Belfast Met student participates in NY fashion internship as part of prestigious scholarship

A Belfast Met student is enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime getting hands on fashion experience in New York as part of a prestigious scholarship.

Katie Murphy is a student on the BSc Hons Fashion Production & Business course, which has been training the next generation of fashion designers for the past six years.

Katie, from Gorey in Co Wexford, is currently doing a placement year at Ohio Wesleyan University after being selected for the Study USA programme. Her experience has been unique in that she is the first student to study across two different states.

Katie said about her scholarship:

“I applied to Study USA to boost my practical, technical and business skills on a global scale to set myself up for success in my final year and my future career.

“I spent my fall semester in Ohio Wesleyan University where my core focus was entrepreneurship while also immersing myself in the Columbus Fashion District to prepare myself for my spring semester.

“I am currently a participant on the New York Arts Program (founded by Ohio Wesleyan University) in which I am a part of the visual art and art history syllabus and doing two fashion internships in New York City.

“This has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone and highlighted my capabilities while boosting my employability, creative flair and international perspective. I feel much better prepared, confident and excited for my future endeavours upon my return to Northern Ireland.”

As an ambassador for the programme, Katie was this week invited to a business lunch in New York to meet Northern Ireland Economy Minister Conor Murphy to tell him about her experience so far.

“It was great to have the opportunity to meet the Minister and share how beneficial my internship has been,” she added. “The scholarship has been a fantastic opportunity, I have been incredibly lucky to be able to gain experience here in the fashion capital of New York. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime and will help me achieve my dream of working in sustainable fashion.”

Now in its 20th year, the Study USA programme enables students to study business or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects in American colleges, across 22 states, helping to develop their career prospects. It is managed on behalf of the Department for the Economy by The British Council, which is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Since it began 1994, the initiative has sent over 2000 students to all four corners of the United States.

Belfast Met Fashion Course Director Caragh O’Hagan was also recently able to join Katie in the US to meet officials from the New York Arts Program and spend some time exploring the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Commenting on the visit and Katie’s scholarship, Caragh said:

Katie’s participation in the New York Arts Program has been an amazing opportunity to gain experience in the fashion industry. Katie has been working incredibly hard in both her internships in New York City alongside her NYAP classes and project for Study USA. 

“The NYAP internships have given Katie the opportunity to put theory into practice. Katie has been able to apply her knowledge and skills from her BSc Hons Fashion Production & Business course at Belfast Met to her experience at both internships in New York City and her time studying business at Ohio Wesleyan University. 

“Katie has been an incredible representative for Belfast Metropolitan College while in the USA and we are looking forward to welcoming her back to Belfast for her final year.”

NYAP Executive Director Emilie Clarke, Belfast Met Fashion Course Director Caragh O’Hagan, Student Katie Murphy at NYAP