At Graduate Fashion Week, we sat down with ASICS’ European Marketing Manager, Helen Banks, who shed light on her fascinating journey to her current role and gave invaluable advice to aspiring students hungry to work in the fashion industry.
Helen didn’t go to Leeds Beckett University until she was 25. After graduating with a first in Food Marketing, she enrolled in a graduate scheme where she worked in the Food Marketing Division. To make the switch from food to fashion, Helen realised she had to reinvent herself and enrolled on a personal branding course where she rediscovered her skills and pinpointed which were transferable and relevant to a whole new industry.
Attracted to the sports industry and ASICS’ unique and authentic Japanese history, Helen went on to become the European Marketing Account Manager. Now, Helen is responsible for handling the accounts of three major streetwear brands, including size?, where she manages communications and helps to co-create dynamic brand content.
A testament to following your true passions, Helen’s story is an inspiring one. She then tells us:
“This is not the end of your career, this is the place where it starts, the groundwork for who you want to be. Be open-minded, remember that reinventing yourself teaches you much more than sticking to the same job for years, or hiding under a security blanket. Try everything, change, aspire to learn more every day, and you will succeed a lot more. Experience, don’t just sit at home, waiting for the perfect opportunity to come along. Even a bad experience is going to teach you about yourself and about what you want from your life. Have an open mind, and hopefully, you’ll flourish”.
ASICS is currently offering three internships to students who are keen to work in the brand’s running, apparel or sportswear department at their HQ in Amsterdam. Telling us what the brand looks for in potential grads, Helen says someone with a “commercial mindset” and who is “full of personality, ideas and passion”. It also helps if you’re “creative thinker” and willing to roll up your sleeves and crack on with the “mundane tasks” every now and again.