Rosalind Shimmen - Fashion Editor and Presenter for Verge Magazine

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What is your background?

I've always come from a fashion background; I started working in retail at the early age of 15, and was lucky enough to bag my first job at Selfridges & Co. If I wasn't serving on the shop floor I would be studying at the Fashion Retail Academy. I remember a lot of my friends saying "Roz you never stop!" but to me it wasn't work, it was my passion. After spending 3 very happy years at the Fashion Retail Academy I came out with a grade Merit, fantastic industry experience and some lifelong friends.

How did you find your time studying at the Fashion Retail Academy and how do you feel your studies have benefitted you?

My time at the Fashion Retail Academy was extremely beneficial and I can't thank the school and my teachers enough. I learnt so much within my 3 years spent at the school, it makes so much difference when people are passionate about what they are teaching or what they are learning. The teachers were from the industry so their knowledge was from personal experience and the students were sat in class for a reason, they had the same love and passion as me.

Not only were the classes fun and beneficial but I was able to take part in a number of work placements throughout the year. The placements were a fantastic insight into the industry, allowing me to add crucial experience on my CV and opening a number of doors for me. I secured my first full time job through my work experience.

Finally, do you have any advice for current students of the Fashion Retail Academy?

Firstly, take full advantage of the work experience opportunities. Try and get as much experience on your CV while you're studying, as you will need it when you're applying for jobs, and it sucks having to work for free once you've finished your studies.

Secondly brush up on your computer skills, Photoshop is key within the industry - so take lots of notes in your pixel class.

Thirdly if you have the spare time push yourself: Find a part time job in retail, employers like to see previous employment. I found working in retail helped my confidence grow and I learnt a lot about the "customer journey." If working is not for you, possibly learn a new language? Fashion is worldwide; unfortunately hardly any of the well-known brands are English. I would love to work for Zara, but I can't as it's crucial that their employees can speak Spanish. If none of the above are right for you, how about start a blog? It's fun, shows your personality and gives you great presence on the internet - self promotion!

Rosalind Shimmen is founder of www.rosalindsfashionunion.com Fashion Editor and Presenter for Verge magazine.

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