Interview with Lily Kennedy, Fashion Design student at Birmingham City University
Studied: Level 3 Fashion BTEC
Progression: Currently studying BA (Hons) Fashion Design at Birmingham City University
Why did you decide to study at Coventry College?
I decided to study at Coventry College as i was doing essay-based A Levels at Sixth Form and I missed the creativity of my Textiles GCSE. I knew a previous student who’d studied the fashion course and it looked amazing and so creative, which is what I wanted to do.
I knew I wanted to do a fashion course at university but they all wanted portfolios of creative work which my chosen A Levels didn’t provide. Therefore, I decided to switch to Coventry College. I was nervous as I didn’t know anyone and would be leaving my old friends at my Sixth Form, however college was probably the most fun two years ever.
What course did you study, and what did you enjoy the most?
I studied the Level 3 Fashion BTEC for two years. I honestly enjoyed everything about college – it was so creative and I was able to make every module my own individual style which I loved. Although I mostly enjoyed portfolio work which included designing and making garments, creating moodboards to get my ideas flowing and also researching designers and trends I wanted to include in my modules.
How has your career developed since leaving Coventry College?
The College supported me by giving me information about the pathways I could take once I’d completed my course. I have friends from the course who went into jobs and I also have friends who are on Fashion Styling university degrees and Fashion Business courses.
The teachers at the College support you in whichever path you choose, however their knowledge around universities and the different courses is exceptional and they really helped me choose which course would suit me the most.
Coventry College prepared me for university as they have the best facilities including industrial machines, fabric screen printing rooms and also a great fabric library. During your time at the College you also learn how to pattern cut, which is such an important skill for your next step into fashion design. It’s also an amazing life skill as it will allow you to understand the way clothes are made. I have friends on my university course who, before uni, had never pattern cut or used an industrial machine, therefore I truly believe that college was like a mini university as it prepared me. You have so much freedom with your work so just enjoy it!
What was the most important thing you learned at Coventry College that has helped you in your career?
The most important thing I learned is to be organised and also enjoy fashion! You need to be organised as the course is coursework based, so make sure you’re keeping up to date with what needs to be handed in, as you’ll be creating a garment as well as creating a sketch book with samples and designs. Making sure I was organised at college has really helped me out at uni as the workload is larger.
As well as that, the two years go so fast so really immerse yourself into the course and enjoy the great facilities and teachers you have, they’re so skilled and helpful.
What advice would you give to those following in your footsteps at Coventry College?
Some advice I’d give to upcoming students is to get to know all your classmates, as that’s the way ideas flow for upcoming modules. Everyone on the course is there because they have the same interests so it’s a fab way to make forever friends! I’ve made friends for life from college. Some more advice would be to work hard – the feeling you get when you finish your module and your garments is so amazing, so be proud of your work and use all the facilities!
Interested in fashion design? Find out more about the creative programmes Coventry College offer.