Welcome to the ‘Life after graduation’ series
Ellie Burns, 22, Nottingham girl living in London
PR and Social Media Assistant at Skinny Dip London
BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion at Ravensbourne University. Graduated 2017
Awards: D&AD New Blood Winner 2017, 2nd Place Graduate Fashion Week ASOS Future Talent Portfolio Award, 2nd Place Graduate Fashion Week New Media Award.
“It’s an exciting time as I launch myself into the creative sector.
I have a passion for all things digital and making an impact
in a creative, innovative way.”
First of all, I have to say congratulations to Ellie for not only graduating but being featured on the Elle UK website. Ellie kicks off our ‘Life after Graduation’ series, where we speak to young professionals lucky (and hard-working) enough to have found their feet soon after leaving University.
Did you intern whilst at University?
Yup! I interned during all my holidays and did a couple in between working part-time and lectures (that was intense!). I did loads of different internships all over the industry (styling, PR, event production etc.)
What were the key things you learnt through these internships?
I learnt that I definitely didn’t want to do styling, after spending a couple of months being an assistant and I realised freelancing wouldn’t be right for me at this stage. After working for a couple of agencies I realised I’d really like to work for just one brand where I can see the whole picture and work within lots of different areas of promotion rather than one specific area, such as PR.
When I interned for different companies, I found it really interesting learning about how all the areas in fashion are linked. From stylists, to PR, to designers to magazines. I found it really useful discovering who the big PR agencies were and who they looked after and the importance of their relationships with the press and stylists; all to promote the work of a designer and brand and produce a final product of really creative work as working on an editorial.
The key places to know within London for internships are based in Soho and East London for a lot of PR agencies and big brands. Whilst the little design houses are scattered between the creative areas of Dalston and Hackney. I’ve been on many a trip there with a suitcase or two! Those are the places where you make really good contacts.
Have you always known what you wanted to do after Uni?
Nope! I definitely knew I wanted to work within ‘fashion promotion’ and work creatively but I wasn’t too fussy which area I went into – as long as I got my foot in the door! Internships definitely made me identify my strengths and weaknesses and pointed me in the right direction.
When did you start looking for jobs?
In the Easter holidays I started looking and applying (well eager) although I mainly wanted to just see if I could get a response and more interview practice. I didn’t take it too seriously until the final couple of weeks of university.
How did you approach the job hunting process? Did you use websites, networks, how many interviews etc.
Fashion Workie, Mediargh, Twitter accounts are amazing for finding fashion jobs! The LinkedIn jobs app is really helpful and then if I had the time I’d go on targeted companies websites that I really wanted to work for to see if opportunities were available. I had access to Fashion Monitor at uni so that was really helpful to email applications directly. Throughout the whole graduate process, I think I applied for 50 jobs and had 3 interviews before I got my job now!
What is a typical day like at work and what are your responsibilities?
It really varies! It always begins with checking up on influencers that I’ve recently gifted and seeing if they’ve featured Skinnydip in their pictures, whilst noting down any other cool influencers we can work with in the future. I check up and see if we’ve had any press coverage and also send out any sample and imagery requests to the media to feature us. At the moment we have lots of collaborations going on and coming up, so a lot of time has been spent putting together really cool creative campaigns and launch events!
What has been the biggest learning since starting your new role?
That hard work pays off. It’s good to contribute ideas, speak your mind but most importantly – bulk make lunches! (Pret every day = Sooooo expensive and no rent money left).
What advice would you give graduates looking for jobs or University students?
To intern your life away and don’t moan about it – if you don’t do it someone else will! Be nice to everyone but also know your worth. Don’t let people take advantage!