Alumni Spotlight: Priya Chhetri


This month we spoke to Priya Chhetri who graduated from The British School, Kathmandu in Nepal. Today, Priya works as a freelance creative consultant and supports schools and NGOs in Nepal.

 What is your name?
Priya Chhetri 
Where did you go to school?
The British School, Kathmandu, Nepal
What year did you graduate, and which school did you graduate from?
I graduated in 2010 from The British School, Kathmandu, Nepal
What is your current occupation?
Currently I’m a freelance creative consultant, helping companies to plan their marketing strategy. I am also working with Lions Club (an international service organisation) as well as with certain NGOs and high schools in Nepal to promote education for girls. 
How did you get to where you are now, from leaving school? 
After school, I studied Business at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Since I have always had a passion for Art, Music and anything creative, I was naturally more inclined towards the marketing side of business and enjoyed the problem solving side of entrepreneurism.

During my degree, my aim was to explore all of my areas of interest. One such area was hip hop! I was involved in a hip hop blog called iSocialiate where we promoted upcoming artists in Philadelphia and New York. Some of the biggest artists we worked with included Wale and Big Sean.

At the same time, I was also interning for the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia as a Project Manager. We worked on various campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of gun control, agriculture, education and more.

Post-graduation, I was confused and wanted to take a bit of a break so I came back to Nepal to figure out my next move and that’s when I decided to study Fashion because it’s a mix of two of my favourite things: culture and art. I moved to New York and attended LIM University to study fashion marketing. Living in New York was a life changing experience - the city is so inspiring and being around passionate and like-minded people really helped me to strive to be the best version of myself as I was constantly challenging myself and looking for ways to grow.

With little to no prior experience in fashion, I began involving myself in every opportunity that came my way. I would assist in photoshoots, volunteer for any New York Fashion Week (N.Y.F.W.) shows available and just look for ways to expand my network. I then landed my first internship at Authentic Brands Group (A.B.G) where I worked on assisting on production. As I was the only international student amongst all the interns, I knew I had to work extra hard. That was also when the company was putting on their first ever N.Y.F.W show and I was so lucky to work closely with the designer himself, David Hart. As I have always been an artist myself, we connected instantly and I understood his vision as well as the business aspect from A.B.G. The company then offered me a full time position and I began working for them, producing over 60 fashion photoshoots for brands like Aeropostale, Juicy Couture, Jones New York and more, as well as producing 3 N.Y.F.W. shows.

I am currently freelancing with an upcoming travel and tourism based magazine in Nepal as well as working on my individual project with NGOs, schools and organisations to promote education for girls.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time at school?
I think my most memorable experience was during our music class - we had the most encouraging and supportive teacher, Mr. Cutting, who knew how much I loved hip hop and would always look for ways to get me more involved and explore that interest. There was a time where he convinced me to perform a song I had written with a friend of mine - we produced everything from scratch and now when I look back at it I really appreciate his effort.
Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at school? If so, what were they?
I used to be in the basketball team and I was also really into dancing so I used to perform during assemblies or events. If I wasn’t acting in our school play I was involved in painting the backdrops.
What advice would you give to a sixth-former at your school about leaving school and starting work?
The best thing about school is that you’re around professionals who really know that specific industry and line of work. If, for example, you’re into photography or music, talk to your teachers about your interest and its possible career prospects because this is the best time to figure out what you like, what you’re good at and most importantly what you don’t like. So don’t be afraid if your questions may sound silly, they’ve all been there and they are there to help you.

Lastly, be patient! You have to work your way up and that means you have to pay your dues. There’s no substitute for hard work so remain passionate and don’t give up.
What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
In the next year, I hope to be able to explore photography and creative direction in relation to fashion and production.
Where would you like to live/travel to (at any point in your life)?
I would love to live in Paris and LA at some point in my life, and travel all around the world - there's so much to see!

Know a student who'd be interested in featuring in Alumni Spotlight? Contact comms@cobis.org.uk

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