Student Learns Value of Teamwork During NRF Foundation Student Challenge
Hailing from Morgan Hill, California, Tiffany Makdissy learned about FIDM while in high school. “I fell in love with clothing and everything it symbolizes,” she said. “I applied as a junior and got accepted!” After completing an A.A. in Fashion Design from FIDM San Francisco, Tiffany now attends the Los Angeles campus where she’s finishing a B.A. in Design and is expected to graduate in September. Tiffany recently placed third in the NRF Foundation Student Challenge and will receive a $2,500 scholarship along with her teammates. For their entry, her team pitched Nordstrom leaders an antimicrobial accessories and clothing line for the children’s department, “Berri+Cade x Nordstrom.” Learn more about Tiffany and her inspiring story.
How did it feel when you heard that your team took third place in the challenge? I still can’t believe that Kaci, Ysa, and I are national finalists! I am so proud of us for making the top three even though we did not place first. We put so much work and time into this project, and I am so happy that we gained at least some recognition for it.
What was the most rewarding part of this journey? This project really strengthened the quality of my work in designing products and clothing. The most rewarding part of this journey was adding a project consisting fully of teamwork to my portfolio.
Did you divide the work up or work on everything together? Our team did both. In some areas only one member was the real expert in so she would take over for that part. A specific example of us completely collaborating was on the development of the five products. I drew the designs, Kaci created all the prints, and Ysa found the fabric supplier.
How did FIDM Instructors assist or help with your business plan? We were mentored by Sheryl Marcus and Tom Selinske. Both provided overwhelming amounts of support and constructive feedback. They kept us positive and motivated, and I am so thankful for all the time they spent on us.
What lessons did you learn while participating in this challenge? This competition allowed me to learn about how the real world works while remaining in a safe and experimental environment. I was so anxious beforehand about the transition from school to a career, but this journey and process of creating taught me so much more than I expected, and it alleviated a few worries I had about getting a job after school. I also gained a deeper understanding of teamwork, which I thought I had already grasped, but apparently did not. I had not realized before how much having a team helps bring life to ideas. Working alone just does not bring as much creativity and imagination to the table like teamwork does.
How will the $2,500 award help you with your goals? The award will help me with paying for tuition so that I can focus on my school work and developing my portfolio without worrying as much about being able to afford my education.
What are your ultimate career goals? My ultimate career goals are to be the head designer at a luxury fashion brand.