Student / FBI Fashion College, Sydney
When you first take a look at 19 year old Grace Khamis, it would be easy to describe her as having that ‘fresh out of high school thing’ happening. Dig a tiny bit deeper, though, and you’ll find that Grace has such a serious passion for so many elements of design, business and fashion that seems to originate deeper then her 19 years on this planet.
Growing up in Sydney Grace now studies at FBI Fashion College in Sydney and has landed a job at her ultimate fashion brand crush… Camilla.
Grace, has been a massive fan of The Cool Career from the very beginning, and we are so excited to be sharing her “Life After School” story with you all. And yes, she might just have given our favourite answer yet when it comes to inspiration and advice for girls wanting a career in the fashion industry.
Let’s dive in…
Hey, tell us a little about yourself, where do you live and what are you obsessed with right now? (Could be something on Netflix, your new love, a fashion brand, someone on Insta)
Hey there, my name is Grace and I am 19 years old living in Sydney. I finished year 12 in 2016 and since then i’ve been studying a Diploma of Business at FBI Fashion College. Right now, my current obsession would definitely layered gold fine jewellery (especially necklaces) and marble print whether that be my phone case, my drink bottle, my side table as well as my desk, my room theme is white/marble so I literally couldn’t be more obsessed with that right now.
What do you want to be, or do career wise right now? Has that changed since finishing high school?
I have always been unsure of this question, ever since high school as well which naturally put a lot of pressure on me to hurry up and try to figure out what it is that I wanted to do. I worked out that I loved business in school but I always loved fashion as a hobby so when I found out there were Fashion Business collages, it just clicked.
As of right now, I’d love to move into a role – whatever it may be, with more responsibility as I am currently in an assistant position. Since finishing school, I don’t think this has changed as my focus was to gain as much experience as I can in the industry whether that meant working long unpaid hours or travelling quite far for different events, which is what I have done and is so worth it.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to St. Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga and for me I absolutely loved school. The work wasn’t necessarily fun when you had to complete subjects that didn’t interest you but I feel like that’s just apart of it all. The social aspect of school made it all the worth while, and looking back makes you miss those days where you got to see your friends literally everyday.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
I think that high school did play an important role in helping me choose my further education because I was able to figure out subjects that I did and didn’t like, which helped me to narrow down which field of study I’d enjoy after school.
For example, I found I understood maths but I didn’t quite enjoy it, same with any type of science, but I absolutely loved business and found it so interesting, which gave me an idea of what path I’d like to gravitate towards.
Who was your favourite teacher at school and why?
My favourite teacher was one I had in Year 7 and never had again. Her approach to learning worked really well as she was quite understanding of students, she had the best intentions and encouraged everyone to engage in the class and constantly ask questions. I found that some of the teachers tried to have an intimidating approach and would easily get angry at students and just constantly yell when they were mad which just didn’t make a positive learning environment.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Or are you doing any now? Tell us about that experience. If no, tell us why?
I didn’t complete any type of work experience in high school however as soon as I started college I did. I completed my first internship with Billini which I gained so much knowledge and understanding of only some of the things that goes on behind the scenes of a business.
While I was doing this I also assisted in quite a few warehouse sales which were really fun to help out and network. My second internship was at Camilla, which was literally a dream come true as it was my overall goal company to get experience there. This opened me up to a whole other department – Wholesale, that I never even thought about twice that I’d be interested in however I absolutely loved it, found the experience absolutely priceless and I ended up being offered a paid position as a Wholesale Assistant which is where I am currently and really enjoy.
I will definitely continue to complete work experience as it is such a great opportunity in order to gain experience and really expand your knowledge of the Fashion industry, helping you to also figure out what areas you love and what areas you may not like so much.
Are you in Uni or College or Tafe? What are you studying and why did you choose that course?
Yes, I am in college and I am studying a Diploma of Business at FBI Fashion College. I chose this course as I wasn’t exactly sure what area or what role I wanted to eventually end up in and I found that this business course offered subjects on a whole variety of different areas such as Fashion Buying, Visual Merchandising, Marketing Management, Financial planning and the list goes on. I thought it would be perfect for me to gain an insight into all these different areas, and then figure out what ones I liked most.
What’s the hardest thing about the course you are in?
The hardest thing about the course I am in is that I have to rely on a class schedule to be able to attend that class. Each class is one subject and when you have completed it you don’t go to it again. Classes are on throughout the week and you are able to chose what days you want to attend (based on subjects you still need to complete) and how many days you want to go, and sometimes you may not be able to go to college for a whole week if you have already completed all the classes that are on, which although the flexibility is good, it can be quite frustrating as it slows down completing the course.
Do you have a part time or full time job?
I work on a casual basis as a Wholesale Assistant at Camilla.
Do you miss High School? If yes why? If no, tell us why?
While I loved high school, looking back I don’t miss it as I love where I’m at now. I love that I am still learning so much and studying something that I want to actually pursue a career in, as at school there weren’t fashion based subjects.
What does a day a typical day look like for you in your world? Take us on a day from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed!
A typical day for me would probably be waking up at 6am no matter what I have on – I have always been an early riser! I’ll get my body moving to start the day by going to the gym. Then I’ll go to whatever I have on that day whether it be work or college, come home and complete any assignments if I have any, spend time with my family in the evening and then try and have some ‘me’ time before bed, whether that be reading or just chilling out before I try to fall asleep around 10.30pm.
Who is your current hero, or someone you look up to?
My current hero would honestly have to be my mother. She is the most persevering person I have ever met and she continues to inspire me everyday. I am so proud because she is pursuing a career while looking after my family at the same time. She is living proof that anything is possible if you want it bad enough.
What advice would you give girls who are in their final year of high school?
My advice would be to just give it your all but enjoy it at the same time. There is not point in wasting all these years of school if at the end of the day you’re not going to give it your all so you may as well. In saying that however, ensure you look after yourself and your health first. You want to look back and say this final year isn’t the end of the world, but I did the best that I could do.
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration:
I am constantly turning to Instagram for inspiration, that is all I need. The instagram world is so incredibly big now a days I feel like businesses almost need to have it in order to have more awareness. There is just so much out there it is such an awesome resource for inspiration on a whole lot of different categories.
- Favourite Websites: Pinterest
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: @shannenjai – Queen of mirror selfies and absolutely slays everything she wears
- Favourite Podcast: I actually don’t listen to any, but should probably get onto it!
- Favourite Netflix/ Stan Series: Riverdale
- Favourite all time book or mag: The Shadow Girl by John Larkin
- Favourite Fashion Brand: Camilla
- Favourite Stationary brand: Kikki K