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Artistic Training Gap The Yvonne Arnaud Youth

Theatre put on a production of Romeo and Juliet

Industry experience is key to the fashion

industry, and work experience at a well- known fashion house or magazine can really make an application stand out. The London College of Fashion, which is over-subscribed on its courses, takes as much notice of extra-curricular activities as it does qualifi cations. “A lot of students have a very similar qualifi cations, grades, and personal statements,” says student recruitment manager Jason Clapperton. “So the next thing we look at is the kind of stuff that they do outside of school or college or what they’ve done on a gap year.” Fashion publishers such as Condé Nast, which is opening its own fashion college next year, often take on interns but what do you do if you’re not based in a major city? “We are very aware that if you’re not slap bang in the middle of London, it’s a lot more diffi cult to get that kind of experience,” admits Clapperton. “But there are things you can do such as set up an online blog, make your own stuff or write for your student magazine. We’ve had really tenacious and entrepreneurial students set up their own businesses online, selling their own stuff .” What Clapperton and many others in

university admissions feel is important for gap year students, particularly for those considering a design-based degree, is that applicants continue their design work throughout their gap year. “If you’ve stopped for a year you might be at a disadvantage compared to other students who have carried on, over that year, getting stuff to go into their portfolio,” he says. He also points out that in the case of the London College of Fashion, LCF, applicants on gap years may be called in for interview after the UCAS application deadline, which could prove tricky for those in far-fl ung places (LCF rarely allow deferred entry). For theatre lovers, work experience

opportunities may be thin on the ground but are by no means non-existent. The Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre in Guildford, for example, runs a year-long apprenticeship scheme which, in its fi ve year history, has seen a number of gap year students participating.

With just one position available per year however, competition is tough. “Applicants have to show a love of the theatre and an interest in drama,” says Alison Webber, the theatre’s spokesman. Each apprentice has a goal to achieve by the end of the year, the nature of which is defi ned by the apprentice’s key strengths and interests. “One apprentice’s goal was to produce the theatre’s leafl et, from design to production,” Webber continues. “Another’s was to lead one of our summer workshops. She went on to drama school.” Whatever your budget and whatever your

A student at Tate Britain

area of specialism, there are likely to be opportunities to either gain experience in industry, your own project, or develop your knowledge on a relevant course. If the right research is done now, the benefi ts of a successful gap year and eff ective networking could reap rewards not just during your degree (should you decide to study for one) but throughout the rest of your career.

For more information London College of Fashion

The Arts University College Bournemouth

Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) Art History Abroad

Art Courses Italy is set up to introduce students to Italian art, fashion and design. Some of its courses provide training for entry into one of Italy’s design academies.

Christie’s Education off ers a number of art history and art courses in London, New York and Hong Kong,

Architects and historians might want to consider volunteering at Cathedral Camps, a UK-based project helping to restore Britain’s historic cathedrals,

The Arts Educational Schools London off ers a number of foundation, part-time vacation and evening courses in acting and musical theatre for young people, holiday-courses/summer-young-people/

The Conference of Drama Schools website has a useful list of its members, Theatre related jobs, internships and training are advertised here:

Suzanne Lau’s fashion blog

Jobs, internships and training in the creative arts are advertised here: opportunities is a useful tool for students, allowing them to create an online portfolio.

Autumn 2011 FirstEleven 33

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