Lane Craigie

Art, Design & Photography

HNC Fashion Business

“This was the role I went to College for and I achieved it within one year of finishing my HNC! The course gave me a good foundation to build my career from.”

After studying HNC Fashion Business, Orkney-born Lane Craigie has secured their dream job in fashion – and more! Lane joined us at NESCol five years ago with their heart set on learning the skills and knowledge required to become a Visual Merchandiser.

Despite being a keen learner, Lane didn’t enjoy school life and left after fifth year to go straight into work. They discovered their love of fashion whilst working in the clothing department at Tesco, a role that sparked their interest and encouraged them to explore course options.

Lane was accepted onto the HNC Business Fashion course in 2019, and along with their partner, made the move to Aberdeen.

Lane said: “It was really exciting! I wasn’t expecting to go back into education. I think I enjoyed College so much because it was just a year of studying, whereas uni was four years, and it was a topic that I was interested in and wanted to learn more about.”

The HNC prepares students for a career in the business operations side of the fast-paced fashion industry. One of Lane’s course highlights was creating a fashion range plan, a project which involved choosing a brand and coming up with a clothing line for their customer base. This would later become part of a full-circle moment for Lane.

They said: “I was so proud of my work, and I achieved an A for it. There was a student a couple of years after me who asked to see my graded unit to help her with ideas for her own, which was another proud moment.”

“I did my project on the clothing brand, Quiz, which is where I now work as an Assistant Manager!”.

Thinking back to their time on campus, Lane couldn’t fault the support they received from their lecturers.

They commented: “It was second to none. They were so personable and got to know you, helping you every single step of the way. There was never a time when I felt like I couldn’t go and ask them a question.”

Lane started working in H&M whilst at college, originally as a Sales Advisor before progressing on to Team Leader and then their dream Visual Merchandiser role.

They said: “This was the role I went to College for and I achieved it within one year of finishing my HNC! The course gave me a good foundation to build my career from.

“I’m reaping the benefits of my hard work, and I can see that from my college work all the way up to the job I’m in now, as an Assistant Manager.”

Although they’ve surpassed their career goals already, Lane has big plans for the future.

They said: “I’m career-driven and ambitious, and I feel within the next couple of years I could be a Store Manager. After that, I definitely want to move into more corporate roles, like an Area Manager.

“I see myself going to Glasgow and I want to try Germany, Italy, New Zealand… anywhere that has a fashion industry. I love it here in Aberdeen but it’s a stepping stone for me.”

Lane’s advice for students thinking about studying Fashion Business is to go for it! They explained that for those worrying about it being too hands-on, the course is not about designing clothes or using sewing machines, it’s more focused on giving you key business skills that can be applied in the fashion world.

They added: “There’s so much I learnt at College that I’m still using today in my retail life. I could have gotten to where I am without uni (and I did!) but I don’t think I could have gotten here without College giving me a little step up and an insight into how things work behind the scenes.

“My ultimate goal was to become a Visual Merchandiser and I saw my plan come to fruition. Start realistic with your dreams and you’ll definitely get them.”