An International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) work placement at luxury fashion brand Fendi confirmed for ICMS student Annabella Lewis that she had found the career of her dreams.
Lewis, currently studying an ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) degree, secured a Work Integrated Placement (WIL) internship at Fendi, renowned the world over as the epitome of style and high fashion.
“I am completing my industry training with Fendi and I hope this will help my career given that Fendi is such a predominant business within the luxury fashion world, an industry in which I am very keen to start my career,” Lewis said.
Fendi is a brand synonymous with luxury; an Italian company founded almost a century ago – taken over by LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE) in recent years.
Lewis’ current role at Fendi is assistant to the Head of Visual Merchandising for Australia. She assists with maintaining merchandising standards in the boutiques, administration and planning for product launches, and setting up and maintaining the merchandising of new product launches.
“Having been interested in the field of visual merchandising for a long time, my placement with Fendi has really helped to confirm for me that visual merchandising is what I want to do,” she said.
The ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) degree offers students the opportunity to be a part of the multimillion dollar, global, growing fashion industry outside of the limited design and manufacture process. This appealed to Lewis, who wanted a career in the industry without necessarily becoming a fashion designer.
“I was always interested in fashion and wanted some kind of related career, however the design side of things did not appeal to my skill set. When I heard about the ICMS Fashion degree it seemed to align exactly with what I was looking for, encompassing both my interest in fashion and the more practical business aspect,” Lewis said.
Annabella Lewis continues “For me, the best thing about working in the visual merchandising side of the fashion industry is seeing the end product of our hard work. While a new product launch requires months of planning and preparation, hours of less-than-exciting admin, and overnight shifts spent overseeing contractors, dressing mannequins, and positioning products in the most appealing way possible, there is nothing better than seeing the end product of it all. Walking around the store and seeing how beautiful everything looks, knowing all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into it, and that you had a part in it, is the best feeling! All the hard work pays off when you see how amazing it all looks!”
The placement at Fendi, through the ICMS WIL program, has been a highlight for Lewis in her studies at ICMS.
“My industry placement at Fendi has really confirmed for me that I am on the right path to the career I want. I felt really supported through the entire process, especially by Jenifer Jehan at ICMS who worked hard to understand my career aspirations and help me to find a placement that was really suited to them. My colleagues at Fendi have been amazing and have taught me so much. I’m going to be so sad when my placement is over, it has motivated me so much and made me so excited for what is to come when I enter the workforce,” Lewis said.
Her experience with the ICMS WIL department matches Lewis’ overall experience of studying at ICMS, Australia’s leader in career-focused education. With a smaller number of students and a mentoring ecosystem in place to nurture students to fulfil their professional goals, Lewis –who had studied at a university prior to ICMS –reckoned the approach has suited her down to the ground.
“Having studied at a university prior to starting at ICMS, I can confidently say that the experience here is so much more personal and tailored to the individual student. I struggled to excel in an environment where I was just a face in the crowd, I found it hard to get help and my grades suffered; since starting at ICMS that has completely changed,” Lewis said. “The smaller class sizes, amongst other things, ensure that greater attention and support can be given to each student. At ICMS you are treated as an individual not as a pack.”
Lewis graduates at the end of 2022 and, thanks to her ICMS WIL placement at Fendi, is looking forward to launching her career in visual merchandising. “The opportunities created through the industry placement program really appealed to me, it seemed like a great way to network and to get a feel for the industry before being thrown into the deep end after graduating and so far I have loved my placement,” Lewis said.
“In 10 years’ time I would like to see myself in a similar role to that which my boss at Fendi has; the head of visual merchandising in Australia or somewhere overseas for one of the major luxury fashion houses.”
For more information on the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management), click here
For more information on the ICMS WIL Program, click here
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