Sinead Khan Q&A

with Sinead Khan

Q. What difference to your career do you think taking a Degree Course with a placement year make and did you specifically choose a course with placement year?

A. (My degree didn’t have a placement year, but I think my answer to the following question kind of answers this…).

Q. Do you think having 2 internships helped you decide the direction you wanted follow in your career?

A. Absolutely. I’d always been drawn to the fashion industry, but my internships helped me realise that as long as a job involved creativity, I’d be happy. As an intern my tasks were pretty varied, which helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, what kind of environments I thrived in and where I wasn’t so happy.

Q. What difference to your job search after graduating do you think having the internship experience had?

A. I went into my job search with a clearer idea of the different opportunities available to me. Prior to interning I had no concept of what a PR agency did or the importance of digital marketing; things I don’t think can be taught in a university lecture hall. I had also seen first hand what skills employers were looking for and how to play my own skills set accordingly. For example, whilst interning I learnt that my proficiency with design suites like Photoshop were sought after, particularly in smaller companies that didn’t have the budget to rely on designers. I never would have known that had I not had that internship experience!

Q. You originally applied for an internship being advertised by Highpoint but were appointed into a permanent position that was created for you.  Do you feel working with a Consultancy gave you a better insight into the role and company you were applying to?

A. Consultancies are often great at gauging if you’re right for their client. And better still, if you’re not right, they’ll likely be able to recommend a role where you’ll be better suited.

Q. Farnborough International is worlds apart from the beauty and fashion industries which you had previously worked in.  What appealed to you about working for them?

A. This is a question I still get asked today! I’m known for my love of fashion, but possibly my second greatest love has always been travel. Whilst at university I studied in France for a semester, and that gave me a taste for working across cultures and countries. My experience in France solidified my desire to work in an international industry, and I don’t think you can get more international than aerospace! But aside from that international element, as I said earlier what drew me to Farnborough was that the role allowed me to do what I love most about marketing; be creative!

Q. You have achieved a lot already in your short career.  What do you put this down to?

A. Being true to my authentic self (something I’m still learning!), and remembering that it’s all about balance.

Q. Did you experience moments when you felt disheartened?    …    How did you overcome these and move on?

A. Of course… when I couldn’t get a look in anywhere in fashion I felt really dejected. But I decided to widen my net, take a chance on something new and that’s when the Farnborough opportunity came up! Looking back now I really couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career.

One of the best pieces of career advice I’ve read is this: “Some days you kill it and some days you don’t. That’s not called failure, it’s called being human.” Whenever I’m having a bad day, I like to keep this in mind. Setbacks and bumps in the road are sadly an inevitable part of life – but it’s all about how you learn from them.

Q. What is your stand out moment so far in your career?

A. Probably every event I got to work on with Farnborough International! I was lucky enough to work on airshows in Bahrain, Paris, Dubai and of course the iconic Farnborough. Each one had its own proud moments, but above all seeing these colossal events come to life with such a small team behind them felt amazing and I think I’ll always take great pride in saying I was part of them.

Q. What recommendations would you give to a young person looking for internships now?

A. Remember that a job is what you make of it, regardless of the industry. When assessing if a position is right for you, look at the day to day tasks and the projects you’ll be working on – that’s where the magic is.