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News > Life After Hymers > Livvy Thompson

Livvy Thompson

Livvy Thompson, OH Life after Hymers
Life after Hymers
Life after Hymers

For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with fashion and clothes, however being at Hymers (and not being the greatest at art) it never even crossed my mind that it was a viable option for a job in the future. At school my focus was on subjects that would get me good grades, so I could keep my options as open as possible when it came to Universities and degrees – this even meant doing Physics at A-Level (not just because of my dad).

Looking back I do wish I’d focused on subjects that I loved, like English, because the books that are read at A-Level are total classics and it would have been a lot more fun reading them with my friends 14 years ago, than on the Northern line now.

University, if I’m truly honest, is genuinely a walk in the park compared to Hymers – although I was obviously not doing any sort of medicine, which I imagine would be slightly harder.

The work ethic that’s instilled in you at school, sets you up for all of the solo working that Uni requires, not to say that there were not still a few group assignments that involved staying up until 4am the night before they were due.

For me, Uni was the greatest balance of figuring out who you are in life, as well as starting to think about what you want to do when you leave. Other than wanting to earn a million pounds a year though, it wasn’t until my last year, when someone gave a talk on a Fashion Masters they had done, that I suddenly realised that there might be a way into the industry I loved. Plus it also meant that I could stay at uni for another year; a lot of my friends were on four year courses and I wasn’t ready for the real world on my own!

Doing a Masters in Fashion Marketing was one of the best things that I ever did. It taught me such valuable information about the industry, including things that most people would find boring about supply chains, costing and lead times; plus all the fun more creative elements. As well as also allowing me to have the word ‘Fashion’ on my CV, which may seem so inconsequential, but knowing how many CVs are submitted for jobs, every little thing that can show your passion helps. That is a major downfall of this industry, there are so few jobs in comparison to the number of people who are desperate to work in it, and a lot of people will work for free just to get their foot on the ladder.

After Uni I made the decision to move to London, before I had ever been there, and without even considering what job I would like to do – a totally sensible decision. I just figured that it would be better to be in the heart of it, rather than trying to find jobs from Hull.

Thankfully I have very supportive parents who are happy to let me make these rash decisions. A friend of mine worked in an advertising agency, which seemed like it was a fun first career move, so when I got offered a job in a marketing agency (working on toilet paper and women’s incontinence pads) I moved down into a friend’s spare room within a week.

I definitely wasn’t on the million pounds that I was sure I should be, but the experience of working in a London agency really did give me a wealth of skills above and beyond what I had learnt throughout my education. I ended up staying there for almost five years, but I would always be constantly checking fashion websites to see whether any Marketing roles were available.

Going for the job at ASOS was one of the most excruciating processes of my life because I wanted the job so much; it was three interviews across a two-month period – I even cried after one of them because I was convinced that I had messed it up.

I’ve now been at the company for five years, which in ASOS years, is equivalent to about twenty-five. I’ve worked on some absolutely amazing projects over that period: creating videos with Nike and A$AP Rocky’s Director; sponsoring festivals in Sweden; and launching ASOS’ own House Band (which probably only the team that worked on it remember!).

What’s amazing about my job is that not only do I get to work surrounded by dresses and trainers every single day (and sometimes get free samples if the Buyers are in a good mood), I also work for a company that is constantly looking to be ahead of the Amazons and the Googles in tech innovation, so it feels like I am constantly learning more and more in areas that I never expected. The ambition of the company is to be truly Global, so we get taught so much about cultural nuances across the world, in both fashion and calendars (in Russia they give presents on NYE and not Christmas).

It’s weird how interesting these things are when you’re taught outside of a school environment, and sometimes I’m even lucky enough to travel to our other offices across the world. This isn’t intended to be a brag, and it can be incredibly hard work, especially when we are tasked with billion pound trading targets that we have to meet; or when there’s a flood and the whole website goes offline for a few days; or when one of the many 22 year olds uses a ‘cool’ acronym that I have to pretend I know what it means. However, it is a job that I am so proud to say I do, and something that I don’t think I could have been doing without everything I learnt from being at Hymers.

School is absolutely amazing, but I wish that I had done more outside of school to really further my passion. Nothing has dwindled there, and I now know how to use a sewing machine and I’m learning to knit, it just would have been nice to know all of these things before I was 32.

Doing a lot of research into the 16-21 age bracket with work though, I think kids nowadays are way more savvy than I ever was, and will probably all have their own businesses before they are 18, so don’t need that advice from me. My only advice would just be to enjoy every minute of Hymers, I had some of the best times and made the best friends; apart from doing the 1500m, no one likes the 1500m.

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