**[okay, you know fidmlife isn't all happy go lucky, right? we started this blog to document the good, the bad, and the ugly. well, here's a blog rant from a fellow fidm student.]**
I’m going to keep it so real with all of ya’ll for a second. Tonight’s rant is going to be about FIDM and my experience, as well as my friends experiences.
Listen up…here’s my story and some advice for anyone who plans on attending fidm or is attending fidm or just graduated from this school.
I left community college to pursue my passion for all things related to fashion. At the time i didn’t know exactly what i wanted to do, but all i knew was that i wanted to work in the fashion industry. The only schools i knew and were familiar with and catered to my interests were The Art Institutes, The Academy of Art University and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. (Mainly West coast schools). I ultimately decided to go with FIDM.
I called FIDM, scheduled and went on a tour of the San Diego campus, had a meeting with the adviser, i was completely sold to move forward with this school, applied for the Merchandise Product Development program (for spring quarter 2012), did the whole entrance project requirements, paid the necessary fees, got accepted, received a cute black tote bag and i was happy as happy can be! felt so good about myself and it all felt so right to me.
After a few weeks of waiting to start school, i started doing more research about FIDM. I was just so excited about finally attending a college that was so ME that i had to learn and hear more about it. I looked up forums, chat rooms, blogs, tags on tumblr, facebook posts and i even asked my friends who were currently attending fidm or fidm alumni. And all of it was just mind blowing. Completely unreal. There was just so much negative and positive reviews that it was hard to believe or take anyone’s word for it. So i quickly stopped looking at all that junk and decided to stick with FIDM. Because i wanted to believe i could be successful. I didn’t want to let anyone’s review or experience dictate how my life was going to pan out.
Finally the day of orientation, registration and my first week of class at fidm arrived!!! i was more than excited! FINALLY a school that catered to my every need. I felt like i belonged there. Spring quarter at fidm was my first. And it was also my LAST.
And let me tell you how this all come to be. Here are the reasons why i left fidm:
- Curriculum.MY experience at fidm was okay. I just felt as i wasn’t getting the best out of my classes with the money i was paying for. So as i sat in my classes, i couldn’t help but feel as if my teachers were unmotivated. They barely cared. Yes, some of my teachers were nice and knowledgeable. But most of them were mediocre. The kinds of stuff/homework they had us doing seemed so…elementary. Sure, they provided us with the latest and greatest technology assistance and with all the cool art supplies, but the education level itself was poor. I knew that the things i was learning and the things i was going to learn down the road, only less than half of it was actually going to be used in the real world.
- The students. OH MAN. Fidm is filled, mostly with girls with no talent. THAT’S THE TRUTH. i’m not trying to say you have to have talent to go to the school, but atleast have something to prove why you’re here at fidm. SOMETHING TO BRING TO THE TABLE. but no. A majority of these girls just cared more about the name of the school and the fact that it was a fashion school. They loved to DRESS up; expressing themselves as if they were the shit, but in reality their outfits were mere tumblr inspired or copied fashion get ups—no originality what so ever. they’ed walk in with their coffee and handbags and yet, they turned in some of the most lamest projects ever. Clearly, these girls and some guys were there by the means of daddy and mommys credit card. Those people were just so sucked into the glits and glamour of attending FIDM. They were all snobs and acted as if they knew everything about fashion and style. Clearly they didn’t because why the fuck would they be at fidm then if they knew it all? precisely. But then, there were some girls and guys with the means of being there with their cool, humble and talented characteristics. THOSE were the ones that made fidm so awesome. Being around them, made me feel like i belonged. As if i was among my range of artists/designers/thinkers/scholars. Especially the graphic designer students…mostly all guys…but they were some talented mother f-words!
- Tuition: my program costed about 45-50,000 dollars. And that was only for 2 years to get an AA. Now, at the time. when speaking to my advisor i asked about this. I was intially skeptical about paying that much for only an AA. but she insured me that an AA at FIDM is equal to the likes of an BA in the fashion industry and with the help of their career center, it would help with getting a job. So, like i said before. i was sold. But then after attending fidm, i realized i wasn’t getting the best education for what i was paying for. and an AA for that much money was just NOT worth it. Think about it. With this economy now…it’s insane to pull out loans or pay that much for an AA!!! an AA will get you little to no where in life. or sometimes it can… but it will be one hell of a fucking struggle!!!! besides almost all require Bachelor degrees!
- Alumni testimonials. i spoke to my 2 friends (both visual communication majors) about their experience with fidm and they point blank said: It’s a good school (yes, it’s a good school, “well know” rep, and you somewhat learn somethings) but they said look into other schools, because they felt that they weren’t getting enough out of fidm for what they were paying for. And now they are graduated, they wish they went to another school, and went for their bachelors degree. They both say, “no regrets” but in all honestly, they regret not looking more into other routes of getting educated. Another friend of mine (product development major) went to fidm back in 2006. She graduated, but she didn’t find a job in her field as an assistant technical Designer untill last year. The thing with that is that she had the hook up. (and that’s basically how you get into the area of which you studied for, by knowing people!!!!! and sometimes networking can only get you so far, but by knowing people that KNOW you is what gets you in and it’s how it got my friend in!). But look at that. Finally landing a job after 5 years? AND she went through a hiring agency. NOT fidm’s career center. Because they didn’t help at all. She told me…that fidm is a good school and you learn good technical skill. But looking into a better school with a better and cheaper program is the way to go!
- REP. They say fidm has a good rep in the fashion industry. Somewhat true. In reality, employers don’t give a single fuck about newly fidm graduates. Some eveb loathe fidm students! You have to face the reality that some places simply don’t hire you because you went to fidm!! and vice versa. it has it’s good and bad reviews, but in all honesty, it doesn’t matter where you get your education. If you’re talented enough and you got the chops. You’re in. Fuck the rep. saying, oh fidm looks good on you’re resume. Sure. it might look good, but that’s just your resume. Your skills say and speak louder. (just because your resume says UC DAVIS or Princeton doesn’t mean your top shit. It’s a different generation we live in now. Sure having attended prestigious or well known schools will get you looked at or potentially hired, but it all comes down to SKILL and if you’re good at what you do! Plan and simple! You WILL get hired over that one girl/guy who went to a so-called well known school.)
So that’s why i left. Mainly i left because FIDM AS A WHOLE DIDN’T SIT WELL WITH ME.
in all honesty, my fidm experience was decent. Made some cool friends, learned some…but it’s just not worth it. FIDM is a for-profit school. All they care about is money. If you’re willing to pay and you do the requirements…you’re in. They accept anyone. I wanted to expand my design and art skills, i wanted to broaden my interest for the fashion industry, i wanted to be surrounded by the same level headed people like myself. i especially wanted to go to school with the people who genuinely loved and breathed design and the arts! not just the
bitches that loved fashion and shopping and clothes. I thought fidm was my everything. but it wasn’t. and i’m glad i decided to leave.
So here it is. If you’re like me…someone who has the genuine interest/passion for the arts, design and fashion, i’d say go look into other schools or programs. But if fidm is the only choice, then go. But seriously, there are other schools and programs out there! cheaper and better!
Fidm is just NOT worth the effort or money.
HOWEVER—i will say that if fidm is still something you want to do regardless of what i say or what anything or anyone else says…i’d highly suggest get your bachelors degree first in something related to your field! and then go to fidm for their professional designation program!!!!!!! it will help you in the long run!
AND i would say, if you’re going to go to fidm, GO TO THE LA CAMPUS!!! there is more opportunity for internships and job offers! it’s not guaranteed. And it’s definitely tough looking for a job at in LA with just an AA, but you do have a decent shot if you do your second year in LA rather than SF.
As for me. I’m happy and content with my decision. I’m now deciding on whether to go to San Francisco state university for their apparel design and merchandising program or cal poly pomona for their apparel merchandising and mangement program….definitely have to make a decision soon though!!
All in all….good luck to those who are looking into fidm, new and current fidm students and fidm alumni.
See ya’ll at the finish line…