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What I have learnt at Condé Nast College

After taking a 13-hour direct flight from Singapore to London, 6,743 miles away from home, I landed at London Heathrow Airport, safe and sound. This is one solo trip which I have planned for the longest time. After six years of contemplation, I booked my flight and hotel as well as applied for the course I have always wanted to attend, Fashion Journalism at Condé Nast College of Fashion & DesignBefore I dive into the details of my course (Fashion Journalism), I must say, I was very impressed with how the course was executed right from application, admission, and daily itinerary to final graduation day.

I took 3 minutes while standing in front of the building where Condé Nast College is located, thinking to myself, this is IT, you wanted to do the course, you flew all the way from Singapore and here you are. I must admit I was nervous however, my heart was filled with excitement because this is the one time, I was pretty sure of what I wanted to gain from this whole experience and that was to learn as much from the key industrial players (media journalist) and build up my network in this industry with people who are already in it or planning to go into it.

Introduction Day 1.jpg

Before stepping into the building, I took a deep breath and the first person who greeted me at the door was the infamous Johannes Reponen, Academic Director at Condé Nast College. We exchanged a few words about where I was from and why I applied for the course. He was so welcoming and charming. Admission was very organized as we signed in with our passports, all students were given a student pass for building access (where we got to keep the lanyard) and there was even a goodie bag given out as a welcome gift. After which we were led to a meeting room, where we waited for the welcome introduction from members of the school board. Introductions to the courses and rules to follow took about an hour before we were sent off to our classes to meet our tutor for the day. As for the Fashion Journalism one-week course, we had 7 students attending this summer. 

Paul Tierney

Annabel Kerman

Marcus Agerman Ross

Lauren Cochrane

Aurora Starbucks

Over the next 4 days, we all emerged with extensive lessons, discussions, quizzes, and visits to the Vogue House (a huge highlight) and the museum where celebrities' costumes from Met Gala were displayed. I must admit, the course was jammed packed with so much valuable insights and observations whether it's pertaining to fashion or lifestyle-related media publications, I wished time could be extended as there was so much to learn and absorb from all the industrial speakers. Without indulging too much information about the course, I would simply like to share with you some of the key takeaways from the speakers. 

  • Find the niche that defines you as the writer or editor. It is vital to remember these six points whenever you are writing, the "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How"

  • Your style of writing needs to be interesting, do as much research as possible before you set off writing, what you are presenting to your readers needs to be factual and never pretend you know something when you are clearly clueless on.

  • Understands what's the role of an Editor vs a Copywriter and the expectations of these roles. 

  • Learning how to profile the intended target of audiences you are writing for, would help set your tone of writing. 

  • Reality vs Expectations on fashion shows write-ups (newspaper, magazine, etc). 

We were all tasked to complete a team project (the mini Vogue September Issue) that would be presented on Day 5, the final day all students look forward to their graduation certification. We were briefed on day 2 at Vogue House on what each team would need to do, which group they have been assigned to work with and details on how to complete the project. I was lucky to be working with a group of people who are not only talented but awesome to work with, not only were each of them engaging, collaborative but also very focused. We presented our final project with a big bang (serious theme - environment sustainability) and one of the staff members' comment was "Remarkable work, and done professionally". 

One of the main highlights of the course was that all students get to visit Vogue House UK on day 2. As I was walking through the front door and up the stairs to the second floor where the conference room was, a thought came into my mind, "so many legends have walked in these hallways" and today, I get to experience that. We got to listen to many interesting working experiences from each of the Vogue staff who gladly answered all questions we had pertaining to their work and choices of career path. 

I can only say attending the Fashion Journalism course was the best decision I have made by far. The experience you get enriches you in all possible ways you can think of. The memories which I have are still so fresh in my mind and the valuable advice from each tutor and people I have met throughout the course will help you to determine if journalism is what you expect it to be and if so, this is how you should carve a path that suits you best. I leave you with a quote from Paul Tierney, who was one of the tutors; "Never stop writing"!

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