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Ambition abroad

The best kind of work is often the type that favours creativity over convention and innovation over routine. Two Holmesglen fashion students are using this point to their advantage, with completed internships now setting the pair up for a successful pathway into the industry.

Third year students Hayley Vandenberg-Pitt and Ernest Schultheis have seen their respective aspirations take them abroad, as both students finished work experience internationally. Hayley crossed the Pacific, learning her craft in the Big Apple, while working for Rebecca Minkoff in New York. Similarly, Ernest travelled to London to complete an internship with designer J.W Anderson.  

While learning in the classroom is important, it's the practical experience that is essential. It was Ralph Lauren that famously said, "I don't design clothes. I design dreams." Fittingly, for Hayley and Ernest fashion is more than an interest, it's a passion.

"Fashion has always been a big part of my life, I would often style my Barbie dolls and hand sew clothes for them out of fabric from the scrap bin at Spotlight," Hayley says.

"At around the age of 16/17 I knew it was something I wanted to pursue professionally," Ernest adds.

Hayley's daily tasks with Rebecca Minkoff included organising archives, preparing recently arrived samples and amending incorrect garments. However, like a mark of all good internships, Hayley was given the opportunity to display her talents when designing a number of t-shirts for a Fall collection.

"The most significant task I was given was to design a number of t-shirts for Rebecca Minkoff's Fall '15 [range]. One of the designs made it to the runway and was even mentioned in a Vogue write up of the collection," she says.

Similarly, Ernest, during his time with J.W Anderson, worked in the atelier, which focused on pattern cutting and tracing. Although, the Holmesglen student's time was not without its interesting occurrences.

"I did, however, experience something maybe not every intern might. I was actually chosen as a fit model, which essentially meant I was a human coat hanger whenever they wanted me to be," Ernest comments.

Both students point to the fashion shows as the highlight of their work experience, with Hayley and Ernest now hoping to work full-time overseas at the completion of their study.

With wise and mature heads, both have the insight and perspective to go with their imagination and determination. "It is a lot of work and can be overwhelming at times, but hard work will always pay off. Go for as many opportunities as you can and keep looking at what's out there," Hayley wisely states.

"You have to have confidence in yourself and your work," Ernest equally supports.