If you’re thinking of starting a career in the creative industries, you probably already know that some of the most important things to have under your belt are experience, knowledge, and a strong range of skills. That’s why, at North Hertfordshire College, we’re proud to work with our teams of teaching and support staff who have their own experiences of working in the industry that they can bring to our courses and help shape student journeys.
Meet Kirsty, NHC’s Course Team Leader for our UAL Level 3 Fashion course. Kirsty’s previous work experience includes a rich history in the fashion industry, working in leadership roles in the Production department for a range of fashion brands. Now, she’s passing on the knowledge and experiences she gained in these roles to the next generation of fashion creatives, helping to start their own career paths.
Find out more about Kirsty’s NHC teaching journey in her interview:
What inspired you to start a career in teaching?
“I started teaching after having my daughter, I applied for and was offered a role as a tutor at NHC to teach pattern cutting and garment construction. I felt at the time, and still feel, very in touch with my own journey and education experience and I thought it was time to give back and pass on my experiences and knowledge from the industry.”
What did you do before you joined North Hertfordshire College?
“I worked in the fashion industry as Production Director for Preen by Thornton Bregazzi for eight years and have also previously worked as Production Manager for Christopher Kane for a short while. Working in the industry was demanding but equally lots of fun. I travelled to New York and Paris seasonally for shows and showrooms and dealt with a variety of people in the industry on a daily basis.”
Looking back at your time working with NHC so far, what have been some of the most enjoyable parts?
“I started my journey at NHC, so it feels great to be teaching and setting the next generation of fashion creatives on their journey through NHC and beyond. I love to see the students get into their chosen universities and courses. It’s so rewarding to see them on their way to their next steps and growing as young adults. We’ve had students progress to some fantastic universities, including Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Middlesex, De Montfort, Kingston, Wimbledon, and more!
“Our end-of-year fashion show and exhibition is also exciting to see and it’s a great celebration of the students’ hard work.”
What makes the Level 3 Fashion course stand out to students?
“On the course, we use a good level of industry methods in our teaching and learning whilst also including the important changes we need for a more diverse fashion industry – it starts with the new fashion creatives!
“We support students to focus on their specific area of interest, whether that be design, photography, communication, styling, or anything beyond. To do this, we deliver a wide variety of skills including sewing, pattern cutting, styling, photography, marketing, creating portfolios, and digital skills in Adobe software. Learning such a broad variety of skills helps them to break into the industries they’re interested in, as so many skills cross over.”
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is thinking of joining NHC for a Fashion course, what would it be?
“You need to be focused and dedicated. It’s hard work but great fun on the course, especially if you really do have a love for fashion and a drive to start a career in the industry. Even if Fashion is a new subject to you, we support all our students no matter what; we’re looking for students who are interested in fashion and design and are looking to improve their skills.
“Studying fashion and completing the journey into the industry is hard work but, with the right dedication, it’s fun and so worth it!”
Has Kirsty inspired you to start your own career in the fashion and creative industries? Check out North Hertfordshire College’s Creative and Performing Arts courses to find out more about our range of learning opportunities! With NHC, you can stay close to home while you study a course that helps you go far in your future career.
We think all jobs in education are some of the most important and fulfilling jobs in the world – helping people realise their potential and build a life for themselves; helping businesses to grow and improve; and helping to build strong, vibrant communities.
If you share our passion, we want to hear from you – check out our available vacancies and come and join the team!