Second-year BA (Hons) Fashion Communication student, Kiya-Ellen shares her tips for new students starting at Condé Nast College to give a picture of what to expect…
With the promise of the new academic year approaching, I found myself reminiscing about my first year as a BA Fashion Communication student at the college. Being reminded of all the uncertainty I felt about starting, encouraged me to write up some how to’s and what to do’s when starting at the Condé Nast College for the first time so you know a little of what to expect.
Now, COVID-19 is something we are all learning to navigate day by day, so some things will be slightly different to what I first experienced. But, the basics remain the same, so let’s start with those.
How to Prepare for Starting College
I would suggest subscribing to a variety of news/fashion media outlets so you can become familiar with what’s currently going on in the industry and get acquainted with industry-standard terminology that will help your coursework shine. Some great websites to get you started are; Business of Fashion, Colossal, Retail Gazette, Vogue Runway.
Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) is software actively used when completing modules each term. I would advise downloading Adobe Creative Cloud as soon as possible to familiarise yourself with each programme, as learning to navigate Adobe CC early on will reduce potential stress and pressure if you are a first time user. However, do not fear, you will receive comprehensive lectures/workshops on how to use those programmes, but preparation is key.
What Can You Expect From Your First Week at CNC?
Despite it being only just last year, the first week at the Condé Nast College feels like a lifetime ago. This is because the first year was jam-packed full of opportunities, experiences, and course content, even with COVID-19 scuppering lots of good intentions and plans halfway into it, the courses and weekly industry speakers continued.
Your first week at Condé Nast College will be a series of introductions. You will engage in a variety of activities that get you talking to the rest of your cohort, you will also be introduced to lots of members of staff and have the freedom to explore the vibrant city of London, pinpointing key museums, art galleries, and sources of inspiration which will be vital when collating research for future modules.
Also, top tip! On the first day you will have your photo taken – be prepared. This image is printed onto your student card which is super important to bring with you when going into the College. Security is high and it’s not cool getting caught out in the rain with no student card, let me tell you!
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Full house at the Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design this morning to hear me talking up THE GLOSSY YEARS on stage to @zoesouter. A hundred students from at least forty countries, all intelligent, informed, cool and appealingly willing to laugh at my jokes and nod along at my observations. An uplifting hour. Photo by abigail alder. #condenastcollegelondon #condenastcollegeoffashionanddesign
How Long are the Terms When You’re on a Two-Year Degree?
On average, terms are usually 10 weeks in length and during those weeks you will complete three separate modules, all requiring different outcomes that are assessed. Just like any degree, there is a percentage of the work that doesn’t count towards your final degree award. Don’t let this be a reason to not put in the effort with your submissions when it comes to these modules. Without the basic fundamental skills learned in these modules you cannot boss the modules that will count. All the modules at the beginning of the first year are fundamental to you being able to complete modules at levels 5 & 6.
Navigating Your Studies During Coronavirus
The first half of my first year, classes were all physical; a lot of course content will now be hosted over Zoom alongside physical classes in the college. But do not worry, the teaching is just the same, the only difference is you can enjoy some lectures at home in sweats and possibly get some exercise in rather than commuting on those days.
Remember to carry at least two masks with you. Wearing the same one for a long period of time can be a beast on your skin and if you’re anything like me, you’ll need a spare in case you lose one.
Pack light for days when you are in college, there is nothing worse than an impromptu trek around London for research, with half of your worldly belongings in a bag on your shoulder. The college cupboard is now closed and that is a serious loss. RIP the cupboard that saved my shoulders.
Avoid public transport where possible, as limiting interaction with lots of people is key to keeping us safe from the risk of COVID-19. But luckily London is a beautiful, walkable city and I’ve experienced amazing sights on foot that I would have missed being underground or on a crowded bus.
All students should read and abide by the COVID-19 Guidelines
What to Bring to Class?
Carry a pen and pad with you, sometimes staring at a screen all day can be really tough and you don’t want to NOT make notes. Also, inspiration comes in some unlikely places. Always be prepared so you can write down or sketch out an idea.
Tintico coffee shop has the best coffee I’ve ever tasted… FYI and it’s only across the road!
You may have a clear idea of what you want to do upon graduating from college, however, it’s important to stay flexible. It’s great to know where you would like to go in the industry but don’t limit yourself. The Conde Nast College offers a variety of experiences as well as varied industry speakers, so my suggestion is try something different and be open to other potential careers you didn’t even know existed. I went in with an idea of where I would position myself in the industry and now I’m going in a completely different direction – gladly.
Most of all, be present, remember to ask questions, and soak up as much information from all the lecturers you meet.
Interested in booking on to one of our courses starting this autumn? Get in touch now to avoid disappointment.
By Kiya-Ellen Rose