Kate Cresswell tells Emily Wright why she was happy to leave high fashion to go into construction
What did you do in the fashion industry?
I did a PR and marketing course at the London College of Fashion and because the industry is so hard to get into I did work experience in my last six months of study. I worked for designers such as Ghost and Julian McDonald organising fashion shows, sending out invitations and press releases. I was given a lot of responsibility and was liaising with some pretty high profile names. But it was cheap labour basically.
Why did you decide to move?
I needed a change and the fashion industry began to make me call into question my morals and beliefs. I just didn't feel comfortable battling with what I didn't believe in. It's such a frivolous, decadent way of life and I wanted to get out and do something more grounding.
What was it about the job with an architectural facade company that excited you?
It was so different. I knew it would be a challenge and that I would learn all sorts. I applied for the position in customer services through an employment agency and when I got to the interview I became even more attracted to the job. I could see how much variety there would be. I knew I would be able to use my marketing skills. Once I was exposed to the industry I became fascinated. Now I love going on to the sites and actually seeing the product.
What qualities do you think you have been able to apply to both jobs?
I'm good with people. Both industries require the ability to meet with a client and be able to relate to them individually and not treat them as part of a broader group. I have also been required to make good use of my organisational skills in both roles and obviously my experience in customer services has been vital.
Have you had any hairy moments yet?
No major panic moments yet, although that's daunting because perhaps they are all to come. It is frustrating though when people phone up and my knowledge is not quite as comprehensive as they are looking for. But I'm getting there and am learning more all the time.
So have you been swatting up on the construction industry then?
Absolutely. I have been holed up at home for weeks reading through copies of Building and Building Design trying to get my head around things. It is such a whirlwind of information at the moment though, a minefield of terminology.
Do you miss the fashion industry?
A bit. I miss the glamour but when I look back it all seems a bit crazy now. I think this is it for me.
Employment history Has worked as a PR assistant in the fashion industry. Is now working in business development, marketing and customer services at architectural facade company Alsecco
Qualifications FdA foundation degree in fashion marketing and promotion from the London College of Fashion
Lives Stone, Staffordshire
Hobbies Going to music gigs and helping to promote the music scene in Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester