Case studies Valeria: Think, Try and Go ahead!
Valeria: Think, Try and Go ahead!
Valeria: Think, Try and Go ahead!

Valeria: Think, Try and Go ahead! (6)

Motto: I knew very well what I liked. When I discovered it was possible I do all my best to carry out it.

Demographic and biographical Characteristics

Valeria is 25 years old. She is a young girl interested in fashion and design. She still lives with her family in Bologna. She likes spending her time reading and studying magazines about the new fashion trends around the world. She has not many friends with which to share this passion but she attends many web sites, blog and forum to discuss about it. She also like to take part in different fashion events, especially during the summer when a lot of fashion shows take place in many Italian cities.

She doesn’t know if this interest can be a work and she doesn’t know how to do it. She thinks that fashion is only a hobby and nothing else.


Educational and transitional pathways:

Valeria attends the vocational school to become a secretary because with her parents she decides that it was better to have a title to start working as soon as possible. She attends this school for 3 years in order to complete the compulsory years of education (16 years in Italy).Then she is employed in a “construction” company as secretary. After two years she think to be really young to stay there for the rest of her life and she starts thinking that maybe she would like to go back to study something else. She spoke with her family and she finds a course of fashion design thanks to her favourite magazine. She thinks that it is a dream. It is so but she needs to work really hard: during the day she is a secretary and during the night she goes to the vocational training course. She is so happy because she has never thought to find something she liked so much. Valeria doesn’t know very well what means fashion design but she only feels that this street is a good way to improve and reach her passions. She works and studies very hard but she is absolutely sure about what she is doing.

Her parent think that she loses her time but she doesn’t’ pay any attention to them. At the end of the course (2 years) Valeria get the title of “ Fashion Designer” and thanks to one of her professors and teachers she starts having some new job proposals. Now she must decide what she likes to do. The actual employment is sure and its contract is with undefined time, on the contrary of the new job-proposal, which are only temporary and defined.

She uses all means to gather information in order to make a decision. She feels to go ahead with her passion but she doesn’t want lose her actual job. At the end she gets the opportunity to work part-time in the “constructions” company and therefore the other part-time for her first employment in a fashion company as fashion designer assistant. Then two years later she understands very well what is her new job and she likes it so much that she takes the decision to stop working like secretary and focus her energies and efforts on the field of fashion and design. She completely falls in love with this job that she dedicates all days and nights to improve herself, work hard and be updated about new technical tools and foreign languages to carry out her tasks very well. Valeria is now the first designer of the shoes area of a famous Italian clothing industry.

Motivations and Strategies:

Valeria have been following her parents’ opinion for years but at the same time she haven’t been stopping paying attention to her passion for fashion and art. Despite she early left school she kept on being updated about fashion trends and changes. She was sure that she preferred to work instead of studying but she didn’t know how to do something she liked. She started working as well as her parents wanted but when a good opportunity arrived to her she didn’t lose time to study and change her life. She waited to be sure that what she found she liked and thus she took time to make her decision with awareness. She tried and experimented before changing her work environment.

Ad hoc learning scenarios

Previous Work as learning environment:

Valeria learnt the basic knowledge to work as secretary during the vocational school but in fact she got professional competences directly at work. She spent two years to work in the “construction” company where she achieved the needed skills to carry out that employment. She found there people available to wait for Valeria which got the required knowledge.

Magazine, Internet:

Valeria learnt a lot by Internet (blog and forum) and fashion magazine and publications. She didn’t get any particular professional skills but thanks to them she understood what she liked to do in her future. She had the opportunities to share and exchange opinions and information with other people already involved in the fashion job market and training. These contacts supported her to think of herself as a possible worker in this field.

Fashion Design Training:

The vocational training allowed Valeria to touch with hands what meant to become a fashion designer. Thanks to years of training she achieved some professional skills and technical competences in order to be able to use software for designing and also technique to set and create clothing.

Actual work as learning scenario:

Only after two years involved in the clothing industry she understood very well what was her job and why she liked so much. These experiences gave Valeria the opportunity to improve herself and also to express herself and her potential. She also used this chance as a possibility to increase her self-confidence and the trust in her passions and feelings.

Support Services used

Valeria received a lot of help by her vocational training teachers and professors. Thanks to them Valeria got the new job-proposal and also some advice to understand how to change job. They supported Valeria in her vocational training path, especially why Valeria was studying and working at the same time. Teachers gave her the possibility to understand how was the field of fashion industry and also to realize what she was reading on the fashion magazine, web site and blog.

Internet and web 2.0 tools helped Valeria to find information and exchange opinions. Thanks to them she also could watch many fashion-show especial trough live streaming channels. In this way she kept alive her interest.

Magazine and publications: Valeria is a good reader and thanks to them she found the fashion-designer course published in a local magazine. She called the school and she got all information to attend it.

Learning type

Learning by doing: Valeria become a secretary thanks to the experience done at work. The school gave her only the basic knowledge that she put in practise at work but in fact she learn to work directly during her first employment. She learnt to communicate, take appointments, manage information between costumers, workers and also managers. She also learnt to use the first program at pc like word, excel and internet.

Formal learning: The vocational training was strictly structured: agenda-plan, subjects, homework, marks, tests and final exams for each subject. She had to study hard and also make practice in different subjects. She really got all competence and skills in using different design pc programs and also about the culture of fashion industry. She studied design, marketing, communication, photography, technique for cutting and setting textiles. 

Non Formal Learning: Thanks to internet and fashion magazine Valeria has been increasing her fashion culture for years. She got all updated information about, trends and fashion industries and brands. All of these knowledge were relevant for her new final job.

Information and Communication Technologies

She used ICT and web 2.0 at work and also to be in touch with friends. Web sites, blog, email, forum, social network are only some of those tools which she used. She learnt to use them thanks to her first employment.

On the G8WAY portal she would like to find an area dedicated to understand the mechanism of job-market in order to have some advice to select work in a sustainable way. She thinks it would be great to have somebody with which to exchange information about contract or how to manage two different jobs. She said: it would be nice to have a sort of e-guidance in order to make the right decision before leaving a job and take over another one.