Welcome to our latest series, Nerve Online Style X Careers.
Meet Daisy Carling-Rose, a BU student who is on her placement year with Debenhams. Daisy creates content for their style blog; so journos, english students and fashion fans, this one is for you!
Hi Daisy! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to work at Debenhams for your placement year.
So I’m originally from Oxford, and study English at BU, which I chose as I loved the creative aspects of the course. Although I wasn’t originally planning to do a placement year, Debenhams felt like a great fit as it’s a huge global retail company, and the position was Editorial (as opposed to a lot of the marketing placements, or PR) and that’s exactly the direction I want to head into.
Why did you choose to do a placement year?
As it’s not vital to the course, I hadn’t planned to take a year to do one. But as my housemates are all events management students, I became more and more swayed! I also realised that a year in industry would be hugely beneficial to the job I want to go into. I think a few weeks’ work experience here and there is great, but if you can get a year in somewhere you’d ideally like to work, it’s helpful to find out what you do and don’t like and gain some really useful contacts and experience.
What was the application process like?
So I applied via MyCareerHub with the standard CV and cover letter. Then there was a telephone interview with Debenhams HR team, followed by a face-to-face interview at the Head Office, where I had to bring some written tasks with me, as well as complete an on the day task there.
What’s a typical day like?
The Editorial Team look after The Style Debrief (a hub on the homepage) and The Debenhams Blog. So my day’s might be filled up with research for Style Debrief stories, imagery or piecing the articles together to be sent to production to ensuring the stock in the article is going to be due in on time. For the blog, I’ll research and plan content and then write all fashion and lifestyle posts – things like, best dressed at award shows, interviews, trends to cover or celebrity style. Then there are the everyday, ad hoc jobs that arise every so often too.
Have you had any memorable moments of your career so far?
I’ve been given (and also been sure to take) so many great opportunities with the company. I organised a cocktail event at Christmas with 12 bloggers, which was amazing to pull off and organise. Interviewing Savannah Miller was a highlight, along with the fun press days and shoots I’ve attended.
Attending LFW is always good fun – we get tickets to the designers that have collections with Debenhams such as Julien Macdonald, Henry Holland and Preen.
Are there any downfalls of the job?
There can be a lot of working with excel (and nobody really likes excel). Sometimes it’s also difficult to manage a big workload – but simply just asking what is priority and what can be pushed back helps with that.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to go into this industry?
Just gain as much experience as you can! Not only will you be 10 times more likely to get a job for your placement or even after uni, but it really shows you, more than anything, what you do and don’t like about the industry and where you might want to go next.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to do a placement year?
Don’t leave it really late – apply early!