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Charlotte Wilson

Career Path: Director & Co-founder, YANA Active
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

After graduating from Northumbria I worked in several merchandising roles, then due to redundancy I took a career change and began working for a global engineering company and worked in many operational, project and HR related roles. However, after working in Hull for two years on a large-scale project I decided to move back to the North East in 2018 to set-up YANA, with my sister, Sophie, who is also a Northumbria graduate.

What are you doing now?

Currently working full-time whilst running YANA and also renovating a very dilapidated Victorian townhouse, which will be the new YANA HQ.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

There were very few universities at the time that offered both the technical fashion aspect and marketing side in one course.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Northumbria was a great university to study at, my course was quite unusual in that I had business and marketing lectures in the Business School but also spent a lot of time in the Fashion School working in groups on various fashion and photography projects. In my final year I spent most of my time designing my own collection, which I then marketed and presented at Graduate Fashion Week in London.

How connected was your course with industry?

The course was very connected with the industry. I was lucky enough to land an internship with a fashion forecasting agency, Carlin International, at their head office in Paris, which was an amazing experience! After my final year myself and several other students on my course had the chance to work with another forecasting agency in Paris and we created a lingerie collection which was exhibited at a large show in the city.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

During my internship my main role was to work alongside the lingerie designers, I had the chance to be work on some exciting projects for several lingerie companies. When returning to university to complete my final year, based on the knowledge and expertise I had gained from internship I decided to create a lingerie collection for my Final Major Project.

What was the best thing about your course?

Interning in Paris and exhibiting my own collection at Graduate Fashion Week in London.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I learnt many skills at university, many of which I use today when designing new products for YANA including brand and product development, pattern cutting, sewing and also tools such as Illustrator and Photoshop.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Meeting lots of new people, living in a vibrant and friendly city and having the opportunity to learn new skills which have helped me throughout my career so far.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Newcastle is a great city to live and study in, the university also has so many courses to choose from and endless opportunities! The support my sister and I have received from the Northumbria Student and Graduate Enterprise Team whilst launching YANA has been incredible!

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Exciting, challenging and happy.

For more information about me visit: 

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