A Q&A with our first Buying Intern, Grace
Why did you apply for the Buying Intern role at Continental Textiles?
After studying Buying and Merchandising at University for two years, I chose to do a Placement Year as I felt that that having both my degree and work experience will be beneficial for my future career in the industry.
I was excited to apply for the Buying Internship at Continental Textiles because it is a wholesale company, and as such, I thought it would broaden my knowledge on a variety of products and customers. Additionally, undertaking a Placement Year gives the potential to gain experience in other departments too, such as Design, Merchandising, Marketing and Garment Technology, as we work closely alongside each other.
So far, what has been your favourite part of your day-to-day role?
I have found attending fitting sessions with the Garment Tech team really interesting. I have gained a better understanding of each product, and the overall sampling process. Additionally, this has really helped me to understand the importance of the critical path, what a realistic production timescale looks like, and real-life examples of issues that result in delays. It is also exciting to see the new products we have coming in!
More recently, I have enjoyed researching trends for Spring/Summer 23 and Autumn/Winter 23/24, especially as I have been looking into product categories like Swimwear, Ski wear and Nightwear, which I didn’t get to focus on so much at university.
Photo from ski e-commerce shoot
I am also part of the Continental Textiles Social Team and so far have helped in decorating the office for Halloween and organising the annual Christmas party!
It’s really rewarding to contribute to the Social Team in arranging fun activities for my colleagues and I’m looking forward to planning more events and activities with the team for the upcoming year.
Photo of some of the office halloween decorations
What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
As I have enjoyed researching trends for the upcoming year, I am looking forward to seeing the ideas that are in discussion now develop into the final product. Seeing how each department plays a role in this will also be exciting and I hope it will give me the opportunity to get involved in other parts of the process, such as creating CADs with Design and working on a photoshoot with Marketing.
What advice would you give to someone considering undertaking a placement year in the fashion industry?
I would really recommend doing a placement year because after just 4 months of working, I have experienced real-life examples of the processes that we learn about at university. Having this experience has already helped me to understand the production process and buyer-supplier relationship, which I will definitely find valuable when I return to study in my final year, as well as in my future career.
Regarding the application process, finding and reading through job advertisements and creating a CV and cover letter together can be really time-consuming. I would recommend setting time aside each week to focus on this, as it can become a lot of work to do alongside university modules.
Also, I would suggest starting this as early in the year as possible, but do not to be worried if it takes a while to receive a job offer, as many employers don’t advertise roles until late in the year. I first started applying for roles in November but didn’t receive my job offer until April! Some of my friends also didn’t receive offers until summer, but they still landed roles in exciting and successful companies.
Finally, be open to applying to different roles at different companies, but don’t just apply for a job for the sake of it. Employers can tell if you are genuinely passionate about the role/company/industry, so make sure your application is as personal as possible to help you stand out and show why the employer should hire you.