By Labhaoise Kennedy and Rachel Scullion
Why did you decide to come to GTI?
I started off in UCC studying Commerce and Spanish and it was actually a girl I met in UCC who was from Galway that told me about GTI. She told me that she was changing over to do a fashion course in GTI. I listened up straight away because it was always fashion I wanted to do but i ended up doing business because it was the safer option.
I asked her about GTI and came for the interview. I loved it straight away and figured it would be the best option for me.
What did you most enjoy while attending GTI?
I loved the work experience aspect of the course and of course being able to dress cool everyday coming to college!!
I loved the fact that all the tutors were really helpful and that if you had any questions, you could go to them straight away. I also learned so much from the people in my course, from what they were wearing, their projects and looking where their inspiration came from. I guess a big part of why I loved it was because there was inspiration everywhere. . .It wasn’t just from what we were learning from the blackboard, it was the whole experience in general.
What was your favourite subjects/ projects you undertook in your time in GTI and why?
My favourite subject was the fashion styling module because I loved that and I loved doing those projects. I remember there was one project we had to do on fashion throughout the decades and at the time I remember thinking this is taking forever!! But even now I still look back at it. When you are styling shoots its great to be able to pull inspiration and say that was for example 40’s inspired.
I really did learn alot from it because before GTI, I didn’t know that information so I found it extremely beneficial.
What skills and qualities do you feel you gained while attending GTI?
I definitely became a lot more confident because the course made you step up for the mark for the year.
I feel that GTI made me a lot more hard working because of the constant projects and deadlines.
I definitely did learn and my creativity developed alot aswell.
Do you feel that what you learnt in GTI helped you in your career?
Definitely! Everyone always asks me this question and definitely. I feel that if I had stayed doing UCC doing Commerce and never came to GTI, I would still be in Commerce in UCC and probably would never have achieved any of this stuff. GTI gave me the push I needed to be like “ok Erika, its fashion that you want to do” and it gave me the push to work harder and get where I wanted to go.
What advice would you give to a person interested in undertaking a fashion course in GTI?
Its funny because my sister keeps asking this question as shes thinking of coming here herself. The main thing I keep saying to her is that you have to be willing to work hard because if you come to GTI and you’re like i’m doing a fashion course for the year and it’ll be really fun for the year, you are not going to get anywhere.
You have to come here with a goal or a couple of goals and say to yourself “What do I want to gain from this year?. . Like, I want to improve styling or I really want to understand Fashion buying. . I really want to question the tutors and do great work experience.
So my main advice would be (1) Prepare to work hard and (2) Set goals for yourself.
What advice would you give current students?
For current students, my advice would be. . .well we’re in October now and this is when things start to get busy! What I found was that I would go home at the weekends and the spend my time working on projects. At the time, I remember thinking “this is just torture” but my advice to you is just keep going. . .because it so worth it!! They are projects you’ll always have and will be able to refer back to again and again in the future.
The tasks you undertake in GTI are also practical for when you are out in the working world. I always find myself referring back.
My advice is to really appreciate your time here and not to take it for granted. Try and learn as much as you can because the time so quickly, its only a year!
What kind of work experience did you do while in GTI?
I worked with a model agency called Upfront in Kerry. I worked backstage at events with them and was able to see how a show was produced. I was able to see how a runway was started from the styling to the running order and was able to see step by step how the whole show happened.
I also worked with a stylist assisting photoshoots so again I got to see the whole process. I went with her to collecting clothing from the shops, I helped set up on the day, did all the changes and stood out in the cold holding the boxes! But I really enjoyed it!!
A lot of where I am today is because of those experiences. I definitely look back and realise if I hadn’t had those experiences, I don’t know where I would be because they gave me the little push I needed to further my career.
What has been the main highlights of your career so far?
I guess it has to be my internship with Whitney Eve Port!! (Star of The Hills & The City turned fashion designers) During the summer, I interned with Whitney. It was a surreal experience to be honest. I mean looking back . .and it was only a month ago. . .even tho it feels like 10 years ago but looking back i’m like did that actually happen!!!? So yeah, that was definitely the highlight because it was just SO cool!!