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Kirsty Lewis Canning

BA Hons Textile, Art, Design & Fashion
Graduated 2016
Knitwear Designer

Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...

- Kirsty Lewis Canning

My Journey

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    Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability

    • My 4 week internship with Cathy Martin PR, which helped me gain an insight into the business side of the fashion industry. • Helping to organise the end of year fashion show. • The friendships I have made during my time at Ulster University. • The breadth of the course has helped me achieve a greater understanding of the industry, specialising in knitwear during final year has helped me greatly in my current role, understanding yarns, compositions, gauges and yarn counts/ends.

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    How placement enhanced my employability

    Throughout my three years at University I had two part time jobs, I worked in both MANGO and Cath Kidston, this taught me many things which are needed in every working day, such as organisation, responsibility and sale targets. It also taught me time management skills, as I had to split my time between work and study.

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    How study abroad enhanced my employability


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    Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far

    1. I joined SRG in August 2016, under a temporary contract of 9 months, my contract was made permanent after 6 months of working within the company, this was a significant step in my career helping to collectively deliver sales from design, manufacture to supply.
    2. A significant step in my career so far, has been travelling to customer headquarters for meetings, such as NEXT, Burton, Peacocks & River Island which involves me pitching my designs, explaining the current & future trends, re-engineering of designs where necessary to achieve target prices and maintain product quality. The best part of my job is seeing my designs in-stores and on the high street, and knowing that they are something I have created.
    3. Gaining orders of high quantities for different customers has been a big step in my career so far, as it has been very encouraging and keeps me determined to continue and progress in my career.

What would your advice to students be?

It’s a very fast-paced industry - you will be thrown in at the deep end and you’ll have to learn very quickly. I think people underestimate how difficult it is, but you learn a lot and it is all worth it when you get to see your designs come to life.

Get work experience, it is so important to see what happens every day in the design studios, if you decide to work for a supplier and not a brand like myself, you will get more of an insight into the full process from design straight through to production.
- Kirsty Lewis Canning