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Philippa Rivet

Fashion Communication

Fashion-Communication_Student_Philippa-RivetWhere are you from?

Currently my family home is in Guilford, Surrey, but I was born in Paris and grew up in Canada.

Why did you choose Northumbria Design, and what did you know about us before you applied? 

Being a relatively specific course, the course isn’t available at a lot of universities. I read very good things about the Fashion Communication course offered at Northumbria and was keen to start a course which has a good reputation.

What do you most like about Newcastle, and how do you find the city?

Newcastle is a brilliant city for students. A short metro ride away from both the seaside and the countryside it caters for everyone. The city itself is relatively small, which I love, it is easy to walk around and you quickly get to know the place. The student areas are great; I have lived in Jesmond (popular with students) for the 2 years and really don’t want to leave!

How do you find the cost of living in Newcastle?

Coming from very near London, Newcastle seems very cheap. Despite food being the same price… taxis, cinema tickets, transport and nights out are far cheaper! I am also often referred to as the ‘Voucher Queen’ and monitor Groupon, Wowcher and Living Social deals on a daily basis, something I recommend for all students!

Did you find the Design School welcoming?

The building itself can seem quite daunting at first with its extremely modern façade but it is the perfect building to learn it. The light open space rooms provide the perfect environment for creative learning.

How do you find your tutors and the staff within Northumbria Design? 

Throughout my 3 years at Northumbria I have built strong relationships with my tutor. They are extremely helpful and always there to help. The office staff are always happy to answer your queries as soon as possible and the placement officer is very keen to help you with internships or prospect jobs.

What are the facilities like?

Very clean, modern and practical. Mac computers and printers provide the right programmes and printing required for the course. The large spacious studios are the perfect space to work in during your independent study time.

What do you like most about Northumbria Design?

I love how it has been designed with the type of students it caters for in mind. Creative students like myself can’t learn and work in ‘traditional’ lecture rooms which is why the School of Design has been designed the way it has been.

Tell me a bit about your course?

Our course is perfect if you are unsure what area of the industry you want to go in. We do a large range of modules which touch all aspects of the fashion industry. Journalism, PR, event management, exhibition planning, publication layout, photography, concept realisation…and many more! In final year you get to chance to focus on the area you are most likely to want to get a job in when you graduate.

If you had to pick an object to represent your course, what would it be and why?

A white ball. Fashion Communication provides an endless amount of career opportunities and paths; it has no limits to it, just like a ball.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date during your time with us?

Time management is key to producing excellent work. You can’t be good at EVERYTHING. Building relationships within the industry from Day 1 is important.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Challenging. Thought-Provoking. Stimulating.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say? 

Don’t think the course will be ‘easy’, producing work both you and your tutors are proud off takes time, effort and dedication. Unlike what a lot of people think, your work within the course doesn’t have to be fashion focused. Over the years I have done projects with brands such as British Airways and Evian; every brand requires communicational skills.

What are your plans now and for the future?

Ultimately I would like to either work for a creative agency who specialises in concept development and developed or within a marketing department for an internationally known brand. If not I would love to open my own business. I plan to go travelling before I settle down in a ‘career’.

What skills would you say you have gained/improved since the start of your course?

I would say the course has helped me develop my own writing style, has improved my presentation/communication skills to the point where I would feel confident pitching an idea to a team of professionals and has greatly helped me decide what I want to do when I graduate.

What new knowledge of your subject area have you learnt so far on your course?

The fashion industry is constantly evolving. I have learned the working of a public relations department, the structure of articles and the layouts of publications, the new found importance of social media and the timescales that brands create concepts on to name a few…

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria Design?

I do feel university has shaped me as a person. It has made me a stronger, more independent and confident person. The creative industry isn’t an easy industry to enter, you must be prepared to not always succeed and be able to get yourself back up when you are knocked down. Being away from home make you grown up quicker and acquire a whole new set of skills you haven’t yet developed. On our course (especially), you must believe in yourself and be able to sell yourself to potential employers.


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