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CLASS OF 2016: Anna kick-starts career at River Island before graduation

Just one month before officially graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), Anna Scott moved to London to start her fashion buying career with a top high-street brand.

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Anna looking proud at her River Island office

The Fashion Buying with Marketing student landed a kidswear buying assistant role at River Island, after impressing them with the skills and experience she gained on a yearlong work placement and two #DMUglobal trips.

Anna, who is graduating with a First class honours degree, said: “I was eager to get into work straight after uni as I enjoyed my placement so much.

“I’m really busy and have been getting straight into the work, but everyone here is really nice and supportive.”

Just a few weeks into her new job, Anna has been learning how to use the systems and software in River Island’s training academy, and has been encouraged to sign up to extra workshops that will help develop her skills and further her career.

Anna went into her interview with River Island feeling confident thanks to the experience she gained on a yearlong work placement as part of her four-year course.

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Posing while on her Matalan placement

The placement was during Anna’s penultimate year at DMU, when she moved to Liverpool to work as a trainee buyer for infant fashion at the homeware and fashion retailer, Matalan.

She supported the buying team with practical things such as sourcing samples and developing products in a range, as well as by attending supplier meetings and helping build relationships.

The 21-year-old said: “I loved my time at Matalan and getting to know the buying role. It’s the reason I was so excited to start at River Island, because now I feel I can just get stuck into the role and work towards progressing my career.”

Having been on two #DMUglobal trips also helped Anna to impress at her River Island interview. She was able to talk about visiting the GAP headquarters in New York this year and the Terre Bleue headquarters in Antwerp last year.

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Looking happy with her course mates in Antwerp

Anna said: “The trips helped me to stand out and my interviewers were really impressed with my global experience.

“Buyers need to travel the world and understand that every market is different, so River Island liked that I had a head-start in that.”

Anna enjoyed the different aspects of the industry she got to explore on her course, including visual merchandising, fashion design, marketing and buying.

She said: “The course is a really honest view of the fashion buying role. Everything is relevant to the job of a buyer with practical classes and assignments.

“It was great to explore so many different areas, because as a buyer you need to communicate and work with all the other teams.

“All the tutors are from industry as well so they have relevant experience and useful contacts.”

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Enjoying the #DMUglobal trip to the Big Apple

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Originally from Sheffield, Leicester was the farthest south Anna had ever lived before moving to London. She’s settled into life in London’s Ealing and feels very lucky to be living just a 15-minute walk from her office.

She said: “I’ve really grown to love Leicester and I’ll miss it, but being there for uni and living in Liverpool for a year definitely made me feel more prepared for London.

“I didn’t realise how nice London is! I’m in a really nice flat share with two other girls who are the same age as me and are also starting their careers.”

Posted on Monday 11th July 2016

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