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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

Isabel Stuart-Harris

BA (Hons) Fashion Management with Marketing
Graduated 2021

Picture of Isabel Stuart-Harris

What has your career journey been since graduating?

I was offered a role at Armani’s wholesale office following an internship I completed in my 3rd year - I worked as an administrator, supporting the wholesale team through the sales campaigns. I made many connections with buyers and after 1 year in the company I accepted an offer to move across to Selfridges head office, taking on the other side of the wholesale business

Did you feel that the course prepared you for going into industry?

Totally! My lecturers supported me with all my industry queries, and taught me all the relevant knowledge for a career in merchandising. I learnt invaluable skills in Microsoft and Adobe through my IT lessons, that put me a step ahead of my competition during interviews. Through learning about both buying and merchandising I’ve been able to understand what both teams must do to provide a seamless transition from the planning, to the buy, to the product being on the shop floor.

Have you been able to use the knowledge and skills you learnt on the course in your roles?

I use my retail maths skills on a daily basis, alongside a strong understanding of Excel (which I couldn’t do my job without!) I look at reports that use both sell through % and stock cover to determine where the company requires changes. I also learnt how to present and be confident talking to a group, which helps me in weekly meetings that I host with our regional teams.

What did you enjoy about your time at Solent?

The university is such a social place, I made lots of friends who I still keep in contact with now. I was able to join a sports team where I undertook committee responsibilities which taught me to balance my university work, a social life, and the extra work I had to do for the team.

I work closely with our buyers and merchandisers to ensure the stock gets to the correct place at the correct time, using figures that come from both in store and online, to decide where certain stock needs to be to provide the best sales. I communicate with clients, to discuss their sales and stock positions and run floor walks in London, talking with the floor teams about newness and stock levels. It is the perfect beginning to my career in merchandising and I have already learnt so much just 5 months!