I’m Chloe Wright, a past student of Tyrrell College and a part of the 2019 graduating class. I began my schooling at Tyrrell in Prep and completed my VCE studies in Year 12 after which I was offered a place at RMIT University. Studying Studio Arts, Design and Technology, Health and Human Development and PE as my VCE Electives, I chose classes relative to what areas I was interested in possibly pursuing in the future. My teachers also allowed me to tailor my classes – for example in Studio Arts I made my project fashion based.
Even though Tyrrell is a rural school, it didn’t limit my opportunities nor my ability to land a dream job.
I took the offer at RMIT for Fashion and Textile Merchandising where I moved to Melbourne and lived on a student residence for six weeks before COVID struck. My course was a two-year degree whereby you gain a broad understanding of the fashion industry and the various roles that you could be hired into. We also worked closely with brands such as the Cotton On Group, Myer, Supre and Country Road. Year 2 of my course was based on building a complete campaign and range to present to a chosen brand and their board. We had to research trends, present presentations, plan marketing engagements and design campaigns, as well as design a complete range and analyse the ins and outs of our consumer base. It was a massive task but it enabled me to develop so many skills to take into the workplace when the time came.
At the end of 2021, a casual position was available at Cotton On Kids for departmental support during the pre-Christmas period. I got pretty lucky as I had also applied for a full-time role which had opened up while I was there. I completed an interview on Day 3 and was offered the job of Product Developer Level 1 in Kids Sleepwear within the hour. My role is very much product-based, consulting with our suppliers to construct a garment which is exactly what our buyers and designers had envisioned. This includes daily tasks of checking designs based on our artwork specifications, checking colours against our standards and measuring every garment to ensure it complies against the legal requirements. I also do compliance testing, admin support work, uploading and registering all of our product onto a system called PLM, checking orders, working with other departments like photoshoot and visual merchandising, and sample coordination. Our industry is incredibly fast-paced and we often will work on five different range months at the one time, at least six months in advance, shipping product to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Asia and USA. After working there for over a year now, I have developed to a point where I now manage my own categories such as socks, underwear, tights and fashion stories in kids sleep.
Cotton On also has many perks such as a beauty and wellness centre with on-site osteopaths, naturopaths and personal trainers. You can even go and get a massage or a facial during work hours. We have an in-house café as well as an in-house childcare centre.
The brand also has many yearly events planned for everyone to attend such as the Geelong Races where they had hired out private marquees.
I have been incredibly lucky to end up where I am today but the journey began at Tyrrell College where I learnt so many worthwhile skills. The support from all staff and peers is something that you can’t find at another school as we are such a tight knit community. It’s something that I will treasure for many years to come, and I am proud to say that a country girl like me managed to land a job in the big smoke at one of Australia’s best businesses.