Laura Pickering and Hallie Lonsdale were two lucky students from the University of Northampton who had the opportunity to intern with the British Footwear Association (BFA) at a leading footwear fair in Milan.

The MICAM Footwear Fair was held in February and is one of the biggest and most important fairs in the industry. Laura and Hallie were able to immerse themselves in the trade show environment, gain valuable experience and network with leading industry names.

The University of Northampton played host to the BFA’s Craft to America, Style to Britain footwear exhibition in November and students on the BA (Hons) Footwear and Accessories programme were invited to invigilate the three-week exhibition on a rota basis. In return, all were entered into a competition to win the all-expenses-paid internship in Milan, with Laura and Hallie being the lucky two winning the coveted prize.

Hallie commented: “Our main job as interns was to promote the BFA by handing out leaflets and talking to people about the British brands that were there. We got to network with a lot of different people, who gave us a lot of helpful and relevant advice about the footwear industry and we had the opportunity to ask questions and to see if they offered any work placements. I’ve secured work experience with a company called Solillas, just from speaking to them! Working with the BFA has given me a great insight into the real world of footwear and I’m glad I was able to experience it first-hand.”

Dr Julie King, Head of Fashion at the University of Northampton, commented: “We were delighted that two of our students had the opportunity to be a part of the exciting MICAM trade fair in Milan this year. It is great for them to be able to experience industry fairs for themselves and put what they learn in the classroom into practice.”

Find out more about the BA (Hons) Footwear and Accessories course