19 May 2022

University of East London BA Fashion Marketing student Kamara-May Coleman has beaten a competitive field to land a coveted internship with leading culture changing business Fashion Minority Report (FMR).

Fashion Emerging Professionals is a 16-week mentoring and paid internship programme run by FMR that aims to work with emerging talent in the creative industry sector. The initiative provides interns with a deeper insight into the fashion and creative industries in order to help accelerate their career development.

Founded in 2020 by Daniel Peters, FMR aims to increase diversity within the fashion industry by raising awareness and understanding of the many roles and routes in the creative industries.

We caught up with Kamara-May, who is part of the School of Arts and Creative Industries, to find out more about the process of applying for the FMR internship and the wonderful opportunity it presents.

What sparked your interest in this internship?

As part of our Level 6 Mental Wealth Module, fashion marketing students were tasked with creating a route to consumer marketing strategy for the Fashion Minority Report's new Learning Hub. Through my research of the company and the first meeting with the founder, I knew that the FMR mentorship programme was the opportunity I have been searching for.

Describe the application process.

In the preliminary application you were asked questions about yourself, why you wanted to join the Fashion industry/FMR and where you saw yourself in the future. Upon the success of your application, you were invited for an interview which focused on getting to know you and what you wanted from a mentor, so they could make appropriate mentor / mentee matches.

How did your course leader, Jason Forrest, support you?

Jason was amazing. In a way he was preparing me for this opportunity before it even came up. Through the content introduced to us in his lectures, to even the smaller conversations we have, he has helped to instil a confidence in my abilities that have not previously been acknowledged in an institutional setting.

The minute I made it to the interview stage, I spoke to him and he was so encouraging. We spoke about possible questions I could be asked and he helped me to refine and really think deeply of what I wanted from my future.

You often get a good or bad feeling after an interview. Did you know you'd nailed it?

I absolutely loved the application/interview stage. Before the interview, I had the opportunity to interact with the founder, and saw how unapologetically he was himself. He never once felt the need to code-switch.

I left feeling so inspired and, for the first time ever, during both the application and interview process, I was 100 per cent myself. I answered all the questions as Kamara-May Coleman - I even mentioned my love for [TV show] 'That's So Raven'. I left the interview knowing I killed it.

We can guess the answer - but what was your reaction to receiving the news you'd been selected?

It's actually very funny. I was expecting to receive the news the following Monday, but I had heard nothing. I was refreshing my emails every couple of minutes. By the end of the week, I had given up hope. I was crushed. It was by accident that my spam popped up on my laptop, and the acceptance letter was there! I screamed. My mum and I celebrated by turning on the speakers and dancing.

Any ideas on what you will be doing as part of this internship?

FMR connects its mentees with prominent industry professionals from their partner companies for a 1:1 mentorship programme. It is a 16-week programme that will give me the opportunity to learn from fashion experts and gain insight and advice to implement those lessons into my future ventures.  

This is a fantastic opportunity. What do you hope to achieve while you're at FMR?

My biggest goal is to gain a deeper sense of self-worth as a creative in the fashion industry. Having access to the wealth of knowledge provided by the FMR mentors will enable me to create new opportunities for myself to learn and grow. I have already had the opportunity to meet some amazing people through this programme and I hope to continue to build my network with such passionate like-minded creatives.

Have you any thoughts on what you might want to do when you graduate from UEL?

My dream is to develop my network, skills and knowledge to put towards a career in project management and creative direction. I am very big on creating opportunities that could bring forward my next steps. My immediate goal once I leave UEL is to be in a creative fashion influenced space, where I continue to learn, grow and share. 

And finally … what made you decide to study at UEL?

I previously had been working towards completing my final year of a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design in a different institution. However, I took a break from studying during the pandemic.

Upon deciding to complete my degree, my mum came across UEL, and pointed out the particular focus on integrating career preparation into the course. That was something I had felt was missing from my previous experiences and is imperative in today's career market.

Find out more information on UEL's BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing course,.

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