Laura Steinhoff - M&S Scholar

Laura studied the MSc International Fashion Marketing course at GCU London. Below she tells us about her time at GCU London as well as her experiences applying to the Marks and Spencer Scholarship.

What made you want to apply for the course at GCU London?

I studied Fashion and Textile Management at undergraduate level so wanted to do postgraduate study in that area. I wanted to study abroad but not too far away and I also wanted to study in English. I was talking to someone from a German University who suggested GCU London. When I visited London I also visited the campus. I liked the building and everyone was very friendly.

How did you find out about the scholarship?

I knew from their website that GCU offered scholarships and when I met with GCU staff they told me more about it. I was offered some good advice and was recommended to apply.

What was the selection process like?

It was a relatively easy process. I wrote three essays and made a short video about myself. I received an email saying that I had got the scholarship which was great because it covered all the tuition fees and included an opportunity to do an internship or placement at M&S.

How has it helped with your studies?

It was very good to know that I didn't have to pay the tuition fee which is a lot of money when you consider the cost of living in London. I did a placement at Marks and Spencer so it was an opportunity to get some practical experience in the industry. I also had the opportunity to attend meetings and meet lots of people from the company which helped me get a foot in the door.

Does the scholarship and links with M&S provide any other benefits for students like yourself, such as industry input and access to internships?

I was able to go to Fashion Week and runway show and was also invited to other events. It involved me in the process of what’s currently going on in M&S, who are such a big player. It is such a huge benefit to me being able to have this on my CV as M&S are so well known in Europa and Asia.

What has the course been like so far? What have been the highlights and what have you learnt?

It is a very business focused course. This has included topics such as economics, and also creating brands which involved having to choose a name, colours, brand identity, the story and so on. It is good to study these topics at postgraduate level. I have learnt lots about the supply chain side of things. It's all very current and interesting.

What are the teaching methods like?

We have lectures and seminars which provide a good opportunity to discuss and express personal opinions. Sometimes guest speakers from the fashion industry present one or two hour masterclasses.

What are some of the benefits of studying MSc International Fashion Marketing in London?

London is really well connected to all the European cities and the USA as well. It is a city full of people from all over the world. I found accommodation easily and people are very open and nice. It is very close to Germany so I was able to see my family more often without the expense of flying from somewhere like New York! As I am more into the business side of fashion it's perfect for me as London is a very business orientated city. It is a vibrant and modern city with inspiration all over the streets. Spitalfields is particularly creative as there are lots of production facilities there.

How diverse is this year’s cohort?

Most of my classmates are from Asia, with just a few from the UK. There are some from Germany, France and Italy – very international. It's interesting to see this mix when you’re working together in groups. People come from different backgrounds too, for example, some have studied fashion, others commerce, so when you’re working together everyone can bring in different skills.

What does the future bring?

I can imagine going back to Germany and working there. I could also, one day, move to London and maybe work at M&S. I’d ideally like to go into buying. I am very internationally focused so I could also imagine living abroad again, as I previously lived in Hong Kong.