After completing a two-year course with Leicester College, 18-yearold Kate Bowler’s dreams are coming true as she embarks on a new career with George at Asda. Kate, who lives in Burbage, Leicestershire, achieved high grades in her GCSEs but wanted to break out of her comfort zone and try something new so enrolled on the National Extended Diploma Art and Design,Fashion and Footwear with Leicester College. She is now one of four successful candidates who have been selected for fully-fundd George Foundation Degree in Retail Management starting this September, while also taking up a salaried position at George’s head office in Lutterworth.
Kate explains: “Fashion has always been a hobby and a passion of mine, so studying fashion and footwear was right for me, especially as it involved modules covering
marketing and pattern cutting, which were my favourite subjects.” She didn’t set herself an easy challenge either. As well as embarking on the Extended Diploma, she also studied for an A-Level in French and played women’s rugby for Leicestershire alongside her course. Jules Dawson, Fashion Lecturer at Leicester College, said: “We’re all absolutely delighted for Kate. She really deserves this opportunity. She was a hard working, focussed and articulate student, a real pleasure to tutor! I have no doubt that she will continue to excel in the fashion and retail sector.”Kate first read about the George Retail Foundation Degree programme, launched in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, when she spotted an article in The Daily Telegraph last year. Kate will undergo work-based assessments, online study, peer networking and trips to Manchester Metropolitan University during the two-year programme, along with a 12-month rotation in various departments at George HQ in Lutterworth, starting with a role as Assistant Branch Merchandiser at George House for the first six months. “It seemed like such a good opportunity to get first-hand experience in the retail industry, as well as gaining a degree. My the one who encouraged me to apply for the position so I’m really grateful for her support,” said Kate. She continued: “It’s such a friendly environment at both Asda House in Leeds and George House in Lutterworth. Everyone is so helpful and has been willing to take their time to make me feel welcomed and I’m so glad I pursued this path.”
Amanda Coulter, People Manager at George, said: “I’m incredibly proud that George works harder than ever to support young people like Kate, at a time when tuition fees are rising and so many young people are out of work. “This George Retail Foundation Programme provides the much needed platform for the one in five students who will not make it to university, offering the opportunity to gain much needed work experience, earn a regular income and at the same time gain a university qualification.”
Kate will be offered the option to top up to a full degree in her third year which she has every intention of completing.
“I loved my experience at Leicester College and all the hard work paid off as I’m really enjoying my new career at George at Asda,” concluded Kate.