Abi Houghton 2006 – 2014

Abi was a student at Wolverhampton Grammar School between 2006 and 2014.


Abi is currently studying for a BA (Hons) International Fashion Promotion at Manchester Metropolitan University.

What prompted you to choose a career in fashion and why Manchester Metropolitan?
Throughout school I never had any idea what I wanted to do as a career, however I knew I wanted to continue my studies at University. I went to an open day at Manchester Metropolitan and sat in on a few lectures with my mum and this course stood out the most. I remember we both walked out and said that this course was right down my street, something I was interested in and had the potential to do really well at.

How have the skills you learned during your time at WGS assisted you?
I would say the skills I learnt through art have benefited me a lot during my time at University, as a large element of my degree is being creative. Also when it comes to job/placement applications, thinking outside the box gets you a long way.

The skills I learnt at WGS have assisted me in more ways than one. I think the first use of my skills came when I first moved in to University. I don’t know whether it’s the type of person I am or from going on school trips for a long period of time, such as Uganda but I never got home sick because I learnt to cope away from home on several occasions.

What do you enjoy about your course?
It’s hard to say a favourite thing about my course as I pretty much love it all, but I really enjoyed producing a ‘lookbook’ in my first year which included taking the images myself. I based it on childrenswear and got to work with my three cousins as models, the youngest being four and the oldest nine, they were very cute.

Have you met any interesting people on your course?
Do lecturers count as being interesting because I have had a few of those. I was also fortunate to do two weeks work experience at Missguided, which is an online women’s retailer, aimed at girls from 16-30. Here I met many interesting people, including the CEO, who is an extremely successful businessman at the age of 32. He is not only an inspiration as far as his business is concerned but he was also extremely friendly, making the effort to know my name and was interested to my opinion on certain items of clothing.

What factors impacted on your choice of career?
Having nearly completed two year of my University course, I definitely have an insight as to what I want to do. My third year will be spent on placement, which is what I am applying for at the moment. I think this will really help me decide which direction I want to go in, be it marketing or buying, but it will definitely be something in fashion.

Did you do anything extra at school to aid your university application?
I wouldn’t say I did anything extra at School, I never did Duke of Edinburgh or anything like that. However I did do EPQ which I believed helped in many ways, not only with applying for University but my course itself. I decided to base mine on Fashion which may have helped my application, but it certainly helped with my presentation skills.

What made you decide to come to WGS?
I had been at WGS since Big Six so for me there was nowhere else. I think it is unique in so many ways and the teachers aren’t just teachers for me, they would go above and beyond to help me achieve the best I could. I loved my time at WGS for so many reasons and couldn’t imagine my school years anywhere else.

What have been some of your favourite memories/moments of School?
Some of my best memories were definitely made on school trips such as ski trip and Uganda. Art lessons were always fun with both Mr Millichamp who taught me most of my school life until Sixth Form, where I had Mrs Ward who was equally as great.

Did any teachers inspire you?
WGS is full of inspirational teachers who helped and inspired me throughout my time there. I feel I always had a great connection with the sporting staff and the one that stood out for me has got to be Crusty (Mr Crust). I didn’t really know Crusty that well until I started Sixth Form and he started teaching me Physical Education. He was an inspiration in so many ways and helped me through my Sixth Form years.

Another inspirational teacher is Mrs Ward. Again Mrs Ward only taught me in my final year of school, however she made a massive impact. Thanks to her I managed to get an A* in my Art A-Level. She was always so encouraging of everything I did and convinced me I would achieve great things in my time after school.

What advice would you give our current students?
I think the biggest advice I can give to students is to do what you enjoy. I had no idea what I wanted to do but I chose something I knew I would enjoy and I have had the best two years of my life. Don’t feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to either, at the end of the day its your life and something you have to stick with for three years. This includes both the course you choose and the University you choose.

One of the best decisions I made when coming to University was joining the netball team. I have made so many amazing friends not just from netball but from socializing with other societies as well. Especially if you don’t get great halls you can rely on having other friends. So if there is any advice I could give is to join a society as you make so many new friends and it also helps with your confidence and meeting new people.


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