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Ella's entrepreneurial spirit brings success

We were really excited to catch up for a Q&A session with former Business Level 3 student Ella Holder recently. After completing her study programme, and gaining 3 distinctions (D*D*D) she set up her own online fashion business called Fashion Forward UK.  She has also nominated for Student of the Year at the 2020 MidKent Student Awards. We chatted with her about her time at College and her inspiration for becoming a businesswoman.  

Tell us which programme you completed here at MidKent College. 

I completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business. I didn’t do English and Maths at College as I completed the exams at my secondary school. I was graded a 7 for English Literature and a grade 6 for English Language. I was graded a 4 for Maths.    

Did you have an idea of what career/degree you wanted to do when you started the programme? What made you choose MidKent College and this particular subject area?   

I have always known that I really wanted to work for myself and had a passion for consistently working hard to gain results. I felt that by choosing this programme, it would allow me to study what I love, whilst trying to start up something of my own to put what I have learned into practice. I wasn’t initially sure about what type of business I wanted to start up, but after lots of work and research, I knew that a fashion brand was something that I really wanted to build. I am nowhere near where I want to be yet, but I have lots of plans and ideas to build into Forward Fashion that I am really excited about, and it makes me more determined than ever to do it.     

I have always enjoyed studying Business and that’s why I decided to choose MidKent College. Prior to selecting the course, I had read thoroughly about what the two years would entail, and after reading, I felt that the programme was tailored to what I really wanted to study. I found that all of the units would be very interesting which made the course enjoyable and engaging. I was able to apply my knowledge to aspects of building my brand.   

 What were the highlights of studying at College?   

The highlights of studying at College were that I was able to still have time to study as well as trying to build something for my future. Because the coursework was relatable and interesting, I enjoyed doing it and therefore it made me understand how to begin starting off my own brand. The tutors that I had at College were great. They were really helpful and supportive during the two years I spent at MidKent College.   

What do you do in your job and how has College helped you prepare for work?     

The main tasks that I undertake during my work for Forward Fashion are marketing. We focused a lot on this unit and I really enjoyed it, therefore I incorporate a lot of it into the growth of my brand as I feel that it is such an important factor in growing a business.    

What inspired you to start your own business?   

The main inspiration behind the starting of my own business comes from wanting to build a future that I love waking up to every morning and keep growing something exciting. I am determined to transform my little idea into something that becomes an international brand online. I find it exciting and I genuinely enjoy working as I love seeing the results.   

Would you recommend the programme and/or College to other students, if so why?   

I would definitely recommend this programme to other students because it allows you to understand business on another level. It encourages you to take a wider perspective on all matters within business and you can interpret things in many ways that allow you to explore. I feel the programme instills independence which is something that I feel has given me the confidence to take a big step into my future, and hopefully, I will be able to build Forward Fashion into something great.    

Camilla Maurice, Curriculum Manager for Business, said “Ella is an outstanding student. During her two years at College studying Business, she was the project manager of a successful charity event at the Maidstone Campus, achieved the highest possible grades in her coursework and exams, and has set up her own business whilst working part-time and attending College. She has taken all of her experiences from her Business programme as well as her entrepreneurial flair to develop and launch a fantastic small business that we are very excited about. We could not be prouder of her achievements”  

Congratulations Ella!