kelly’s work for Ted Baker Footwear A/W 2014 collection.

Rachel Kelly, the Senior Designer at Ted Baker Footwear, spoke about how design is effectively telling a story through your research, mood and colour boards, consumer studies, and design development, which will eventually end with your final line up and designs. Rachel emphasised the importance of understanding your consumer, also stating that it is better to have an opinion that isn’t necessarily correct than to not have one at all. It is more important to stand out than to blend in.

The sign upon entering Pentland.

The sign upon entering Pentland.

Not only did we find out a lot of factual information on our trip, we were also offered some very valuable advice. The Creative Director of Pentland, Gareth Davies told us, not to be afraid of failure:

“Go after every opportunity and to make things happen!”

Duncan Kelly, the Graphic Designer from Mitre Prostar said:

“Get out of your comfort zone, and be yourself because everyone else is already taken.”

Charlotte Web the Product Manager for Red or Dead stressed that:

“You are good enough, so stay positive. If an idea is always on your mind it’s worth looking in to.”

BA (Hons) Footwear student Victoria Andre walking to the auditorium.

BA (Hons) Footwear student Victoria Andre walking to the auditorium.

This trip to Pentland was one of the most valuable trips we as students, could have taken. According to BA Footwear student Victoria Andre:

“The trip was really enlightening in that we got to see how high street and non-luxury brands work and what jobs are actually out there.”

Personally I found the trip really informative and inspiring, I adored every speaker and felt that they had such a genuine quality about them. I learned a lot from each of them, how to further push the quality of my work. It really was a wonderful experience.

LCF students network with top industry recruiters at Careers Fair 2014

Careers Fair held at John Princes Street

Careers Fair held at John Princes Street which attracted top recruiters such as ASOS

Last week, LCF hosted some of the UK and Europe’s leading fashion retail recruiters for the LCF Careers Recruitment Fair.

Held in the RH Space at John Princes Street, the networking and employment advice event gave students and recent graduates a chance to present themselves to some exciting employers, many of whom already have LCF students and alumni on either placement or graduate schemes.

The fair was extremely well attended, with many students looking for industry entrance pathways across design, marketing, technology, operations and buying & merchandising. We managed to negotiate our way through the eager students to ask these big industry names why they are keen to hire LCF graduates. Check out some of their answers below…

River Island: “We’ve worked with LCF for a number of years now and we’ve taken people on, on work experience and placements. And we’ve then recruited them once they’ve graduated and they’ve worked out really well for us, actually working their way up in the company and becoming for example a department manager or a merchandiser or a buyer. So they have proven a very worthwhile investment.”

Marks & Spencer: “The courses are so specific and these students here know exactly what they want to do when they graduate. That’s great for us in terms of finding people who can really fill specific roles such as design or buying and merchandising. These guys have gone and got work experience and that’s exactly what we look for, and they are so passionate as well which is fantastic. What surprised me was the amount of research they had done on M&S!”

We also asked for the best bit of advice they could give to any potential applicant…

ASOS: “Definitely do your homework into the sorts of roles available, it’s hard sometimes when students approach us coming from broad courses as we don’t know what specific roles they are looking for, so definitely do your homework on our careers website and see what opportunities we have available and apply for any relevant roles!”

TK Maxx: “If you’re really serious about the retail world, explore all the different roles and be curious about how retail works, and have a strong passion for retail and the different areas involved to create a successful retail business.”

PVH (Tommy Hilfiger/Calvin Klein): “We have the same conversations 500 times a day, however there is probably 5 people in a day like this Careers Fair that I will remember, as they approached me directly and told me what they study and where they want to go. Or they will say I know you’re based in Amsterdam and that shows they have done their research.”

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Industry Partner Awards: Inspirational Speaker – Samata

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It is our pleasure to announce that Samata, founder of fashion blog SamataAngel.com, is highly commended in the Inspirational Speaker category as part of LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards, which celebrates all the amazing work businesses and industry people have done with LCF students.

Fashion author, presenter, blogger and director of Oscars sustainable dress design campaign, Red Carpet Green Dress, Samata is a growing force to be reckoned with on the British and international fashion scene. Samata has been featured in British VOGUE, Guardian, ELLE USA, InStyle, Cision, Company, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Look Magazine (UK), ITN, Red Magazine and PRIDE, in addition to appearances on OCTV, Fashion TV, E!, Pop Sugar, ITN News, This Morning Show (ITV). After becoming the first British female to showcase during the New York Nolcha Fashion Week in 2007 Samata received COSMOPOLITAN magazine’s Future Fashion Star nomination (2008) and came under the spotlight in the British fashion industry. She has since worked with LCF mentoring and teaching students.

Samata is a leading supporter of student and graduate development at London College of Fashion. Through many various speaker engagements at the College, Samata has provided insight and guidance on a wide range of creative and entrepreneurial topics, aimed at sharing her own amazing journey in the world of fashion, with the up and coming design talent at LCF.

Her experiences of launching her own brand and taking her sustainable Red Carpet Green Dress project across the Atlantic to LA, has meant that not only does she provide inspiration for students looking to succeed in the UK market, but also the global market as well. Samata is a real inspiration to anyone lucky enough to hear from her during a talk or through her ongoing commitment to student and graduate mentoring.

So what does a fashion blogger and entrepreneur get up to on a daily basis? LCF News found out…

I wake up…at different times – I work across London and Los Angeles time zones, sometimes New Zealand so I can wake up from 7am until later say 9am but then I will sleep sometimes at 11pm, sometimes at 2am or later.

When I wake up I tend to lie down and reflect for a while about what I want the day to be and how I will achieve that. Sometimes I look at inspirational quotes or listen to music. It depends what type of day I want to have and what my schedule looks like.

In the mornings I...listen to music, listen to the news which although quite depressing at times normally reminds me of how fortunate I am and the opportunities I have to make the most of each day. Right now my playlist includes FKA Twigs, Jhene Aiko, Azalea Banks and Ludovico Einaudi.

I have a number of things on the go at any given time. Red Carpet Green Dress, my book or maintaining my website and social media platforms. I also still mentor students so responding to them is also fun but needs focused time.

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When I first get to work I…lay out my papers and schedule on my desk, create my to-do list, drink some tea and read the news headlines.

For lunch…I’m plant-based so there will always be something green on my plate! Sometimes I bring lunch with me but there are so many lovely places near me where I can eat so it’s also a little too easy to go buy something.

My afternoons… aren’t overly unpredictable as I have busy ‘seasons’ and quieter ones. I am busiest from end of November to March and then it quietens a little and surges from September to November. Afternoon time is when LA starts waking up (say from 3pm onwards which is 7am in LA) so I try to get the writing elements or any documents I am working on out of the way so that I can be responsive when the emails start coming in and calls.

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The day’s highlight… is always getting through the day happy and having connected with interesting people. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, what is the point?

My advice… would be to work hard, appreciate your relationships and believe in yourself.

Businesses should provide work experience because… it provides students with a realistic expectation of what work might be – you know they always say the theory is one thing whilst the practical is quite another.

Work experience at with my company involves… multi-tasking, thinking creatively to solve problems and  learning how to develop and maintain relationships.

Well done Samata! We look forward to working with you in the future.

Industry Partner Awards: Inspirational Speaker – Tom Baker

Tom Baker

Image credit: George Garnier

It is our pleasure to announce that Tom Baker is highly commended in the Inspirational Speaker category as part of LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards, which celebrates all the amazing work businesses and industry people have done with LCF students.

Tom Baker is regarded by students and graduates alike as a dynamic speaker who has an ability to inspire and stand out from the fashion norm.  After training with Hardy Amies in Savile Row for 5 years, Tom set up his own studio, Sir Tom Baker in the heart of Soho, London.

Through his talks, Tom shows respect to the traditional tailoring techniques celebrated in the industry. What makes Tom stand out is his natural design flair, which has put him at the forefront of modern British tailoring.  When he speaks to students, it is clear that he enjoys working with new talent and he articulates clearly what steps and skills the students need to take to push forward in their unique career path.

Tom inspires students through his anecdotal style and stories of his famous clientele which includes James Corden, Noel Fielding, Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Rhys Ifans, Eliot Sumner (I Blame Coco) and many more! He can capture the imagination of even the sleepiest of student!

We asked Tom to give us an insight into his day-to-day role, giving us a little sneak peek into what life as a tailor is really like…

I wake up… at 7am. The first thing I do is check all my business emails and take into consideration all aspects of the days appointments ahead to make sure I am prepared. I walk into work for 8.30. I always check my diary straight away and also order all cloths and linings from suppliers.

When I first get into work… I switch on all the equipment, start up the workshop and prepar the studio for the day ahead.

This morning… we are currently processing a variety of bespoke orders and design projects including an alpaca overcoat and a tartan frock coat.

Lunch… is normally around 1pm. I usually eat something light, often vegetarian (though im not a veggie!) I never take more than 20 or 30 mins for lunch as it can interrupt your concentration levels.

This afternoon… We are currently working on a slight image change for a leading British rock band, as well as a set of suits for television. I really enjoy developing new looks / images as this requires skill and consideration of their past looks.

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Industry Partner Awards: Inspirational Speaker – Emma Watkinson

It is our pleasure to announce that Emma Watkinson is highly commended in the Inspirational Speaker category as part of LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards, which celebrates all the amazing work businesses and industry people have done with LCF students.

Emma, CEO and Co-Founder of SilkFred.com, a new online destination for emerging designers and independent brands, was nominated as one of the most Inspirational Speakers because of her constant involvement and willingness to share her experiences with students. Emma has shared her incredible personal stories of success, hard work and the reality of having your own business – giving powerful messages and tips to students who want to follow in her footsteps.

Understandably, we at LCF News wanted to find out what it was like to be Emma, so we asked her to walk us through a regular day on the job at SilkFred. Here’s what she had to say…

I wake up… at 7 and make some coffee. I’ll retreat back to bed to go through the sales from the previous day and check over my “to do” list. I use the Wunderlist app to track my tasks and I only pay attention to my “immediate priorities”.

When I get into the office… I catch up with my team – our Designer Liaison, Charlotte (who looks after our designers), Head of Marketing Rob, and Aimee from Customer Service. We’ll talk about promotions, stock and anything sales related. I’ll then catch up with our CTO, Josh and we’ll talk about progress on new features we’re building and any issues that might have cropped up.

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Bespoke Tailoring gathering allows students to give peer to peer advice

Last night LCF News visited the BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring Gathering event in the canteen at Mare Street. The event itself was the perfect chance for students from all years to gather together, share experiences, and get informal critique on their work. Work ranged from sketches to finished garments and really gave first years the chance to see what was to come in the next couple of years.

Course leader, Jacqueline Sealy made a short announcement to start the event, encouraging students to mingle with one another. She suggested first year students check out the work on display to see what will be expected of them in the future, and she asked that students in higher years offer advice, feedback and encouragement.

Second year student Donatela said:

“This is the first event like this that we’ve had and it’s a brilliant way to get to know people and ask questions.”

Every student in attendance was given a jigsaw piece upon arrival which they then had to put together with other students in the room, it was a wonderful ice breaker that really made sure that everyone branched out from their comfort zone. And with the help of the incentive of £20 printing credit and a £15 voucher for the shop, everyone joined in with enthusiasm.

Student reps from the course were available throughout the night to offer advice and guidance. Third year student rep Charlotte Barber said:

“In my first year I actually wish there had been more events like this because it really creates a sense of community within the course. When we found out about this event we really jumped on it because it’s great to meet new people and give advice.”

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