Lisa’s Story

40 years old, Penrith, Cumbria

Degree course studied at university: 

BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion at University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Why did you decide on this subject area?

I knew I wanted to do something creative, but academic and this seemed to fit the bill.

Why did you decide on this university?

I didn’t want to go too far from home, so Preston was quite handy.  I also really liked it when I looked around and the course at the time was one of the best in Fashion promotion.

What did you want to be as a child?

Nurse/pop star/Air hostess/police woman…but at secondary school an Art Teacher

Has your career or education taken any unexpected turns? What were they?

Yes, after working in marketing for 10 or so years, I was made redundant from a job in Liverpool.  This actually allowed me to make the move back to Cumbria and as a result helped me start my business.

Why did you decide to study for a degree?

I loved learning and education suited me.  I wanted to learn more and really find out what I wanted to do in life.  Going to university to study not only helped me learn all about my chosen subject (and more) but also tauight me valuable life skills and changed me as a person.

What did you study at sixth form? Why?

I studied A-level At, History of Art, English Language and General Studies. I loved everything to do with art and being creative – I also loved writing and English came naturally to me.  General studies we had to study it.  I’m not sure I would have chosen that myself.

How did you decide what to do after school?

I’d always naturally been academic and though I was nervous about leaving home, going to university seemed like a natural progression.

Did anyone help you to decide?

My parents, friends and my art teacher at school.

Who influenced you?

My biggest influence in education was my art teacher – we were more like pals.  She could see something in me and encouraged me and got me to think creatively.  She also encouraged me to think about working on my own initiative and doing fashion projects so I could get into the courses I wanted.  I had 4 offers for places at uni in the end.

What support did you get?

Loads of support off school and off my family

What’s the best thing about studying with your university? What’s the best thing about your course?

The best thing about studying at UCLAN was the range of opportunities, the vibrant student life and the friends I made. The best thing about the course was the opportunities and connections with the fashion industry – the placement opportunities, trips to Paris and Fashion week etc.

What advice would you give to someone from your area?

There are opportunities if you look for them.  And great opportunities in Cumbria too.  Go to University if you can, if you feel it is right for you – it not only develops your knowledge of your chosen area, but enriches your life in so many other ways.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

Doing what I do even better and growing my business.

Tell us about your placement experience:

I did a sandwich degree, so I ended up working in a Fashion PR company in London.  Although this was an amazing experience it made me realise the fashion industry was not for me and so too was living in London.  I preferred being ‘up north’

Most memorable moment on placement:

Working on a branding event for CK watches – I was in charge of looking after the celebs.

Working on the Carol Vorderman Detox Diet video and having to give her instructions in a taxi how to get to a shoot.

 Do you have anyone in your family who works in the same area?

No – I was the first girl in my family to go to University.