A former Sleaford school pupil who is now a high flying executive in the world of fashion shared tips on her rise to the top with students at a careers fair held at the end of term.
St George’s Academy hosted the event for 700 year 10 and 12 pupils of all three secondary schools in the town looking to plot their career path with the help of around 65 educational institutions and businesses, both local, national and international, such as BAE Systems, Jaguar Landrover and Siemens.
One of the ‘coups’ this year was huge online fashion retailer Boohoo.com, with Clara Lonsdale, its Global Content and Social Media Manager, being on hand as a former student and daughter of the Academy’s Key Stage 4 Pastoral Support Officer, Lesley Lonsdale.
Twenty-four-year-old Clara’s role involves overseeing social media marketing for the UK, Ireland, Australia, France and Germany, as well as supporting the US team, online and in print.
Clara graduated with a BA(Hons) from Lincoln University in fashion studies and said: “While at university I worked voluntarily for a couple of fashion magazines, building up a CV and getting a job on the LADbible, which is an online pubilcation, for two years and their sister site Pretty 52.”
Working in editorial and social media she picked up experience, applying for jobs in fashion houses until getting the call from Boohoo last October, then being promoted to manager in March.
She recalls of school: “I enjoyed my education and university, but I was ready to get a job. Sometimes it is about who you get to know. When I was working for the LADbible I got to know someone who had connections with Boohoo and they were based just down the street.”
Now living in Manchester she flits between Boohoo’s offices there and in London, spending a lot of time working from her phone and associating with celebrities and reality TV stars such as Kylie Jenner. Her boyfriend, Jonny Eckersley, also works for Boohoo Man.
Clara said: “It is nice coming back to the school and crazy seeing all the old faces but the building has changed quite a lot in six years.
“I was always very creative and not very academic, so had to push myself quite hard. Johnny studied law but dropped out and built up experience doing other things before getting work on the LADbible and Umbro before Boohoo, so we offer both sides. University is not for everyone and Boohoo offer jobs to both graduates and non-graduates. University used to be the only option, but now sometimes kids do degrees for the sake of it.
“I love my job. It is hard work and long hours, but totally worth it.”