Luxury fashion makes a great present, but Ellie Pemberton had an even better gift for her 22nd birthday - starting work for Michael Kors.
The Human Resource Management graduate has always wanted to go into HR within the fashion industry and couldn't have been more excited when she saw the opportunity to join a designer brand.
"I had to apply right away, never imagining I would actually get the job," said Ellie.
"I was over the moon when I got the call to say I was going to be joining the HR team at Michael Kors in London."
Five months on and Ellie's role as HR Data Analyst/HR Administrator is living up to expectations.
"The people here have been so welcoming, supportive and are great to work with. I am learning a lot and enjoying my time with the team," she said.
It has been a year of successes for Ellie, who graduated from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with a First, received the prize for best HRM dissertation and was awarded HR Student of the Year at DMU by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
"It was a lovely surprise to be nominated by my lecturers," said Ellie.
"I had glandular fever in my first year and was off university quite a lot and was not achieving all that I could.
"However, as time went on, I worked harder and pushed myself to achieve the results I wanted.
"To me, the CIPD award is a reflection of that perseverance, hard work and the relationships I built that helped me in my journey to achieve what I have done so far."
That hard work includes a year in industry, at IBM, which helped Ellie further develop her skills.
"It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of HR in a practical environment and gain the all-important experience I needed to be able to progress my career," she said.
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Cambridge-born Ellie first developed a passion for HR through her psychology and sociology A-levels.
"I looked around a few different universities but DMU had the best feel and the course sounded most interesting."
Ellie enjoyed the variety of subjects covered, benefiting from the different expertise offered by lecturers, as well as the multicultural environment.
"My favourite thing about DMU was how it embraced people of all kinds of cultures into its network and because of this I met many amazing people," she said.
Ellie also made the most of extracurricular opportunities, including "an amazing" #DMUglobal trip to New York and sporting activities.
"I enjoyed being part of the DMU Saints cheerleading squad and learning a new sport. I have always loved netball and joining DMU Demons was a great way to exercise while having fun and meeting new people," she said.
"I am glad to have grasped all the fantastic opportunities that have come my way to push me not only academically but also in my career.
"DMU has prepared me very well for my role and working life in general."
Posted on Monday 27th November 2017