Congrats, FIDM Class of 2014! Meet the Student of the Year Award Nominees

With FIDM’s Graduation ceremony less than three weeks away, students earning their Graphic Design degree or Digital Media degree are working hard perfect their digital media reels and graphic design portfolios.

Every year, one student from each major at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is recognized for their outstanding achievement with outstanding Student of the Year Awards. Get to know the 2014 outstanding Graphic Design Student of the Year and Digital Media Student of the Year Award nominees below, and make sure to check back in a few weeks when we feature the FIDM Student of the Year Award winners along with samples of their work.

Digital Media Student of the Year Nominees:

FIDM Digital Media Student of the Year nominee, Keeley Arnold.

FIDM Digital Media Student of the Year nominee, Keeley Arnold.

Keeley Arnold

High School: Lafayette High School in St. Louis, Missouri
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “Looking back at all the work we’d accomplished in our portfolio class. Seeing all my work culminated into one final portfolio felt like an incredible achievement.”
Advice for future FIDM Digital Media Students: “he work you put into a class is the reward you will receive. If you don’t spend time perfecting the projects you’re assigned, you won’t benefit from it.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “I am still searching for a career, but all of my professors helped me to feel very prepared to go out into the working world.”

Maylay Sanchez

FIDM Digital Media Student of the Year nominee, Maylay Sanchez.

FIDM Digital Media Student of the Year nominee, Maylay Sanchez.

Current Employer: Puremium Event Group
Job Title: Freelance Digital Media Artist
High School: International Polytechnic High School in Pomona, CA
What brought you to FIDM? “I learned about FIDM through a classmate in high school. I originally came for Fashion Design, but ended up in Visual Communications instead. After I graduated from V-Com, I went into Digital Media.”
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience? “Learning all aspects of design. In Visual Communications I learned the principles of design and how to create stunning physical projects. This helped me implement my skills into my projects while in the Digital Media program. I can create both physical and digital works of art.”
Advice for future FIDM students? “Take your classes seriously and don’t slack off. Creating amazing projects by going above and beyond the requirements will make you look professional and you’ll have amazing work to showcase in your portfolio.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “I feel that I can perform many of the job requirements because of the technical skills that I have learned in the Digital Media program. I learned so many programs while in Digital Media that I have an endless selection of post-production jobs to go into.”

“I learned so many programs while in Digital Media that I have an endless selection of post-production jobs to go into.”

Feuna Shahbazian

FIDM Digital Media Student of the Year nominee, Feuna Shahbazian.

FIDM Digital Media Student of the Year nominee, Feuna Shahbazian.

High School: Turlock High School in Turlock, CA
What brought you to FIDM? “I’ve always wanted to be in the film industry but to be able to be creative as well; therefore, I saw that FIDM would be the perfect place for me to continue my education. And the one thing that really sold me on attending was that the classes were taught by industry professionals. I had gone to a traditional university and felt such disconnect with the instructors there; yet, when I came to FIDM I saw such a drastic change. The instructors really care and want to help out the students in furthering their education and careers.”
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience? “It’s such a great feeling when I know that the things that I have learned during my time at FIDM I am able to practically apply them to the workforce. It’s such a rewarding feeling, a feeling of accomplishment. With that said, just getting this nomination for the Digital Media Award truly was thee most rewarding part of the whole experience because it reminds me that all of the time spent and hard work really paid off and others took notice. That’s the most rewarding for me.”
Advice would for future FIDM students? “Network! Keep in touch with your fellow classmates because you never know where you will end up working and you may be able to help out one another. Stay connected with the Alumni Association because they host mixers in which FIDM alums could attend and network with people there as well.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “Every single thing that I have learned throughout the Digital Media Program has provided me with a well-balanced knowledge that I am able to practically apply at the workforce. I also feel so much more intelligent because even though I may not be extremely advanced in a program like the people that I work with, for instance AVID, I am able to use the correct terminology and speak intelligently with my fellow coworkers about it. So, my education at FIDM has truly helped me in my career thus far.”

Graphic Design Student of the Year Nominees:

Sara Berkes

FIDM Graphic Design Student of the Year nominee, Sara Berkes.

FIDM Graphic Design Student of the Year nominee, Sara Berkes.

Job Title: Graphic Designer, Writer and Editor
Previous Education: Rockridge Secondary School, West Vancouver, BC, CANADA – class of 2007. University of King’s College, Halifax, NS, CANADA – class of 2011.
What brought you to FIDM?
“I came to FIDM after finishing my Bachelor of Arts Honors in English and Creative Writing. I had no idea what my next move should be, and actually started a Costume Design program in Halifax. After one semester, I realized I that as much as I love sewing, I enjoyed putting together and designing my reports much more. Coupled with having worked as Art Director for the University of King’s College newsmagazine for a semester during my third year of my BA, and remembering how much I loved media art and computer classes in high school, I put the pieces together and realized that Graphic Design might actually be the career I wanted to pursue.

I had heard of FIDM actually from ‘The Hills’, and requested information on more of a whim than anything else. After talking to my amazing admissions advisor, Bon Marie, I realized the school had amazing faculty and alumni stories, and decided to seriously apply. After getting in, deciding to move to LA from a small east coast Canadian town was actually a pretty easy decision. When you grow up in Canada, eternal summer and sunshine is the stuff of dreams, and here was my opportunity to live it. I had the most amazing experience at FIDM. I made incredible friends who are wildly talented and inspiring, I studied under fantastic instructors who really pushed me to my creative limits, and I realized that I love design and that coming up with a design I know is great and that truly solves the problem at hand is really the most satisfying and rewarding experience I can imagine.”

“I made incredible friends who are wildly talented and inspiring, I studied under fantastic instructors who really pushed me to my creative limits, and I realized that I love design and that coming up with a design I know is great and that truly solves the problem at hand is really the most satisfying and rewarding experience I can imagine.”

Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?
“It was all really rewarding. Making amazing friends, studying under amazing teachers, and really taking all the opportunities available to me (becoming VP of [FIDM Student chapter of the AIGA] The Red Dot, taking on three different internships during my program, entering the NRF Holiday Card Contest) really made it an experience that I can do nothing but thank for getting me to a place that I’m really happy and thankful to be in. I realized during my time at FIDM that I wanted to work directly with clients, because I love the initial research phase of projects. I also realized that I work best independently and on my own schedule. All of it really added up to me deciding to start my own company and go full-time freelance from the get-go, and my FIDM portfolio is really what’s gotten me every job so far.”

Advice would for future FIDM students? “Work incredibly hard, make friends with people who will push you creatively, listen to your teachers, learn to present your work effectively and properly, and meet all your deadlines. And, of course, have fun and experiment! There’s no better time to figure out how you like to design and what you like to design, and no better time to really go for it and create something really crazy just because you can. Take advantage of that.”

How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “My education at FIDM is the reason I have a career thus far. Without my portfolio, I wouldn’t have gotten any of the clients I have and by extension, any of the work I have. FIDM also taught me the importance of deadlines, attention to detail, and, because of the variety of projects, gave me the confidence to tackle projects that may currently be outside my comfort zone. After all, before I took Brand X with Kevin Reagan, I didn’t know how to design a CD package! Everything is new (and scary) until you’ve done it, and I try to approach client work with the same open-mindedness as I did all my FIDM projects.”

Patrick Lee

FIDM Graphic Design Student of the Year nominee, Patrick Lee.

FIDM Graphic Design Student of the Year nominee, Patrick Lee.

High School: Yunlin High in Taiwan
What brought you to FIDM? “My cousin is an alumna of FIDM who majored in interior design. She gave me a campus tour when I was in high school. I was really impressed by FIDM’s award-winning campuses. I never thought that a campus could be that stunning and modern– like a museum or hotel.”
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience? “Every instructor at FIDM is still very active in the industry. Therefore, they can provide students the most updated skill training and career opportunities from their industries.I am also more knowledgeable about the fashion and entertainment industries. And, alumni connections.This January, I was invited to attend the NRF’s Big Show in NY. FIDM’s New York alumni chapter actually held a special event for FIDM students. That was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Alumni were sharing their working experience between the east and west coasts, their career paths, how they started their own business, etc.”
Advice would you give to future FIDM students? “Try to get involved in as many school activities and competitions as you can. For example, the FIDM/AIGA Red Dot club, Phi Theta Kappa, Cotton University, FIDM MODE, etc. Make friends with the students of other majors: find out the secrets of their industry! Be kind and humble: everyone at FIDM can be a key person who would bring your dream career connections/opportunities in the future.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “It has helped me understand the entertainment and fashion industries, as well as the industry’s expectations. We almost have presentations from every class of every week. It has greatly helped with my public speaking, presentation skills, and methods of communicating with clients professionally. Since FIDM has a fast-paced programs, every homework assignment truly trains students to have good time-management skills, project management skills, and a detail-oriented work ethic.
What are your future career goals? “I would like to work for a social enterprise company, i.e. Ashoka, Idealist, TED Talks, and IDEO. I hope that every inspiration and design can become another positive force to make our world a better place.”

Chelsea Wozniak

FIDM Graphic Design Student of the Year nominee, Chelsea Wosniak.

FIDM Graphic Design Student of the Year nominee, Chelsea Wosniak.

High School: Woodbridge High School in Irvine, CA
What brought you to FIDM? “Before I came to FIDM, I was attending another southern California university and pursuing an Advertising degree with a Multi-Media Design minor. Even thought it was a good education, I was left with little knowledge of what I really wanted to learn: graphic design. My art professor knew my desire to learn graphic design and suggested that I take a look at FIDM’s Graphic Design program. Next thing I knew, I was enrolled at FIDM and starting that next quarter in June 2013.”
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience? “Being able to look back at my work and see how much I have grown as a designer. I am so grateful for the incredible education that I received. It is hard to think that when I first started out at FIDM, I had never used any of the Adobe programs. Now, I am fluent in the majority of the Adobe programs and seamlessly work within them.”
Advice for future FIDM Students: 
“Give it your ‘all’ while at FIDM. Your time at FIDM will be over before you know it! The more that you put into your education, the more you will get out of it so be an intent student and work hard. It will all be worth it in the end when you look back on your time at FIDM and  be proud of everything you accomplished.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “Even though I have received job offers which would start my career in graphic design, I have chosen to continue my education at FIDM [in the Digital Media program]. I have been able to build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge which I am now able to build on. I am very grateful for my education thus far, and cannot wait to see what that knowledge, skills and hard work will bring.”

Editor’s note: The FIDMDigitalArts Blog would also like to recognize FIDM Digital Media Students Clarissa Hernandez and Hannah Lefler who are nominated for the outstanding Digital Media Student of the Year Award, and FIDM Graphic Design Student Richard Noguchi who is nominated for the the outstanding Graphic Design Student of the Year Award.

Learn More…

Would you like to learn more about earning a degree in Graphic Design or a degree in Digital Media from FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising? Click the link below…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

Share This Post On

Pin It on Pinterest