Matthew McGroarty

Junior Designer, Puma

“The tutors are open to your ideas and they definitely help to take your studies in the direction you want to go in.”

The Course:

I chose to study Fashion Design and Technology at Manchester Fashion Institute because the degree offered a Sportswear specific pathway, which was the route I always wanted to take. Because the degree allows you to explore your own specialist area, you can really make this course your own. For me, I was and still am interested specifically in sportswear and science and how it’s represented in the industry.  The University also keeps up to date with the latest innovations in the fashion industry and this provides students with the freedom to use and explore a range of equipment that even some of the biggest companies don’t have yet.

In my final year, I won the Canterbury Design Competition. I worked to a ‘live brief’ set by the company and created a unique pattern/panel for a rugby uniform, aimed at enhancing the wearer’s game performance. This was a fantastic opportunity, as I was awarded a three-month internship with Canterbury, which helped towards me in securing my graduate role.

Industry Placement:

For my placement year, I secured the role of Team Sport Design Intern for Puma at their offices in Nuremberg, Germany. This role involved supporting senior designers with specification work on different garments, and helping with quick turnaround projects such as special make-ups for football teams.

The working environment at Puma was very fast-paced and I was able to work with people from all different levels of the company. Working in a different country was challenging at times due to the language barrier, but I did receive lots of support from my host company and from the Placements team at Manchester Met. The most rewarding aspect of this placement was seeing products that I had worked on available to buy in store or being worn by footballers on the pitch.

Throughout the application process for placement, the University was very supportive. Guest speakers from a range of companies were invited in to talk about the job roles available within the industry. The Placements team provided details of vacancies and information about funding available during your year in industry. Our course even had an integrated Synergy Unit that focuses on getting you ready for work by providing CV writing tips and interview techniques. My placement year made me feel prepared for the world of work by increasing my awareness of the technologies that are available in sportswear and it helped me to develop my creativity.

Student Support:

The tutors are open to your ideas and they definitely help to take your studies in the direction you want to go in. They also help prepare you for placement by advising on different opportunities and making sure your portfolio is of a good standard for interview.

 After Graduation:

In my final year, I was offered a role as Junior Designer in the Team Sport department at Puma as a result of my placement year with them. After graduation, I accepted this offer and moved to Nuremburg in Germany to work in Puma’s Head Office.