Congrats FIDM Class of 2015! Meet the Graphic Design and Digital Media Student of the Year Award Nominees

With FIDM’s Graduation ceremony less than two weeks away, students earning their Graphic Design degree or Digital Media degree are working hard perfecting their final reels and portfolios.

Every year, one student from each major at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is recognized during their graduation ceremony for their achievement with outstanding Student of the Year Awards. Get to know the 2015 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

Alex Gilbert

Alex-GilbertHigh School: Loma Linda Academy, Loma Linda California
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “Making friends across different majors and expanding my horizons.”
Advice for future FIDM Digital Media Students: “Remain consistent. Almost everyone puts out a good project eventually, however, the real challenge is to consistently create good projects.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “My education at FIDM has given me unique opportunities and places to showcase what I have learned. Having my work featured and used in the FIDM MODE magazine, FIDM Digital Arts Blog, and FIDM DEBUT Runway Show has helped me set myself apart from other filmmakers.”

 

 


 

Brianna Kim

brianna-kimHigh School: Aliso Niguel High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “Having fun while studying and doing projects, but also the lasting relationships I have built with my peers and instructors. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed school and genuinely had been happy if I had gone to a traditional university. I have blossomed and matured in my mentality and skills throughout my time at FIDM. By being a Social Ambassador for FIDM, I was able to build relationships and work closely with the Social Media Marketing Manager and other FIDM Students from other majors on social media and at FIDM events. Being able to get one-on-one time with my instructors allowed me to create personal relationships with them, going beyond the typical student to instructor relationship. As I interned with FIDM Productions, I was given the opportunity to product two documentary style interviews and assist them on production sets, further developing my relationship with the FIDM Productions team and also our department director, Gene Lebrock. As I produced my interviews, I was able to visually share the story behind Jubilee Project, which is a non-project production company that creates films to inspire change and bring awareness to social issues. This production company has inspired me to create stories and videos for a greater purpose, so being able to interview them and share their story was such a wonderful experience for me.”
Advice for future FIDM Digital Media Students: “I will share with you two pieces of advice I have received as a student at FIDM. The first one is from various industry professionals. When asked what their advice is for a student entering the industry, they all said to be a nice person and to have a positive attitude. That’s not to say you should let people take advantage of you, but people want to work with others that they get along with and will not mind working long hours with. The second piece of advice I have to give to future FIDM Students is something that my department director Gene Lebrock shared with our class. He said, ‘Passion, attitude, and then talent.’ People notice your passion first, then your attitude, and lastly, your talent. Remember why you do what you do, which is because of your passion, and don’t be afraid to take risks, make mistakes, experiment, and try something new.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “My education at FIDM has helped me narrow down my interests and focus in on what I am passionate about. It definitely confirmed my interests in the creative field, and not in the technical. My education at FIDM has provided me with a strong foundation to advance in my education and career goals. It helped me realize that I have a passion for storytelling and journalism, which ultimately led me to applying to USC for Broadcast and Digital Journalism.”

Graphic Design Student of the Year Nominees

Alexander Rivera

Alexander-RHigh School: Cerritos High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “One of the most rewarding parts of going to FIDM was working with people in the industry. They really put us in the working environment with the assignments that help us prepare for the real world.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “Be organized. Organization and time management are key.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “It taught me how to interact in a professional environment in the field I want to work for. Most importantly, it really helped me network with many people in my field and create connections that will last a lifetime.”

 


 

Cory Morinishi

cori-mHigh School: Cypress High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “The most rewarding part of my FIDM experience was my final portfolio review. Presenting the boards that represented the culmination of all of my work at FIDM and even some pieces from before my time at FIDM was one of the most gratifying feelings.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “I would advise future FIDM students to follow their passions and to remember that there is no substitute for hard work. The greatest inspiration and ideas are cultivated from following the vision they have for their future and the work they are willing to invest to succeed.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “So far, my education at FIDM has immensely helped me to better understand the programs and design techniques I am required to use for my work as a Graphic Designer. The amazing industry connections through the FIDM Career Center have helped me get interviews with companies in the entertainment industry and I am sure will continue to help me throughout my career.”

 


 

Dennis Kennedy

dennis-kennedyHigh School: Scripps Ranch High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “I owe so much to FIDM. I hadn’t touched or even seen Photoshop until my first day in Doug Haverty’s Digital Imaging class. To see where I am now is truly incredible. The faculty and students involved with the graphic design program were a real community that cared for one another. I felt pushed to my potential when I needed it the most, ultimately making me a better designer.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “After graduating from a four-year university and going through FIDM, I know how distracted young students can get when you finally have this newfound independence. I advise students to enjoy this time in your life and go after your dream with everything that you have. Additionally, I would advise anyone, even newly graduated students, to start growing your network as soon as you can. FIDM has the best resources and alumni network to start that process.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “I owe my career to FIDM’s Career Center and most importantly, to Nonie Hillier. After getting to know her, and talking to her about my passion for the sports industry, she was able to connect me with my dream internship at Prime Athletes in El Segundo. I was able to convert my graphic design internship into a full-time position just prior to graduation, and have now been with the company for almost a year and half. The skills I gained at FIDM prepared me for the competitive and time sensitive agency world, and I have continued to grow as a designer with the help of the resources and educational foundation that FIDM has provided me.”

 


 

Inbeom Jeong

Inbeom-JeongHigh School: Kyungwon High School, Daegu, South Korea
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “There are a lot of rewarding parts from FIDM. The most rewarding part was what I learned from the great professors and use my knowledge into the real industries. Also, I learned how to manage the time, have a professional attitude, and how to do interactive designs, especially in graphics.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “Be yourself. Especially in design, where there are a lot of advices and endorsements from professors. They are really helpful and let you express your creativities. However, I want to suggest that do not follow them exactly what they tells you. Though they can give you good advices and recommendations, use their advices well into your designs for references.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “My current job, which is a freelance web designer for Root Candle LA. I showed them my designs, which I did in FIDM. They liked my designs and the way I organized in my portfolio. Also, I learned how to being an attractive interviewee and how to act like professional candidate. Every time I mentioned to employers that I have been studying at FIDM, most knew about FIDM’s curriculum and believe FIDM is good school to learn design.”

 


 

Jamie Long

Logos by FIDM Graphic Design Student and Student of the Year Nominee, Jamie Long

Logos by FIDM Graphic Design Student and Student of the Year Nominee, Jamie Long

High School: Hart High School, Newhall, CA
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “One of the most rewarding experiences at FIDM was when we had the opportunity to collaborate with Taylor and Ariel Gold – Olympic snowboarding siblings – to create a complete branding package for them. Working with Taylor, I received real-life client experience, presenting in front of him as well as his
management team. At the end of the quarter, my work was displayed in a 3rd floor window at FIDM for classmates, staff, and future FIDM students to see.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “One of the unique privileges of attending FIDM is the opportunity to establish relationships with some of the top names in the industry – your teachers. With each quarter feeling like it goes by faster than the one before, time with them is so limited. Getting to know them, receiving and applying their feedback, and following their advice will really make a great impact in your work. Trust their insight, work hard, and allow
your creativity to explode. As student designers, you’re the most free in terms of exploring and expressing your creativity – so have fun and allow your imagination to run wild.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “My FIDM education completely transformed my career path and life. Everyday I apply a principle or skill that I learned at FIDM – from utilizing design programs to implementing the industry “best practices” to make a project better.”

 


 

Jonathan Milian

jonathan-milianHigh School: Redland East Valley High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “The most rewarding part of my FIDM experience actually has come at the end of every quarter. It usually is that moment right after I have presented my final project and I stop, take a look at the projector, presentation board or book and realize that I have designed something that I am truly proud of. It is something that from conception has been my own and it is truly a rewarding feeling to know that you have surpassed your own expectations. I felt that about my first Adobe Illustrator class having never even used the program and by my final my instructor expressing being so proud of how far I had come. I felt it again when I was tasked with branding Taylor Gold for Brand X and wondering to myself how I would ever take the personalities and traits of an athlete and create a brand for this person. It was something I had never imagined that I would be doing and I remember sitting at a large table with FIDM staff and students showing my work and finally realizing that design was truly my passion. So I guess the most rewarding part of my FIDM experience has been the journey it self and growing along the way.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “I would tell future FIDM students to take the time to love and put your all into every project. I would tell them to take advantage of all of the FIDM opportunities available. What I mean by all of the FIDM opportunities is when an instructor offers more time to get help, take it. Or when a lab is available to work that much more on your project, attend it.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “I am currently interning at a creative agency that is tasked daily with creating graphic design materials used for event preparation, campaigns, and online marketing. It is a fast pace, multi-task environment that requires you to know your way around all aspects of graphic design. I can with out a doubt say that I would have been no way prepared for this internship without my education at FIDM thus far. FIDM has absolutely given me the tools to help me navigate through today’s graphic design industry.”

 


 

Laura Stafford

laura-staffordHigh School: Mountain Vista High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “Developing a style and a portfolio that felt authentic to my aesthetic. In my early career I was always tasked with creating someone else’s vision. It’s rewarding to call the shots, be the creative director and pursue your own vision.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “You get out what you put in. People will recognize when you’ve put in the work and really tried to develop something interesting.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “FIDM helped me fine-tune my technical skills and prepared me for the industry standards I’m held to in the real world. The teachers also mixed in a healthy dose of real world advice about how to have confidence in a career setting.”

 


 

Riva Corey 

Conceptual branding, logos and advertisements designed by FIDM Graphic Design Student and Student of the Year Nominee, Riva Corey.

Conceptual branding, logos and advertisements designed by FIDM Graphic Design Student and Student of the Year Nominee, Riva Corey.

High School: Hopkins High School
Most rewarding part of your FIDM experience: “The opportunity to learn from so many extraordinarily talented and accomplished teachers.”
Advice for future FIDM Graphic Design Students: “Firstly, plan ahead and stay on top of your workload as much as humanly possible. The amount of work due each week can get overwhelming quickly, and even when you plan out time for getting all of your work done, things come up and sometimes a layout or design you thought you’d be able to knock out quickly you just can’t seem to get working like you wanted.
Also, don’t settle for the first design. Try all the different incarnations you think have potential, and sometimes even the one’s that you think don’t. I’ve found that once you start bringing a design to life, ideas and design elements you were initially really excited or inspired by can end up not being the best solution design-wise.”
How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far? “Besides the obvious, which would be improving my personal design aesthetic, honing my design skills, and advancing my ability to think creatively, my time at FIDM has also helped me along my career path so far by preparing me for fast-approaching deadlines and the importance of budgeting your time wisely in order to work efficiently, yet thoroughly.

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FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising isn’t just a recognized leader in the study of design and creative business– we’re a training ground for the exciting career in graphic design you’ve always dreamed of pursuing. No other graphic design program has the same unique focus on the fashion and entertainment industries, teaching creative expression in all aspects of print media, logo development, corporate identity, product branding, packaging, apparel graphics and more.

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With four California campuses located in the heart of the fashion and entertainment industries, FIDM is a leading, accredited college offering specialized Associate of Arts and Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. FIDM has been educating students with creative and leadership skills for the global industries of fashion, visual arts, interior design, and entertainment for more than 45 years. Learn more at www.fidm.edu.

The FIDM Digital Arts Blog is dedicated to professional and aspiring graphic designers and filmmakers, illustrating the range of career opportunities within these fields written by FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. See more at www.fidmdigitalarts.com.

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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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