Fashion Business, Events & Retail
If you are customer focussed, creative and work well under pressure then you could be the ideal candidate for a career in the fashion, retail and events industry. We offer a broad spectrum of courses, from Certificate to HND level, which will help prepare you for a career in these vibrant and fast-paced industries.
The Retail Academy students gain invaluable skills by selecting and buying products, creating the marketing plan and helping to run the website for the College shop, Tempus.
The fashion industry is the UK’s largest creative industry and worth £26 billion and 800,000 jobs to the economy. Possible employment opportunities include fashion retail management, fashion merchandising, fashion buyer, fashion range planning or fashion marketing.
Events is a vibrant and booming sector, locally and nationally, and worth an annual £42.3 billion to the UK economy providing opportunities to work across a diverse range of events including music festivals, conferences, cultural events, sporting occasions and exhibitions.
You will also have the opportunity to learn from industry experts, gain work experience within the sector, and participate in external visits. Highlights of the year include the organising and planning of many events including the College’s Fashion Show.
I enjoyed learning about stock presentation, stock management, visual merchandising and so much more. I had huge support from my lecturers who really built up my confidence.
I gained work experience from the Events Executive Team at the Apex Hotel. I also had the chance to organise a Red Nose Day event within the Wellgate Shopping Centre.
I decided to apply to D&A College so I could stay at home while studying and keep the part-time job I had at the time.
Although it is a big jump from school, you are offered so much help as well as being encouraged to make your own decisions, you really do grow up when you get to college.
The bridge degree from college to university was excellent and I had all the relevant knowledge and understanding to successfully complete my degree with a first class honours and an award for the best dissertation.
Kerry's Story – From Dundee to New York!
Kerry Gillespie first became interested in Event Management while still at high school.
“I decided to apply to D&A College so I could stay at home while studying and keep the part-time job I had at the time. We learned all sorts of different topics throughout the two-year course including event logistics, event planning, business management, budgeting and finance, admin skills, legal and much more! My favourite part was working on putting on our own events which we did once a year. I was proud of the two charity events we organised in aid of Maggie’s Centre.”
Kerry admits budgeting and finance was her least favourite module, but it has come in helpful in work.
“After leaving college I went to work at the University of St Andrews as an Events Assistant within the commercial arm of the Uni. I was then promoted to an Events Manager where I managed all sorts of events including conferences, summer schools, award ceremonies, sporting events, gala dinners/balls and even weddings.”
While working at the University, Kerry decided to study for a distance learning degree through RGU University in Business Management.
“I did this in my free time, outside of work, and within a year I graduated with a BA degree. I am now an Events Manager for Insights – a learning and development company founded in Dundee but now operating globally. I am extremely lucky to be able to travel the world with this job and within a year I have visited five different countries, including managing the company’s largest event to date in New York City. COVID-19 has unfortunately put a hold to all the travelling, but I am learning lots of new skills every day in managing different virtual/online events.”
From a young age Tara Hamon had an interest in fashion.
“I knew no matter what I was doing later in life, it must include some aspect of fashion. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the right grades to get into university, so I took a year out when I finished school and started my first job in a high street retail store.”
During this time Tara researched options to still be able to go to university and decided to study Retail/Fashion at Dundee and Angus College as it could give direct entry at second or third year.
“I graduated from college having learned multiple things – the ins and outs of becoming a buyer, the various methods of marketing, implementing high quality customer service within a business, the accounting side of things, opportunities to gain retail experience by working in a pop-up shop and my favourite of all, managing an event, our own charity fashion show.”
Tara loved how college gave her the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds who all wanted to succeed.
“Although it is a big jump from school, you are offered so much help as well as being encouraged to make your own decisions, you really do grow up when you get to college. I am very proud of being awarded an A for my final grade which gave me the opportunity to be accepted onto the university course I had aimed for.”
Tara currently works for the St Andrews Links Trust within various departments.
“My main role is to assist the overall running of The Old Course Shop and ensure customers receive a luxury 5-star experience. One day I would like to have my own fashion business within the golf industry. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t gone to college so, if anyone is unsure of whether they should apply or not, I would say do it. You won’t regret it.”
When Cheryl Appleby began her Retail Management course at Dundee and Angus College she had no idea where she wanted to go with her career.
“The course helped me understand a wide view of possibilities and areas of business that I never knew existed. Teamed with the support from the staff, the HNC/HND experience was a well-structured way to prepare for university.”
After college Cheryl studied the step course to Fashion Management at RGU, joining directly in third year of university.
“The bridge degree from college to university was excellent and I had all the relevant knowledge and understanding to successfully complete my degree with a first class honours and an award for the best dissertation.”
Cheryl quickly gained employment in London in the field of Merchandising.
“This was an area I decided I wanted to work in. Merchandising embodies analytics, business strategy, product management and is predominantly numbers focussed, however it remains within a creative environment of buyers and designers which is why I love it so much.”
Cheryl began her career in London working for Kurt Geiger as a Merchandise Admin Assistant and now has a Merchandiser/Planner role with Burberry.
“To work for a British institute such as Burberry and to be responsible for managing and strategising the core assortment worth hundreds of millions of pounds a year is a dream come true. I am very proud of my achievements but none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t joined that first course at college that lead me down this path!”