Jessica Green

Textiles undergraduate student

Up and coming talent, Jessica Green is in her final year, studying the Creative Arts at Farnham, specialising in woven textiles for fashion & interiors. I’m finding out how she managed to get a work placement, was it an easy process and in her opinion, has university prepared her for work after University after creating huge debt?

Don't give up if a company doesn't email you back, just keep emailing them and if that doesn't work then phone them up.

— Jessica Green

How did you manage to get your placement, whilst studying at college?
I was very lucky, and it was through a friend of my mothers. It’s the typical saying, it’s who you know. It was with Paul Vogel Designs.

How did you find the experience of being in a work environment ?
I’ve loved my placement. I think I’ve been lucky because I know some people don’t have very positive experiences. They either don’t get treated very well or don’t get given anything to do. I haven’t experienced either of these. I think placements are crucial because you learn so much about the industry that you can’t learn any other way other than to experience it first hand.

Before you managed to get a placement with Paul Vogel Design, did you try other places & was there any additional help?
It’s definitely not an easy process trying to get work experience. I would say I’ve emailed around 30 companies in the past, and the majority don’t even reply. It definitely helps if you know someone so that you can mention a few names and try and get your foot in the door. I think it’s unfair that this is the case.

How different is your BA course to what you’re learning in industry?
My BA course focuses almost entirely on the ‘craft’ aspect of designing and making textiles, which means the experience I’ve had from the industry has been very different. However, I don’t see this as a negative thing. A lot of people in industry love the fact that I have a good grounding of all the traditional methods and processes of designing and making.

Do you think enough emphasis around software is highlighted enough at University?
No, emphasis on software is definitely not highlighted enough at University. We are taught the bare minimum as there are lots of tutorials online you can follow to teach yourself. I think it does need to be emphasised more and taught alongside all the other more traditional techniques.

Was it easy to find software tutorials on the Internet?
My University has been very helpful in giving us links and suggesting places we can go to do this, so if you want to learn it then we do have access to it quite easily. As I specialise in weave I don’t feel it has been something that is as necessary for me. However, I know a lot of the print students would find it a lot more valuable to be able to learn in a session from a professional, where you can get help specifically tailored to your work.


How do you see global warming and sustainable fashion affecting the industry for the next generation of Designers?
Global warming is having a big effect on the industry and sustainable fashion is becoming a lot more noticeable. As a uni student it is something that tutors always try and push, and for a hint, it’s something that examiners love to see in work! I think it’s really important, and I feel that there is still so much more that can be done. I believe that universities should encourage it even further than they currently do, not just in the narratives of students’ work, but also in all the dyeing and making processes that they teach.

One last Question, do you honestly think going to university has helped you considering the cost?
100%.  I think university has helped me. I have learnt so much, not only skills wise but also about the textiles industry in general. The tuition fees are huge and I will come out with a massive debt but, everyone is in the same boat. In my experience university has prepared me well for life after uni. Looking back to before I came I had no idea about any of it! I think as long as you use your time at university wisely, and don’t waste it, then you won’t feel so bad about the debts!