Graduate recruitment fair

So I am in third year so I am only few months away from graduating which will go by so fast! Time to start thinking more serious about what I will be doing after graduating. Over those 3 past years in University and many more in various colleges and school I have always had a passion of making, art and textiles. Over the past few months this passion and love has weakened. This makes me worry as I should be at my highest specially in third year but also makes me think about other routes of career for my  future. I could always imagine my self as a teacher, possibly in a primary school, or someone that helps other people. I also love to travel and being so lucky to be able to travel with university and on my own I still want to visit more part of the world. I went to the fair with an open mind, few set companies I wanted to talk to and a bunch of CVs ready to hand out. The fair it self was quite impressive. There was nearly a 100 companies that actually paid to be there and were very happy to help and talk to.

As a textiles student I decided to speak to textiles related companies, there wasn’t a lot that offered obvious art and design job. I spoke to River Island, Abercrombie & Fitch and Cardiff Theatrical Services.

River Island offer 12 months paid placements which I found out from a leaflet and not from the people I spoke to.  I am not sure if I would like to be working for a designing company in future but decided to ‘sell’ my self anyway. They were very clear that I must have experience and even after I proved I have been in Malta for nearly 3 months working in a real workshop they were still very unwelcoming and not bothered. Even when I offered to give them my CV they said that I should apply in few months. River Island is a great clothing company but this experience didn’t leave a good mark.

Abercrombie & Fitch. Also a great designing company, sadly they didn’t have any designing offers but marketing and manager positions. It was still interesting how they hire people and how they all have to go through the same training and don’t hire externally but those positions were of no interested to me.

Cardiff Theatrical Services, in other words National Opera Wales. I spoke to them and they were so helpful and welcoming. I explained how I was a bit lost and confused about the future and they were so nice about it. I came up to them with a thought of costume design and left thinking about set making. Sadly there was no one there that I could speak about costume design but I gave my creative CV in and the lady there said they will be happy to show me their studio even if I was not previously interested in set making.

Another creative opportunity I came across by was within the Informatics Service. They mainly deal with delivering information an technology but also had a Graphic Designer position. I love the used of graphics and I have studies Graphics Communication in college so I took the information down for applying just in case. Now when I think about it I will probably want to have a break from designing as a whole, not just textiles.

As previously mentioned quite a big part of my life is travel. Before going to the fair I could picture my self going to one of the camps in America. Sadly there wasn’t there for the fair, there was one guy who was only sat down by a signing up emailing list and didn’t know much about it. After I realised that camp America would start before mid July, when my graduation ceremony is so if I ended up going I would miss it.

Another travelling company I spoke to was GOTOCO China. I really like them as they offer volunteering with free meals, accommodation and TEFL certification plus one free week in a village called Yangshuo. I have been to China before and it was really nice, however I didn’t like it as much as I liked other places. This is still an amazing opportunity which will also happen over summer so I will have to check the dates.

Frontier, a company with jobs and internships and over 350 projects that include travel. They were very eager about animal but also had some teaching opportunities. They offer placement for 3 months plus so I am guessing this wouldn’t be during summer which wouldn’t clash with my graduation ceremony.

UNA Exchange is a company that I didn’t actually speak to but saw in a booklet that involved the map of the stands with explanation of what each company has to offer. They are in the volunteering sector  and partners in 50 different countries and 40 years or experience. This might be a great organisation for some international work experience.

Teaching opportunities. I spoke to a lot of companies that work in the teaching sector. I spoke to Apollo teaching service, which could get me in touch with schools if there is a supply teacher needed for coupe of days a week. This might be quite hard to do specially while in my third year but might be something to consider later on, after graduation.

ND Education is actually one of the largest education recruitment and training programme in the UK. To apply to this programme I would need a TEFL certification which I could get in GOTOCO China or many other opportunities. They sounded very reasonable and open to help my needs and help me achieve my goals.

The Teach First is a sector offering graduate job, graduate schemes, internships and taster days. At the moment I will probably be mostly interested in a taster day as I don’t really have any experience.

Other companies that I spoke to and may not be  specifically in the teaching sector but are to do with helping people were the service stands. I spoke to people from stands like Alzheimer’s Society who were happy to organise one to one craft sessions with patients. This would definitely be and amazing experience however I think I will be more interested in working with children rather than adults.

Academi Wales caught by attention because of the adventures photographs on their stand. They showed people kayaking and rock climbing which is amazing. They deal with Public Services in Wales. They had some much to offer and I was ready to apply, however in the essential requirements there is a Welsh language needed at some posts and I can’t speak in Welsh but definitely I thing to look in to.

Another place that could be quite useful for work experience is Bedwellty House and Park. They organise activities fro children all through the year so maybe I could help with running some of the activities?

Go Wales has approached me actually, they are a company that helps students from poorer areas and who are less advantages to go to university to advertise it. They also help students while they are in uni with their employability and other skills. This might be quite useful for me as I am still feeling quite confused about what happens after graduation.

Another thing I thought about was to carry on with my education in art and design. I could undertake a postgraduate  and research programme. This is offered by Cardiff Met but also many other different schools. I don’t really know a lot about Masters so didn’t know what questions to ask really but I know that we will soon be having a profession practise lecture about this so I will find out more about it then. I did mentioned about my worry about my writing skills and how English is my second language and the lady said that if I have any future worries I should email her. When she gave me her email I realised that I have already been in contact with her about additional funding for Malta. She couldn’t help me out with that then but was pleased that I managed to go anyways and proposed that I should write a reflection piece for the school website and paper. This would look great on my CV and might be good practise for the future.

It is known that it still good for graduates to get on graduate schemes. It gives them amazing placement and work opportunities. Pretty much each company that was there, from all different sectors, had graduate schemes to offer. I spoke to organisations that focus on find you the right graduate scheme such as Gradsouthwest, Graduatejobs and Target Group. And for recruitment Hays specialist recruitment, Rate my placement and Target jobs,

I spoke to few more companies and sands but those didn’t really interest me at all.

Reflection and next steps 

This graduate fair was very helpful as they had a lot of different things to offer there but not so much for creative paths. It was however great for my teaching and travel plans. It was also quite scary. I have been doing some activities outside of my cohort such as Cardiff Met Award, international internships and various competitions but this fair made me feel like I maybe haven’t done enough. I am also quite unsure in what I want to do next I will probably take a year out to travel and do work experience. I strongly  believe that I will come back to education in some sort of  way as I love to learn and develop. What I will want to do next is to research and possibly apply for UNA Exchange,  GOTOCO China and Frontier to plan some travelling and work experience for the next year. I will also try to follow up on the Cardiff Theatrical Services about the studio visit as that might be quite interesting. I also want to speak to Go Wales and see if they might help me with finding some work experience opportunities. I should probably start thinking about getting in contact with some school and places of interest for work experience for next year. This year will be busy with working hard on my degree but I think it is important for me to keep in mind about after graduating.

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London itinerary

We are going to London tomorrow! I am very exited as I like London specially how research as it is filled with great museums, galleries and shops. Tomorrow I will be researching around the stationery shops. I will be focusing on high end market stationery shop as I would like to research in to all parts in the market and I think it might be easier for me to research other parts of the market in Cardiff or online.

The top 4 places I would like to go to are Harrords, Paperchase, Scribbler and Liberty’s in that order. I think it might be tight schedule because I sometimes get side tracked and get distracted by all the inspiration and loose track of time.  I would also like to pop in to the V&A and have to look at the paintings of people as I might use postures in this project.

 

Reflection on Malta

Although my tan has faded my memories never will. This was a summer of a life time with many amazing opportunities. Spending 11 weeks in sunny Malta was a dream, I love the sun and the people I met out there. The whole island was an inspiration it self starting from sandy and rocky beaches I would relax on everyday after work to quirky streets of Valletta with magnificent architecture. Even in the streets of Mosta where I lived I would find inspiration or something creative everyday.  The 3 highlights I want to talk about are the beaches, the architecture and of course my internship.

As a person who loves to travel I always try to pick destinations with high temperatures. I love the sun and beaches so Malta was a perfect destination for me. The island of Malta has it all, from rocky Saint Peter’s pool where I jumped out the cliffs to warm and soft sand on Golden Bay.

To see my inspirations from the beaches, click here

To see more inspirations from the beaches, click here

Maltese architecture has been influenced by many different Mediterranean cultures and also by British culture. Even on the plane I have notices that all the buildings are build from the same creamy-brownie stone. Most of the buildings, specially the churches and cathedrals were build around the same time – the 17th century. I really like the all the special care for the details and carvings which are usually inspired by trees, animals and spirals. There is 365 churches in Malta which is quite shocking if you realise how small the island actually is. Even on my way to work everyday I was passing at least 10 churches. Some of them are quite small but still very important for the culture and locals.

To read more about my thoughts on Malta and the architecture, click here

I went to Malta with the intention to explore the industry and learn dress making during my 10 week internship with Alamango. Sadly, Alamango Bridal did not meet my expectations. Before my arrival I was sent an itinerary of all the amazing tasts I would be doing with them and I was very exited for all the things I would learn. After a couple of weeks I was told that I won’t be doing any of the tasks on the list because they simply don’t do that, for example I was supposed to do pattern cutting and dress making but Alamango doesn’t even design and make their own dresses they only make alterations so already make dresses. I was really nice to meet with the clients, the brides and their families but I feel like I could of spend those 10 weeks learning so much.

 

To read more about my time in Alamango Bridal, click here

After all those 11 weeks were amazing even if my internship didn’t really work out. I still think it’s the whole experience that counts and I do want to do it again but many in a different country where it’s more structured. As I mentioned before this was a summer of a life time and I hope I will visit Malta again. Those are my favourite places and snaps of my self.

To read more about how I edit my photos, click here

Editing photographs

So I don’t think it’s hard to notice that I love social media. I am not as good at it as I would want to be but I am trying my best and just putting my self out there. Of course I will have tons of photos from Malta for both my personal account and work account on Instagram so I just wanted to quickly show you how I edit my photos.

On my work account I simply edit the photo so the colours are brighter and the contrast is greater to really show of the colours. This photo is showing a beautiful crystal clean blue water on the Comino Island. Honestly it is like a paradise. I decided to use this photograph as an example because it is the last one I added, during one hour I got 10 likes, hopefully I will get a bit more. Check out more about my hoop photos here!

For my personal account I usually do the same, I just make the colours more vibrant but for this one I had to do a bit more. When I visited Mdina – the Silent City of Malta I took a lot of photos but I specially liked this because of the texture and colour of the wall and how it works with the colour of my dress. Sadly, the Silent City wasn’t so silent and was filled with tourists so it was hard to take a good photo.

I wanted to remove the people in the background which I have never done before so I decided to go on Youtube. There was a lot of different videos was ways to do this but this one worked the best for me.

Click here to see How to remove unwanted people from your pictures

 

Colourful Malta

Malta is a very beautiful country full of amazing and vibrant colours which is really inspiring. For me colours are very important in my work so I wanted to capture them as the are in real life. I am using Pantone colour post cards to capture the exact colours of my surroundings.

Each beach or bay is very unique and has it’s own colours. Here are photographs of Bugibba and Mellieha bay which aren’t that far from each other but already have different colour tones of the water and specially the sand.

I also wanted to try a new different approach when I don’t hold the cards but just put them in sand. I am not sure if I like the example on the left with the feet but it might as well be because the sand isn’t the best colour. I love the photograph on the right with the light catching the tints and tones of the golden sand.

I have created my own hashtag on Instagram called #remazingpantone if you would like to see my other photographs with the Pantone cards.

Malta through hoops

My trip to Malta so far has been amazing. It is not over yet but I thought I would share my favourite places which immediately became perfect scenery for my hoop photography.

I have mostly photographed beaches and bays as I love the water and I feel like every bay in Malta is very unique. I also wanted to try out a different approach so I have also tried out photographing closeups of colourful boats and seaweeds directly on to sand. I think both look really good and I am happy to be adding to my collection. If you would like to see some more hoop photos click here!

First few weeks at Alamango Bridal

So I have completed 3 weeks at Alamango Bridal, it’s crazy how time flies when you’re having fun. This internships is definitely not what I expected. Before I came out here I was told I will be helping designing and making dresses with a skilled team. So far I have done alterations to already made dresses and met with clients and the ‘team’ includes me and one free-lancing lady who is not a dress maker. I am really enjoying the time I have already spend in the Bridal workshop but I feel like I am not learning a lot. I have completed 3 weeks which means I have 7 left and I already feel like I can’t reach my full potential but I finally settled in properly and I am falling in love with Malta more and more everyday.

This is some of the alterations I have done so far. On a bride to be I have measured how much lace she wants on the back and front and gathered up the fabric to attach the comb. The gathering and putting lace around was simple but when it got to the comb it was a bit fiddly. I tried my best but I had to redo the lace around and comb as the stitches weren’t straight and nice. After doing it again it came out perfect. It was straight and nice and you couldn’t see the comb from the other side which is really important in a vale.

This dress had a long, full tail at the back of the skirt. With nearly every dress we make a loop in a middle of the skirt at the back and a button on lower back so the bride can have a beautiful long tail for the ceremony but can also feel more comfortable after with the tail up. We usually do one loop and one button but because this dress had such a full skirt I had to stitch 5 loops and buttons.

After measuring where the loops and buttons go on the bride the actual making was easy and the final effect was stunning. The 5 loops still give the skirt so much fullness but it also so much more comfortable for the bride.

The third alteration that I usually do are shoulder cover-ups. To get married in Malta the bride’s shoulders must be covered both in church and city hall, the bride can show her  shoulders after the ceremony. The shoulder cover-up are very popular in Malta, they come of with snaps in seconds. I stitch the snaps in to the edge of the dress and end of the cover-up which allows the bride to take it off at the time she wants.

Another alterations that I usually do is fixing and adding beads or changing lengths of the skirts. So far I have mostly worked by hand but I have used the industrial machine and it is so much faster then the domestic one! It looks intimating to use and no one trained me how to use it but I would like to practise on it more.

So after all I have enjoyed the 3 weeks I have spend in Alamango Bridal & Textiles but I would love to learn more techniques such as pattern making, cutting and dress making.