Fashionnovation Your Mentor Talks’ First Episode with Ms. Ummey Hani Barsha
On September 26, 2021, Fashionnovation arranged a session with Ms. Umme Hani Barsha, an ex-student of BUTEX batch-38 and also Adjunct faculty of Department of Textile Fashion & Design (TFD) of Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX) who is currently studying MS in Consumer & Design Science, majoring in Design and Applied Arts at Auburn University. She is our first guest in “Fashionnovation Your Mentor Talks.” She is one of the dearest mentor and well-wisher of Fashionnovation and she supported the platform from the beginning of its journey, right from 7 July 2018.
In that session, our discussion areas were higher studies in fashion, building up and honing skills related to fashion and how to enjoy life to the fullest-valuing each and every experience we gather. In the session, BUTEX 43, 44, 45 & 46th batch joined spontaneously and all credits of managing & directing the session goes to the Founder & President Kazi Farhan Hossain Purba.
Our guest- Ms. Barsha started the session by stating the most valuable advices of her Professor which are- Always ask questions! Because in graduation life, whoever is curious to know more, he/she will be more successful in his/her life.
Fashion design higher study guidelines:
Ms. Barsha then guided us about higher studies. If a student wants to pursue his higher education in Europe, then the student must have an excellent portfolio. European Universities demand more practical knowledge in the design sector that can be shown through portfolios. Students who are interested in studying in the U.S.A, mostly need to take GRE. In many institutions, they demand good verbal scores on GRE. A few institutions waived GRE recently also. In the USA, very few universities offer textile engineering degrees directly. One of them is North Carolina State University. Students may look at other departments like dept. of Material Science (students from the dept of Fabric & Yarn engineering), dept. of Chemical engineering (students from the dept of Wet Process Engineers & Dyes and Chemical engineering), dept. of Industrial engineering. Most of the institutions offer graduate degrees in Apparel Merchandising and Apparel Designing or Fashion Designing under the department of Consumer and Design Sciences or Agriculture.
Then if you want to go to Germany, fashion design students may face some challenges. Usually, there are no tuition fees for most of the courses but in fashion design as well as other art-based subjects such as architecture, and photography, students are required to pay tuition fees. Few colleges have no tuition fees but they teach in the German language instead of English. This is the scenario for many other European universities like Italy, France, and the Netherlands. If they know their language, then they can apply for Dutch and French scholarships respectively. Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Denmark also have textile-related universities as well as they offer graduate degrees in fashion. ArtEZ from the Netherlands offers a master’s in fashion in English, and they have scholarships. In New Zealand, you can get a government scholarship in the design sector from Auckland University. For applying in Denmark, one must complete the first level of their language. In Japan, there is a great fashion design school named Bunka Fashion College which ranks in the top 20 in the world. In Hong Kong Polytechnic, there are mainly PAD courses but you can also go through your graduate level here.
Then if you want to go with Australia or Canada, it will be suitable if you can go on a fully funded scholarship. Pertinently, it must be included that there is only one university in Canada named Ryerson that offers a graduate degree in fashion design. The University of Toronto, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Alberta offer textile-related subjects like material science and other degrees. In Australia, RMIT offers a graduate degree in fashion design as well as textile engineering. There is a scholarship for women but that requires two years of working experience.
You will be happy to know that there was a special guest in our session whose name is Mr. Asef Amer Priyo who is also our BUTEXian senior from the same batch of Ms. Barsha. And he is now working in Decathlon Sports Bangadesh, having working experience of 4.5 years in the industry. He advised to enrich English communication skill, presentation skill and learn Microsoft Excel & Powerpoint from undergraduate level. He clarified about the job sectors of Textile Fashion Design as well as Textile Engineering. He said actually one will get a job or not it totally depends on the performance at the interview board and how much your CV is enriched. Also you must have a very strong portfolio. And at the interview board, you must know what you say and know what you know.
Then again Ms. Barsha said a fashion designer must have knowledge about the fabric, its drapability, texture, etc besides art and design. Because fabric, stitches, pattern-these all are strongly connected with fashion.
When one of the participants of that session asked about the importance of CGPA in higher studies, Ms. Barsha replied that a high CGPA is not a must for applying for foreign scholarships. But if you want a fully funded scholarship and a good subject as per your choice then you will be much benefited if you have a high CGPA. But don’t be upset if it’s by chance low because you can cover it up with other facts like having a great portfolio as well as achieving high scores in speaking & writing on IELTS and GRE scores.
Is having a published research paper important for higher studies?
Another question came from the participants about the importance of research papers. Madam replied that actually on the master’s level, teachers of foreign universities do not really expect research papers from the students. Students may have a review paper which is helpful also. But one should have a clear knowledge of their research interests. She again mentioned having a strong portfolio always helps. She referred to a YouTube channel named Zoe Hong to enrich your portfolio. She also suggested a site named issuu.com see many kinds of portfolios there.
Ms. Barsha said that during her application for MS, she categorized the ranking of the university where she applied and research interests and if the university provides funds or not. Again another student asked her about what can the student do with fashion degrees. Madam replied there are fashion photography, visual merchandising, fashion merchandising, sourcing sector & designing sectors. Last, of all, she stressed upon especially for fashion design students to learn Adobe software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
At last our special guest Mr. Asef gave us some life hacks. He said,”Forget about being disheartened. No knowledge is small, no knowledge is short! So if you have leisure, it’s better to learn something new. Always use your time efficiently.” Then Barsha madam suggested, “Obviously do work but enjoy your life to the fullest in your undergrad!”
It was really an amazing session! We learnt a lot from Ms. Barsha & Mr. Asef. We are expressing our gratitude to them and the organizer of this session, Mr. Kazi Farhan Hossain Purba. Hope that we will get more sessions like this & will be able to learn a lot!
Dept.Environmental Science & Engineering,
Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX)
You can also read our article about Auburn University’s AMDA, their activities and goals!
You might also be interested to read about National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Hyderabad, A Heaven for The Fashion Learners