International student Ni Wang was studying accounting in Adelaide, when her regular bus trip to university took her in a very different direction – leading to a new career in fashion.
Ni has always had a passion for fashion and design, but she never considered it as a career option in China. With her family working in business, Ni decided to follow in their footsteps and headed to Australia to study acccounting in 2016.
As her daily bus to university weaved through the city, Ni noticed TAFE SA’s Adelaide College of Arts building and decided she needed to find out more.
After meeting TAFE SA staff and learning about the innovative fashion design program, Ni made the decision to leave her accounting studies behind and began an Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising. It was a very big decision, but one Ni is so glad she made.
“I really enjoyed studying at AC Arts and have learned so much. Although I was nervous at the start, the lecturers put me at ease, introduced me to other international students and have supported me along the way,” said Ni.
Ni decided to wait for the ‘right time’ to tell her family of her new career path, and as it turned out that time didn’t come until she was awarded the Premiers Design Award at the 2017 Adelaide Fashion Festival for her stunning creation using Australian wool.
I decided the best way to tell my family about my career change was to share my success, so I sent them a video of the Adelaide Fashion Festival and my award win.
“My parents were a bit shocked given they thought I was still studying accountancy, but they were very proud and supportive.”
Li is now studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Fashion) at Flinders University and working part time in retail at BNKR in Rundle Mall.
“Retail has been great, it’s so much fun to meet customers and I get to see fashion from a whole new side,” said Ni.
Ni will continue her fashion journey next year when she heads off to Italy in January for a one-month placement in Florence as part of her studies.
“I’ve never been to Italy before, so it’s going to be a great experience and very exciting to be in one of the fashion capitals of the world.
“My career has certainly headed in a different direction, but I’m very happy and so glad that I caught the bus to university that day!”