Élise Black

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

I will never forget the Lower Sixth Geography trip to Iceland. Over just five days we saw all manner of amazing things and the group was really good fun. Even if you don’t study Geography I would still recommend going if you can, the experience is unmissable!

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

I was scouted by a model scout at a music festival the summer after FY. It seemed too good an opportunity to turn down, so I wanted to try and pursue it. However, I didn’t begin modelling seriously until the end of Upper Sixth. Being tall helped greatly in finding my way into the industry but I quickly learnt there was much more to it than that. Modelling definitely isn’t anywhere near as glamorous as it looks in magazines or online. Nevertheless, it has provided me with invaluable life experience; from travelling overseas independently, to living with other models from all over the world. What’s more, you never tire of the thrill you get from walking in a fashion show.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

My A level Drama lessons were so much fun. There were only six of us in the class so we were able to work closely with one another to create our pieces of theatre. My memory of these lessons, along with a longstanding love for the subject were the main reasons I decided to audition for drama school. It can be a very intense and pressurised environment when applying to university as an 18 year old and you might not know what you want to do. I have been time rich since leaving Malvern, enabling me to fully consider my options.

What are your ambitions?

I’m still trying to figure out what my ambitions are. I don’t yet have a clear vision of “where I see myself in five years time” for instance. However, I think my ambitions will manifest themselves in years to come, hopefully as I progress through drama school.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating working or studying in your field?

Be brave but be wary. Take time to consider if working in the fashion industry is something which you really, really want to do. Both the fashion and modelling industries are unforgiving and ruthless. That said, there are many benefits to working in such an industry; it’s exciting, fast paced and you work with incredible creatives from all over the world. There are also many career opportunities behind the camera too; such as photography, make-up and hair design, styling and casting. The industry is broad and there is so much more that goes into creating an image than first meets the eye.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at Malvern College?

Since leaving Malvern I have really missed all of the different co-curricular opportunities we had on the doorstep. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, being part of the cricket team, the choir and the orchestra were some of the best hours I spent at school. Therefore, although cliché, my advice would be to get involved with these groups and teams, don’t quit or be afraid to be a part of them because it’s not what your friends are doing. Also, I would encourage everyone to take part in as many inter-house events as possible. My time spent in No.3 was lively and busy but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Who knew inter-house table tennis could be so exciting?

Any further comments or observations?

I have no doubt that being lucky enough to attend Malvern College has helped me to get where I am today. Moreover, having “The Malvern College experience” not only helps you to achieve academic goals but also provides you with life skills which, in the long term, will probably count for more than your exam grades or university offers.