As a young girl in India, Simran Gulati relished Project Runway reruns and her country’s enduring mark on Western fashion. Inspired, she decided she would one day pursue an international education that could turn her passion into a career. When the time came, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) made the most sense.
Its Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Scheme in Fashion and Textiles perfectly matched her urge to examine the field and find her niche. “I knew the programme would let me explore every aspect of fashion from marketing, fashion designing, knitwear designing, intimate and sportswear, and technology,” she says. “Through this structure, I realised that fashion is more than just design. I learned this while exploring every part of fashion.”
These are the insights PolyU strives to inspire through its versatile approach. Its departmental scheme-based admissions – applied to all programmes (except for some specialised programmes such as Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nursing) from the 2022/23 academic year — exemplify its vision of “Opening Minds – Shaping the Future,” enabling students to pursue common courses from their chosen department in their first academic year. This means they will only need to select a major in their second year. By the time Gulati reached this stage, she was certain that taking the Retail and Marketing path was the right move. “I had already received enough knowledge about every field of fashion to choose a specialism wisely,” she says.
Next up were experiential, horizon-broadening industry insights — something PolyU is excellent at providing. So far, Gulati has rubbed shoulders with decision-makers from leading brands such as Burberry, Farfetch and Louis Vuitton. Pairing their perspectives with the unwavering support she receives from her professors, she gained the confidence needed to apply knowledge in all the right ways.
Just recently, Gulati was selected to represent PolyU at the World Retail Congress’s Future Retail Challenge 2022 in Italy, Rome — a challenge facilitated by industry leaders from Farfetch, Redress, and Fenix Group Holding Limited. It will entail collaborating with specialists from Uniqlo on an exciting new business model that leverages digital fashion and NFTs.
Gulati interned at Lane Crawford as an online content producer too. There, she worked with various departments across the organisation, including the Marketing, Creative, Editorial, and Online Retail teams — anyone involved in the production of marketing campaigns. “I learned the importance of being adaptive and collaborative to help work move smoothly by working with many teams,” she says.
Through a second internship, this time with KLASSE 14 — a Hong Kong-based jewellery brand — Gulati assumed more leadership in planning campaigns and even got the chance to put her newfound graphic design skills to good use. “We created Instagram filters and new TikTok challenges for their new collection,” she explains. “We also brainstormed strategic marketing campaigns for both business objectives and product launches.”
These experiences helped Gulati further solidify her place within the dynamic world of fashion. Upon graduating, she hopes to become a fashion content creator. “I want to build a community where I can educate, inspire and entertain with my content and share my passion for fashion with everyone,” she explains.
All aspirations are welcome to achieve similar discoveries at PolyU — which has recently become more future-focused than ever. Since our world is technologically advancing at a rapid pace, the university has made in-demand digital competencies a priority. In fact, such skills are now a General University Requirement (GUR), fulfilled through two new additions to the scheme-based admissions arrangement: Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis (AIDA) and Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IE).
All undergraduate students at PolyU must complete at least two credits of the AIDA courses and at least one credit of the IE courses within their four-year study period to graduate. Those keen on further preparing for the new world of work are welcome to take on AIDA and IE as a Secondary Major option.
“University education aims to nurture future-ready leaders for society. We hope PolyU graduates will not only gain solid academic knowledge but also have the diverse strengths that are essential for the future development of society,” says PolyU’s Vice President of Education, Professor Kwok-yin Wong.
“Therefore, PolyU is keen to promote a series of strategies to enhance the undergraduate curriculum in this respect, to be fully implemented in the 2022/23 academic year. I believe these initiatives will help students acquire vital interdisciplinary knowledge, and also equip them with creative thinking to cope with the rapid changes in our world.”
To find out how else PolyU trains competent, stand-out professionals, click here.