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Fashion and Marketing Guru Talks Business As ICMS’ New Program Manager

Fashion and Marketing Guru Talks Business As ICMS’ New Program Manager

July 19, 2021

From a self-confessed emo-wannabe photographer with a love of board games and an obsession with fashion and design, marketer Nicole Venter is now ICMS Program Manager for two degree specialisations close to her heart; fashion and marketing.

ICMS is delighted to have Ms Venter take on the role of Program Manager for both the  Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and the Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management).

Originally from an immigrant family, Ms Venter learned at a young age that business was always a sensible career choice. It was important to her to pick a career with good job prospects. And as a naturally creative person, she found that marketing and fashion fuelled her artistic freedom.

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Ms Venter about her passion for fashion and marketing; how she began her business career; what benefits studying fashion and marketing at ICMS can provide; and to tap her into her industry experience for those looking to start a career in the fashion and marketing industries.

What is your fashion and marketing background?

“If we go way back, my taste for marketing can probably first be identified when I was four years old. I identified a lucrative business opportunity to sell kids tissues twisted into flowers, with hearts drawn on them for Mother’s Day. The Principal did not appreciate my entrepreneurial spirit, but a marketer was born.

If we jump forward a few years, I started my career in marketing and quickly realised that the best part of my job was coming up with creative strategies to improve businesses. I secured a part-time job as a Marketing Intern, which evolved into the Graduate Program for their CRM department.

As the self-proclaimed fashionista in the office, never willing to wear a heel under 3 inches, I wanted to work on consumer and retail brands because they seemed so much fun. To get onto these jobs, I completed project management training to be a junior Project Manager for businesses such as Myer, Qantas, CommBank and the like.

This led to me contacting supply chain and retail specific agencies for work. Eventually I secured a consulting role where I was given the freedom to research consumers and work on complete retail concepts from product strategy, to store design, consumer profiling and general business improvement.

From there I was able to grow my brands of interest to include Glue Store, Pretty Girl Fashion Group, Masterchef, BBC, DreamWorld and many, many more.  Now, as well as my ICMS role, I also consult on retail strategy.”

How did you first become involved with ICMS?

“While I was doing my master’s degree, I asked my lecturer, who headed up one of the programs at ICMS, if there were any tutoring opportunities. One of the units had a lecturer drop out last minute, and he took a chance on me. I’ve been lecturing ever since and have seen ICMS grow to one of the prominent players in higher education.”

Why do you have an interest in fashion and marketing?

“I’ve always been a creative at heart. In a room of business professionals, I’m the most creative, but in a room of creatives, I’m the most practical. So, I needed to find my space where that balance was useful. I think many of our students are the same.”

“Marketing is a growth area and with digital and social marketing such a vibrant industry, I think it gives students broad choice, while still having that safe-bet business degree.”

“Fashion and Global Brand Management is dynamic, fast moving and requires a fast thinking, entrepreneurial mindset.”

“The reason many brands fail isn’t because of the product, it’s often because of the lack of understanding how to manage the brand.  I love being part of these types of industries and passing that love onto the students.”

Where did this interest for fashion and marketing come from?

“My idea of sewing was ‘the bigger the stitch, the less I had to do’…so it wasn’t from that. Perhaps it was winning the title of Sports Captain, when I barely played sport due to some clever chocolate gorilla marketing, or a love of psychology, but the memory of a goldfish when it came to memorising chemistry.”

“I think you eventually find your people if you are honest about who you are and not afraid to explore what makes you happy.”

I was an emo wannabe, wig wearing, photographer with a love of board games and an obsession with fashion and design. My first apartment kitchen was painted black. I eventually found my space in marketing and the retail industry because it is filled with artists, entrepreneurs, wealthy families, complete self-made millionaires who left school at 15, the quirky, the genius analysts and people with a general taste for the thrill of the gamble that comes with putting out ideas in the hope you catch a consumer fish.”

What do you like best about the fashion and marketing courses at ICMS?

“When we designed the courses, we made it a priority to incorporate as many tools and real-life skills into the tutorial activities and assessments as we could. I am a firm believer in practical, hands-on learning versus theory and wanted the graduates to be able to work in their industries and feel they could add value from day one.”

“Now, returning to ICMS in this role after some time away at other colleges and in the industry, I plan to continue to refine the subjects, and bring in electives, masterclasses and guest lecturers to keep our students ahead of the game.”

What impresses you most about these two courses?

“I’m impressed by the quality of the course materials and strong industry connections. I’ve seen programs with 1-2 week internships and very little career support, which makes it tough when you’re first entering the industry. I am also very proud that we have lecturing staff whom are academics, while also very knowledgeable about industry and work hard for the students.

Sometimes lecturers can be tough, but it only because they know the student is capable of so much more.”

“There is a culture of going above and beyond to support students at ICMS that I’ve increasingly appreciated the uniqueness of over the years.”

“The work that goes into developing our units versus what I’ve seen in the industry is impressive. I love the focus we have towards making tutorial activities hands on versus a sea of essay writing.”

Why should students select the ICMS fashion and marketing courses?

“Students will learn the practical skills they will need from day one, as well as the theory behind it. I am very proud of the courses that have been produced by the team here and the thought behind the assessments and outcomes for the students.”

“Life can be serious, careers can change – but if you do something that sets you up for life, like a business degree, with a dash of fun in marketing, fashion or general brand retail, you won’t hate going to work in the morning.”

“When people ask what I do, I say I help businesses make more money and give consumers fun experiences to talk about.”

What advice would you give to students looking for a career in the fashion and marketing industries?

“Take chances, be bold and work your strengths.

At the risk of sounding cliche, ‘fortune favours the brave’. My first consulting job was because I sent in a Mr Potato Head cartoon summarising my CV. I’ve had the opportunities I’ve had because I reached out to strangers and introduced myself.

If you are passionate, easy to work with and show people you are willing to learn and work hard, you will be successful. Also, learn to shop sample sales, we are creatives after all, designer sneakers, quirky workwear and the black t-shirt with designer denim is an entry requirement.”

ICMS is excited to have Ms Venter lead the direction of the fashion and marketing specialisations and looks forward to the creativity and continued contribution she’ll bring to ICMS in her new role.

Read Nicole Venter’s Staff Profile

Bachelor of Business (Marketing)

Fashion and Marketing

Every organisation in every industry requires marketing management professionals with skills to build strong brands, launch new products, optimise operations and maximise a company’s potential for profit. This is an ideal career for those who seek to understand how to attract, engage and retain customers. Good marketers are story-tellers who can create a narrative for their target market, helping them to connect with a brand on a personal level.

The ICMS Bachelor of Business (Marketing) is designed to position you for business success in any industry, with a focus on future-proofing you for adaptability in a rapidly changing world. This degree is underpinned by business subjects, together with specialised marketing subjects.

Marketing and business subjects are supplemented by elective subjects from a range of business areas. Your choices include electives in entrepreneurship, event management, international tourism, hospitality management and sports management. This allows you to enhance your business marketing degree with subjects that reflect your interests and ambitions.


Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management)

Fashion and Marketing

The ICMS Bachelor of Business Management (Fashion and Global Brand Management) degree blends core business subjects with specialised subjects relating to fashion and brand management, providing you with the perfect foundation for a successful career in fashion, retail or brand management.

Whether you dream of managing a boutique brand, creating visual merchandising strategies for world-renowned fashion houses or marketing new product lines for online fashion retail giants, this degree will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to carve a niche for yourself in the industry.

At ICMS we believe in a curriculum that blends a thorough understanding of the theoretical principles of management with innovations in hands-on, practical education. You will discover how successful fashion and luxury brands are built, managed and experienced. Learning from business experts, and through extensive industry exposure, you will master the latest marketing and retailing strategies used to engage customers in this exciting global industry.