Chloe Linehan – From Arts Degree to Following Her Passion and Securing Her Dream Career at Primark

Fashion Buying and Merchandising

Business of Fashion

Chloe Linehan is 25 years old, from Cork living in Dublin and is working in her dream role as a Trainee Buyer at Primark, after completing her fashion buying and merchandising qualification at Portobello Institute.

Before studying at Portobello Institute, Chloe had completed an undergrad in English and History at university. When she left school, she wanted to do secondary school teaching but she later discovered she had a different passion to follow.

“As much as I really enjoyed my time studying, I knew by the time I finished it was not what the career path for me.

“After finishing my Arts degree, I took a year out to take time to explore my different career options. I was always obsessed with fashion and knew it was something I wanted to try as a career.

“With very little experience working or studying fashion, I was eager to learn more about the industry, and the different careers within it, as well as upskill and practice my own capabilities before stepping into a role,” she said. 

Chloe always had a passion for fashion but studied to be a teacher because she didn’t know that a successful career in fashion was possible.

Now, after completing a fashion buying and merchandising qualification at Portobello Institute, she is following her passion and fulfilling her potential in a career that she loves with one of Ireland’s leading retailers.

Fashion was always my true passion. However, I never really thought it would be possible to make a career out of this interest. By deciding to undertake this course, it was a great opportunity for me to begin my new career as a fashion buyer,” she said. 

Chloe says that the course came at the perfect time in her life to prepare her for her next big step.

“This course at Portobello was the absolute right fit for me. It was the perfect stepping stone for me as I began my career.

“It gave me great confidence in my capabilities through the support of tutors and peers and confirmed to me that I was going down the correct path for me. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to practice my pre-existing skills and learn new ones suitable for the role. The tutors’ years of experience and advice were also invaluable to the students.

The tutors at Portobello were extremely supportive and always just a message away should I have any concerns or questions. They made the course extremely interactive and engaging and gave the students many opportunities to showcase their new and existing skills and ideas. They had such great insights into the industry, and it always felt like they wanted the absolute best for their students.

“I particularly enjoyed Sinead’s styling classes as they gave students opportunities to not only express themselves through their own styles but learn from someone who has years of experience,” she said. 

Speaking about her role now, Chloe says that her studies helped to prepare her for the realities of her fast-paced career.

I am the Trainee Buyer on newborn clothing within the Kidswear department at Primark in Dublin. I began my role here shortly after finishing at Portobello.  

I do believe it would not have been possible to get where I am today without my qualification from Portobello. It prepared me for the role through the insight and knowledge of experienced tutors. Exercises such as Excel, presenting, and group work were all worked on whilst undertaking the degree and are so important in my job today.

No two days are the same at Primark! Communication and organisation skills are so important to the role of the trainee buyer. I work alongside and across various other teams such as merchandisers and quality technicians, as well as supporting the buyers on my own team.

“Holding strong supplier relationships is also key to the role, as managing critical paths is my most important task. Other duties can include sample management, approvals, competition and inspiration shopping, and presenting are also some of the various different tasks of the trainee buyer! Luckily, through my studying at Portobello, I had already learned best practices within these tasks.

I always loved fashion and the thought of working in a fast-paced environment, so this role has really fulfilled this passion. Also, I have always been an avid Primark shopper, so it was perfect for me!

As it is at times a high-pressure and fast-paced role, I do believe that you really need to have a genuine love or appreciation for the work to thrive. For me, it is worth all the hard work and effort as it is something that I enjoy and have a passion for, and this is what motivates me to strive for success. 

I really do feel like my role at Primark is fulfilling my potential. This definitely would not have been possible without the help and support at Portobello Institute, and I am really grateful for the kickstart I got for my career by undertaking this course,” she said.

Find Out More

At Portobello Institute we have a number of business of fashion undergraduate degrees and post-graduate opportunities. These qualifications are awarded by London Metropolitan University and offer you direct paths into careers combining fashion with business.

Portobello Institute offers Fashion Buying & Merchandising – QQI Level 5, BA (Hons) Fashion Management, BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising, Postgraduate Cert Fashion Buying & Merchandising and Postgraduate Cert Fashion Management.

If you are interested in any of our fashion courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert fashion advisor Sarah Coyne, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0041. 

Discover Fashion Management as a Profession.



Chloe Linehan – From Arts Degree to Following Her Passion and Securing Her Dream Career at Primark Chloe Linehan – From Arts Degree to Following Her Passion and Securing Her Dream Career at Primark