Heather Adamson, above, is a current HND student and has been with us for 3 years having completed NQ and HNC Fashion Business previously. Although relaxing in the picture above, she has some advice for students currently juggling course and work commitments. . . .
Did you find that there was a big difference in the level of work between NQ and HNC?
Yes, there was a big difference in the level and on the NQ there wasn't a huge amount of homework to be done. It took a wee while to get to grips with the HNC work as I wasn't accustomed to having to do as much in my own time, however, its the same for all HNC students and once I got into a routine, I was amazed at how I coped and what I could achieve. Once I had achieved an outcome in a few subjects I realised that I could do it and this improved my confidence.
Was there a similar leap between HNC and HND?
The HNC prepares you for the next leap and its fine. Also you want to improve on your own personal performance from the previous year so I have found that if I stay focused, I'm OK. At the moment, I am putting in as much personal effort to my coursework as I can as I really want a good grade this year.
Do you work part time?
I work 16 hours a week in B&Q to pay the bills and have learnt an awful lot about selling, customer service and visual merchandising which are all useful for fashion. I do 2 x 9 hours shifts at the weekend and sometimes finish at 10pm. Its hard to come home then and start doing college work so I fit assignment research and project work in during the week. Its manageable.
How do you juggle things?
Just get on with it and try not to be negative when things pile up. Its hard sometimes but if you keep positive, you achieve more overall. In the long term it will all be worth it to have a great job doing something I love and I am used to hard work. College work is important and I try to have everything ready before the deadlines as I hate to be late. This reduces stress levels too.
What are you most proud of from your HNC year?
Achieving an A for my Graded Unit. Its self directed and you need to understand what you are doing and keep motivated. This was challenging as I really wanted an A to help get into University so I was pleased and relieved. I enjoyed the Fashion Design units as they give a great insight into how the industry works and the projects are based on real creative processes. I wasn't so keen on the Textile unit but my advice to anyone who has a subject they don't like is just get on with it! You need it to pass.
What advice would you give to students who may feel swamped at the moment?
Attend all the classes and ask questions. The tutors are the best source of advice and will direct you to other sources of information where necessary. They are there to help. Other students help a lot too. Keep going, you will get there and the more you do, the easier it gets. If you try hard, you will complete everything and you will pass the course, no problem.
Thank you Heather