Digital Marketing Student Receives Fashion Scholarship Fund Award
While growing up in Livermore, California, fashion was always a constant in Digital Marketing Student Kierra Stanek’s life. After taking a couple of design classes in high school, where she learned how to sew, she took a Regional Occupational Program (ROP) class in Marketing and Business and found she thoroughly enjoyed it. Kierra discovered FIDM while watching Project Runway: Junior. Eager to learn more, she set up campus tours, attended 3 Days of Fashion, Innovation & Design, and eventually applied to the college. “I remember the first time I toured the Los Angeles campus and completely fell in love with it," she recalled. Kierra is one of two FIDM Students who recently received $7,500 awards from the Fashion Scholarship Fund. We caught up with the future 2022 grad to learn more about her scholarship competition entry project, current role as Editor in Chief of FIDM’s student-run MODE Magazine, and ultimate career goals.
How did you come to hear about the Fashion Scholarship Fund? I heard about this scholarship from my boyfriend, actually. He currently goes to USC and got an email about the FSF scholarship that he forwarded to me. I immediately started working on it from that moment on.
Tell us about your entry project/case study: I decided to do the design/product development case study. This was completely out of my comfort zone and really challenged me. I had to create a line for the Gen Z consumer. My case study was fully inspired by sustainability and technology. I wanted to base my line on zero-waste fashion by having each piece in the line upcycled. I spent an insane amount of time on this project with all the research that went into it and how much of a perfectionist I was. The FSF website has every 2021 winners project on it for everyone to see which is awesome!
How did it feel to learn you were one of the recipients of the scholarship award? Although I knew it would be a big accomplishment winning, I also knew that I had already gotten so much out of the case study just by doing it. I think anybody who has turned in an FSF case study knows how challenging it is and how much it pushes your craft and creativity. It was such an honor to receive an award from FSF and really gave me a boost of validation and confidence in this crazy time.
Do you plan to take advantage of any FSF opportunities such as mentoring or job placement? I absolutely plan on taking advantage of the FSF mentoring! I think it will benefit me so much in this time. Eventually, I hope to get some job opportunities. Ideally I would love to get an internship or a job in New York or even Europe for a summer.
How did you choose your FIDM major(s) and campus? Choosing my major was pretty difficult because I was interested in so many different facets of the industry. I finally decided that the Merchandising & Marketing program sounded like it was the best fit for me. I am now in the Digital Marketing bachelor's program, which is allowing me to learn the more in-depth aspects of marketing and all that goes into it in a creative, interactive way. I am from the Bay Area and originally planned to attend the San Francisco campus then move to Los Angeles my second year.
However, the summer before I started college I spent a month living in Mexico. I was in love with traveling and realized that I wanted to put myself a little out of my comfort zone and live somewhere further away from where I grew up. I decided to start at Orange County because I had a huge love for Southern California and really wanted to experience living by the beach. It was amazing and I absolutely loved the OC campus. It allowed me to ease into college and was where I met all of my closest friends! In my third quarter I started switching between the Los Angeles and Orange County Campus and I am now at the Los Angeles campus full-time.
How have you adjusted to online learning in light of the Covid pandemic? This was my first quarter in the Digital Marketing program, so it has been really hard adjusting to all the changes, especially when I thrive off interactive, creative, and social atmospheres. I really love being around people — it is what makes me feel most inspired and creative. The advice that I can give myself and hopefully will benefit others in this time is to create a healthy, inspiring environment and mindset that you love.
Since my apartment is my workspace and my classroom, I have been making my apartment the most inspiring and fun to be in. Currently in my living room there is a checkered couch and a green Gustaf Westman mirror. In my room I have been building a mood board on my wall filled with pictures that make me happy. Along with this I have been trying to connect with friends as much as I can as well as write more. I think for me to succeed in this time I have to constantly remind myself of the good things and good people in life. During my classes and while doing homework it is important for me to get a change of scenery, interact by asking questions and taking notes, and get together with friends that have also been social distancing.
What are some of your favorite lessons you've learned so far at FIDM? Through attending FIDM I have learned that time management is key! The quarter system is extremely fast-paced and can be challenging when balancing so many different things, but as long as I have a good routine, mindset, environment, and motivation, I am able to get everything done while upholding my high standards. The most challenging thing that I have had to overcome is giving myself enough time to do projects and assignments that I know I'll want to be a perfectionist with. I've had to learn how to find a good balance in everything.
Tell us about your role as Editor in Chief of MODE Magazine: As Editor in Chief of MODE magazine I have been able to lead a team remotely to work together and create these amazing magazine issues. This year was the first time that MODE is releasing quarterly issues. Through this experience I have worked in a fast-paced environment where communication, collaboration, and creativity are really the key aspects of building something out of nothing. We start from the ground up every quarter and solely base everything we do off of FIDM students. It is 100 percent made by students, which I think is the coolest thing about it! I am also able to be surrounded by a group of very creative, driven students which is so inspiring!
What are your ultimate career goals? I would love to own my own marketing/PR business or even my own brand. One thing that I want to base whatever I do off of is sustainability and inclusivity. With my ultimate goal of being a business owner I want whatever I build to stand for something bigger than myself. I hope to touch upon a lot of different facets of the industry throughout my career. I really love everything that I have been able to do and accomplish through FIDM that I hope will lead me in a successful career path.