Meet Jasmine MacPhee, a fashion promotion graduate of Ravensbourne who won the GFW15 New Media Award. Since graduation, MacPhee has freelanced as a graphic designer and in 2018 launched Find Your Intern, a platform which not only advertises paid placements in fashion, but also offers tools and products to help young creatives put their best foot forward as they start their career.
Which university did you attend, and what is the most valuable thing that you learnt there?
I went to Ravensbourne and studied fashion promotion. The most valuable thing I learnt was; uni is what you make it. You wanna do well? Then go to every lecture, work your socks off, don’t turn in shoddy or late projects, get involved with your lectures and tutors, don’t be late, don’t just tick boxes when it comes to your project briefs; you have go that extra mile and make it your own, if you want to succeed.
I went straight into the second year of the course as I did a fashion and textiles FND, so I think I had to quickly earn my stripes! If you don’t feel like you want to do any of the above, the course/uni/industry sector isn’t for you and you have to move on ASAP.
Graduate Fashion Week provides a platform for emerging fashion graduates to showcase their work regardless of the specific discipline. Which area of the industry have you chosen to pursue, and what informed this choice?
Graphic design (mainly for fashion) is my trade, but also with launching FYI it covers basically all of the areas of fashion, such as graphic/web design, advertising and marketing, industry recruitment, digital and social media, fashion business, fashion education, e-commerce. I wear a lot of hats (excuse the fashion pun.)
Tell us a bit more about your career journey since showing at Graduate Fashion Week. How have you found life in the industry?
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster! So I’m gonna try and break it down for you:
2015: Graduated and won the New Media Award at GFW.
2015 - 2017: Went straight into industry and worked as a junior graphic designer for an app startup up and a Beauty/Communications PR agency. But whilst working full time, I have always worked on FYI simultaneously. It’s been bubbling away since 2015!
2017 - 2018: Decided to go traveling and let my hair down before seriously knuckling down with FYI. Which I think is really important! I returned home to become freelance. I wanted to go freelance to give me the flexibility of working on FYI a day or so a week. Working with brands such as UGG, M&S, Fitflop and Figleaves. Alongside other independent brands too.
Jan 2019: FYI launched! Not only is FYI a platform that advertises paid-only internships...I have created the FYI Shop and FYI CV Clinic, to help creatives visiting the site with their assets such as; CV, portfolio and cover letter.
Do you explore any political, social or historical notions through your work? If so, what messages do you hope to convey?
YES! So FYI only advertises for paid fashion internships. I am the only site that does this! I basically lobby for industry positions to be paid. If it they are not, they ain’t joining our club! FYI only accepts positions that are national minimum wage and above. It is a platform where our community comes for prime guidance, to feel safe and to feel worthy.
The message I am conveying from that is that they do exist, interns are worth it and I am here to help them.
Where are you hoping to be in five years time?
I hope that FYI to be my full-time career and business, as well as being able to employ others! Plus some interns. It’s going to be bigger and better; an institution to help, educate and guide young creatives.
The industry is undergoing a huge change, with sustainability, diversity and responsibility becoming huge themes. Do you have any opinions on these movements?
The DNA of FYI is to advertise paid only internships, because I believe something needs to seriously change in fashion interning ecosystem. I wanted create a safe space for students and grads; when they open findyourintern.com they know the opportunities are paid and vetted by me. Whilst there are great brands that may deliver worthwhile unpaid internships there are a huge amount that seriously don’t. I think it’s such a hot topic in the public domain now, that brands want to jump on the paid internship bandwagon, and FYI is their platform to do so. Company’s have a huge responsibility to treat young creatives well and sometimes they don’t know how.
Lastly, to any students that are reading this in admiration of your career-what advice would you give to the students hoping to showcase this year?
Like I said before about uni, you really gotta go that extra mile. You can’t just coast and tick boxes, you really gotta get s**t done. But please remember being burnt out and stressed won’t get you anywhere. You gotta learnt to work hard, but also have fun. Book a holiday with your girls! Go travelling if you need to get it out of your system! Above all, you have to be happy whilst doing it. Your passion and love for it has to shine through.