Moving from India to Aberdeen to study MSc International Fashion Business

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MSc International Fashion Business Lavanya shares why she decided to study for a master’s degree at RGU and how her course and placement experience helped her develop essential skills and confidence to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

Deciding to pursue a master’s degree

I am Lavanya, and I come from a town in Kerala, South India. Doing a master’s degree was not something that I had in mind and moving to a new country was not even an option when I started my undergraduate in Fashion Technology in 2018.

At the time, I was sure I would start working in a fashion brand somewhere in India the moment I finished my degree. But I guess life is unpredictable.

The COVID pandemic hit during my third year and as we were put on lockdown, finding jobs became more and more limited. That is when I started questioning if I would be happy with the education I had. My mom, being extremely supportive, gave me the idea to not only do a master’s course, but do it from a different country. This stuck in my mind.

Why I chose RGU to study MSc International Fashion Business

I started searching for universities which catered to my interests. It was hard doing it alone in the beginning, even harder considering I wasn’t able to start right after finishing my undergraduate course in September, due to personal reasons. So, my only option was to look for universities that had an intake in January.

RGU’s website came up when I searched for my preferred course and intake time. I had a few other options, and I first tried connecting with lecturers and students from each university.

What made RGU stand out was that all the students had good things to say about the course and that it was the only university from which I was able to connect with a lecturer. I had always wanted to go to Scotland, and even though Aberdeen in particular would not have been an obvious option at first, it was the way I felt reassured by RGU support staff, lecturers and alumni that made me want to apply to the University.

Apart from that, the course itself seemed wonderful. I wanted something that would be both creative and managerial and it was exactly that. The modules covered several areas within the industry, but most importantly they focused on teaching you how the industry works. With an option for placement after my first semester, I knew I would be able to deepen my practical knowledge.

My placement and course experience

Before flying to Aberdeen, I had already looked up some boutiques that I wanted to work with during my placement. As I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to work in the industry, this was the best way to get into it. I contacted the Placement Officer and gave her the list of places I had looked into and she helped me get in touch with the owner of an independent fashion label that I wanted to work with called “Style for Your Shape”.

This is a size-inclusive store and the values behind this establishment are what attracted me the most. I was able to understand a side of the industry that was overlooked most of the time. From seeing customers walk in not being able to find something that fit them to getting something that thrilled them and feel confident again walking out, to interacting with them, I learned so much more than I had hoped for.

With group assessments and also the way the reports had to be researched, I was able to gain insights into the industry while developing more skills. The placement
also provided me with a stepping stone to find a part-time job later on.

Initially, I don’t do very well when around a big group of people, but between group activities at RGU and my work on placement, I was interacting with a lot of people, which helped me come out of my shell. I even gained enough confidence to take up the role of Class Representatives.

The most fun I had was during the Fashion Forecasting module, which is something I would love to do as a job in the future. I also learned about teamwork, time management and much more!

What’s in the store for my future career in fashion

I believe the future is unpredictable. Last year, I was just toying with the idea of doing my master’s and here I am today. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy research with a hint of creativity, and forecasting is something I would love to do. As an Indian, I have absolutely loved learning about so many different cultures and that is also something I would love to explore more.

I don’t know what’s in store for my future, but the experience RGU gave me has certainly changed me in positive ways and I am more excited than scared to see what’s ahead.

Krishnakunj Lavanya Nair

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From China to Aberdeen – Starting RGU as an international student

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