Charlotte charts a creative course

IGS offers a HSC pattern of study that caters to the individual career goals of our students.

While many students complete a more traditional pattern of study for their HSC, a small number of students who are driven to develop specific workplace skills or have a particular career goal in mind.

For example, some may wish to include a course delivered at an institution other than IGS into their HSC pattern of study.

TAFE is one such provider, as is the Whitehouse Institute of Design, where our Head Girl, Charlotte Waley, completed her Certificate III in Design Fundamentals.

Here Careers Advisor Amelia Phillips spoke to Charlotte about her experience.

Amelia: Why did you study the Cert III in Design Fundamentals?

Charlotte: I studied the Cert III in Design Fundamentals to expand my knowledge of fashion and learn real-life skills that apply to the design industry. My dream is to write in fashion magazines, so I chose to study a Cert III in design fundamentals so I could start working towards this goal whilst still in high school, my plan has always been to study journalism at university, so taking this course has been beneficial as it has given me qualifications in the fashion industry to exemplify my passion and knowledge of fashion. I have always known that I wanted a career in this field because as a child I dedicated all of my time to watching fashion shows, illustrating my own designs, reading magazines and even writing my own.

Amelia: How was this course integrated into your other subjects?

Charlotte: The course took place every school holiday, so it didn’t really interfere with my other subjects. However, it took up all of my time during those periods and didn’t leave me with much time to study for my accelerated HSC exams which became a challenge. The workload was very different in comparison to my in school subjects because we didn’t have any exams or assessment tasks, however, everything we did was marked as a part of our final grade. The workload was separated into different four course blocks (the April break was Block 1, the June break was Block 2, etc) and I learned different skills in each block – I specialised in fashion design but I also learned skills in interior design skills and creative direction and styling. 

Amelia: How did you manage your IGS workload and your Whitehouse workload?

Charlotte: I dedicated one of my free periods per week to my Whitehouse assignments which were assigned to me throughout the school term. The tasks involved research and then application of skills we learned in the previous block (fashion illustrations with various materials, mood boards on Adobe Illustrator/photoshop, construction of 3D forms). To be completely transparent, I think managing both workloads was the most difficult and frustrating part of my experience because I always take on way more than I can chew, and Year 11 was no exception for me. It was difficult to juggle my two accelerated HSC subjects with my usual Year 11 and extension courses especially considering I couldn’t use my holiday breaks to study for them as I was at fashion school.

Amelia: What do you see are the benefits of completing your Cert III?

Charlotte: There are so many benefits of completing my Cert III because it has opened up a realm of possibilities for me in the fashion industry. My Cert III has made it so much easier to get into design courses and even apply for jobs in retail.

Amelia: For students considering studying a course outside of IGS, what are the top three things they should consider first?

Charlotte: The top three things I’d recommend would be:
1. Ensure you have strong time management skills.
2. Be prepared for your outside-of-school study requirements to be due at the same time as your in-school assessments.
3. Make sure you have a true passion for your course and are willing to dedicate lots of time toward it.

Amelia: What were the career-related benefits of completing this course at Whitehouse?

Charlotte: Everything we studied at Whitehouse was centred around the requirements of the design industry, and there are so many career benefits to having a solidified understanding of how to be successful in a professional environment. We worked with lots of inspiring guest speakers who shared their experiences and journeys with us, and I was so privileged to work with Akira Isogawa who helped me develop my designs.

Thank you to Charlotte for sharing her experience.