Ruby Friel

"Remember that your lecturers are your greatest resource so make the most of your time with them!"
About my career

I graduated in 2014 after studying a BA (Hons) in Clothing Design and Technology, as well as undertaking a placement year. I undertook my placement with Stella McCartney for Adidas in Germany, which was my first experience of working in the apparel industry. It was a hugely educational experience for me and I have been told by employers that my placement year made me stand out from other CVs. I was also based in Germany for my placement, and in my opinion, the experience of working abroad is beneficial for anybody seeking to get a job that requires travelling to different locations.

The undergraduate degree was a vocationally driven course that provided me with skills that would translate easily into the workplace. The lecturers were very knowledgeable about different roles and understood what skill sets were required for students to enter the apparel industry. The apparel department in Hollings had very strong industry connections and this allowed me to begin networking while I was still studying.

After graduating, I was employed as an Associate Designer and Developer at Superb International, a global soft accessory supplier. I found out about the role through MMU and my course; I got the job because of my degree and the industry experience gained during my placement year. The course at MMU taught me new skills that have been essential in my current role, including computer aided design skills, a technical understanding of machinery, fabrics and finishes related to production, presentation skills and time management. I regularly use all of the skills I gained during my degree in my role at Superb International.

My top tip for students is…

My top tip would be to make the most of the equipment and resources available to you. Remember that your lecturers are your greatest resource so make the most of your time with them! Be passionate about what you do, too, because your enthusiasm and genuine interest in your subject will shine through during interviews. Persevere if you don’t find anything immediately and make sure to network and expand your contacts.

I’m inspired by…

All of the tutors on the Clothing Design and Technology course inspired me. The lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable, have had such interesting careers and always went above and beyond to help me, even after I graduated.

Why I love Manchester Met

I really appreciated the opportunities that MMU presented to me, particularly the support the University offers for paid internship schemes; a blessing in an industry where students are commonly expected to undertake internships unpaid.