Vice-Chancellor's Fund:Lee Child Scholarship Recipient 2012
Fashion Buying and Marketing
For Aneela Aziz, receiving a Lee Child Scholarship from the Vice Chancellor’s last year gave her the confidence to change her course and follow her dreams. Read her story to find out how she thinks the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund is helping her stand out from the crowd.
Aneela loves fashion and always has. She started university on DMU’s Media and Communication and Journalism course and took up the post of Fashion Editor on the university newspaper The Demon, hoping that the experience would benefit her future career as a Fashion Journalist. However, Aneela began to realise this might not be the career for her and that her true passion lies in fashion itself rather than writing. ‘I didn’t get it right first time. Working for the university paper is great and I really enjoy it but I began to think that my skills might lie more in fashion buying than writing. I didn’t want to do another two years and graduate with regrets so I had to make the decision to change course.’
Despite changing paths, Aneela has remained Fashion Editor for the Demon and won the award for ‘Best New Comer’ at last year’s Demon Awards. An experience she believes to be both her most memorable and greatest achievement at DMU so far and one that might not have been possible without the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund. ‘I used some of the money to go to London Fashion Week, which was an amazing experience for me but one that I could write about and share with others when I returned. I’m really proud to write for The Demon and was so happy to win my award. This year, I am going for ‘Best Section’ - I want to keep improving.’
Aneela’s motivation and drive to do well doesn’t end there. In fact she states that she applied to the VC Fund because she thought it would help her go the extra mile to enhance her studies and life experience. With this in mind, she has also the funds to gain valuable work experience on a visit to Morocco, her first time travelling alone. ‘It’s great to have a degree but experience is crucial too. I went to Morocco for two weeks and focused on helping the homeless and worked in an orphanage there – I wanted to do something which would make a difference. When I came to university, I promised myself that I would do things to make me stand out and that each year I would make a change in my life. The scholarship has helped me to do that.’
Aneela also credits her success in finding part time employment to her experience in Morocco. ‘It’s helped me to get a job as I was able to talk about it at interview and next summer I have been able to arrange work experience at Evans in London. That will cost me quite a lot but I know I need to save hard for it as experience is so important. When I go for a job, I’m not just going to be competing with my fellow DMU students but students from all over the country. I have to make myself stand out and that’s exactly what this scholarship has allowed me to do.’
In the future, Aneela hopes to become a Fashion Buyer and believes her experiences as a result of the Scholarship will help her along the way. ‘It’s tough to be a student, to get a degree and then a job and a career. It’s so competitive. I don’t think donors to the fund realise how much of a difference they are making to people like me when they give. It’s helping me to build a foundation for my future. This is the start of my career and my journey.’