The higher education sector is currently experiencing a significant shift with the transition from offline to online education. Earlier online learning was taken up as an option as an add-on for certification purposes. Due to the current scenario, it has become a necessity. However, with life slowly veering towards normal, blended learning has become the key to create a balance during times of uncertainty. This ensures that students get comfortable with the concept of this new-age system of education. Both students, parents, and faculties responded well to this change. As an institute, the JD Institute of Fashion Technology has always advocated the need to be adaptable and be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. “From the onslaught of the commencement of the courses, we have ingrained in our students the need to be sustainable, think about the environment and the future”, says Sandra Sequeira, Director – South, JD Institute of Fashion Technology.
Design, be it any vertical or form is influenced by various events. Hence embracing change is important. The students have been encouraged to think about possibilities beyond the realm of offline ventures. The institute has always been at the forefront of viable avenues, with the students also participated in a knowledge session wherein they pitched for ideas on education experienced during this time. “Apart from the quality of education, we also believe that utility in design is important. We also spoke about design thinking as a constructive solution-based ideology. The pandemic was a wake-up call when it came to put into effect responsible behaviour, preparedness and be ready for challenges that we may have to face”, adds Sandra.
Providing a world-class infrastructure with a state-of-the-art facility, well-equipped library, and industry experts to shape their students to upskill their creativity, developing their thoughts, and executing their imagination, JD Institute of Fashion Technology envisions to change how people perceive design and make India one of the Design Hub in the world. The institute thrives for one goal; to continually inspire and encourage students to follow the three pillars for which JD stands for: Innovation, Sustainability, and Eco-friendly.
The infrastructure and courses at JD have been specially curated to provide a well-rounded experience to its students to gain requisite life skills that are instrumental while facing the professional world. Especially, once the students step outside their college life. The modules offered at JD mould the students to become creative problem solvers. To help students focus on their pursuits, JD also ensures world-class learning centres and provides access to E-Library with books, magazines, journals, and other fashion literature, laboratories, and classrooms. JD students also have access to Digital Pilling Tester, Crease Recovery tester, Air Permeability tester, projection microscope, crokemeter, drape master, digital light fastness tester, Light busting Strength Tester, Digital Tensile Testing machine, Washing Fastness tester, Drape Studio, Sewing Lab and many more facilities. Additionally, JD also organizes seminars, talk sessions, and workshops regarding pertinent matters to help students acquire skills and hands-on learning.
Revamping Education to be Student-Friendly
JD Institute of Fashion Technology has been at the forefront of innovation and creativity since its inception in 1988. Students are always encouraged to look into their imagination’s crevices to ensure the optimum use of their creativity. The JD Annual Design Awards is the highlight for our graduating students. It provides them with a platform that promotes their thinking and revels in their approach to design and innovation in the form of a Fashion Show and Exhibition attended by key industry experts. Apart from the flamboyant design showcase, JD provides students with the opportunity to get a global perspective through its Imagination Journey. “We have always ensured that our students understand the power of thought to be able to fully engage their design process. The amalgamation of these elements is extremely instrumental in helping students determine their full potential to bring a product from a mere concept to life. To provide perspective to their thoughts, we encourage students to do thorough research”, opines Sandra.
COVID-19 brought with it a feeling of uncertainty and fear amongst students, faculties, and management of JD Institute of Fashion Technology. To restrict crowding and ensure the safety of all, the institute adhered to the government protocol and shut its premises. Technology and various software that we ideally take for granted as it is at our disposal proved to be a boon. “We did face challenges, however, rather than dwelling over the have not the faculties and management sprung into action to ensure that academics were not disrupted. We introduced online classes to ensure that classes go on as usual so that portions could be completed in time. Physical seminars and classes gave way to online webinars and online classes”, point out Sandra.
The education sector has an extensive role to play in recovery from the perils of COVID-19. Education must be made an integral part of forging social and economic factors. We need to brace ourselves to play a full and active role in supporting the wider education sector and our societies in the collective efforts towards an inclusive recovery, building on our critical contribution to the pandemic response. This will help in the approach towards knowledge, education, and technology to improve students’ overall experience to be more adaptable and seek new opportunities. “Our endeavour as an institute has always been to help students think ahead. Keeping in mind the current scenario finding smart new educational models is important. To prepare our students to imbibe design and technology together in their professional life we have introduced new courses that work around the realm of technology, new age thinking, management, and art”, says Sandra.
Shaping Industry Leaders of Tomorrow
From the onset of the course, the students are encouraged to think like entrepreneurs. JD Institute of Fashion Technology endeavours to make its students self-reliant so that they can enter their industry as business-savvy individuals. Especially during the lockdown, students have found their entrepreneurial pursuits wherein they identified the gap in the market and created face masks with different fabrics and designs. Their venture has also provided employment opportunities to many. Sandra adds, “within the campus, we provide them with the tools to think, strategize and think out of the box, which they have successfully implemented in their ventures. Our circle of students has ventured into working as content creators, jewellery designers, marketers, stylists, etc. for well-known brands”.
It is extremely imperative to form industry collaborations as it opens gateways for students to understand the industry’s needs and its actual mechanisms. The major partnerships that JD Institute has formed are with Quess Corp, JLL, Hungerbox, Styling project with CKC Jewelers (C. Krishnachetty & Sons), etc. JD has also partnered for various fashion-based events like Bangalore Fashion Week, Times Fashion Week, Bengaluru by Design, Whitefield Art Collective giving the creative minds a platform to take centre stage and highlight their innovations to the industry professionals. The students of JD have also interned with well-known designers and brands. “ As part of our curriculum, students are expected to pursue internships wherein they are exposed to the workings of a brand/organized sector. During their short stints the students have proved their mettle which has converted into permanent placements”, states Sandra.
85% of the college students have been successfully placed in well-known brands like Marks & Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Myntra, and H&M. JD takes immense pride to state that more than 200 students received placements through campus placement drive in 2019-20 alone. Apart from campus placements, JD Institute of Fashion Technology’s exclusive job portal, Creative Careers lets companies post their requirements for easy access to our students and alumni.
JD Institute takes pride in its students, and it is due to their contribution and assessment that we have been positioned as the Great Place to Study by the Great League Institute. The institute has secured the Global Excellence in Design Education 2019 by Times Education Excellence, The 20 Best Higher Education Institutes of India 2019 by Education Brainiac, Leaders in Design Education 2018 by UK Asian Business Awards, and many more accolades.
Trained to be the visionaries of tomorrow, the JD Institute of Fashion Technology students have established themselves in their respective fields. “Shagun Sethi and Parnabi Pal from the Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Communication have found their niche as a Content Executive at Nykaa Fashion – Mumbai and Fashion Stylist at Myntra respectively. Ms Anamikha Jaisindhani from BSc. in Fashion and Apparel Design used her education to start her entrepreneurial pursuits by starting her eponymous label ‘Anamika Jaisinghani’. Whereas Varsha Surana from BSc. in Interior Design is the Design Partner at Homelane. Ros from Diploma in Fashion Design also started her label, Ros Story. These are just a few of our students who have trodden on the path of their creative prospects, chased their dreams, and brought it to fruition by imbibing the ethos and principles set by us”, points out Sandra.
After the successful innings in undergraduate courses, the college has realized that as an institution, current scenario and keeping an eye on the future needs, JD Institute has introduced Masters programs and cutting edge degrees and help them become confident of achieving their PhD. Courses like MBA in Fashion Business and Event Management, MSc. in Fashion and Textile Design, MA in Fashion Communication, and MA in User Experience and Interaction Design, along with the Bachelors of Visual Arts (BVA), B. Des in Graphic Design and BVA/B. Des in Product Design to provide their students with the knowledge and skillsets to confidently undertake positions in the field of fashion, retail, interior, manufacturing firms, publishing houses, NGOs and pioneering design firms. “We want to imbibe discipline into creative education. Curating unique courses by gauging the current requirement and staying ahead of the curve has helped us relate to the aspirants’ needs and direct them into seeking challenges that hone their skills and provide them with an advantage to be smart professionals who are industry-ready”, concludes Sandra.
About Sandra Sequeira, Director – South, JD Institute of Fashion Technology
Ms. Sandra Sequeira is the Director – South of JD Institute of Fashion and Technology. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work (Medical and Psychiatric, Family and Child Welfare and Counseling) from the School of Social Work, Roshinilaya, Mangalore. She has also attained a Diploma in Public Communication and Fund Raising from Murray Culshaw Consulting (sponsored by Ford Foundation). With an experience of 5 years in Dalit Microfinance Federations as Regional Training Coordinator and 2 years as a national fundraiser for National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, she has been instrumental in giving a new dimension to societal responsibilities based on humanitarian grounds.
Ms. Sandra has been in the creative field of Art and Design for the last 10+ years and has significantly contributed to the art and design education system in terms of management and marketing. She is an energetic leader who works on a vision to keep the students at the center of all initiatives. Keeping the industry aspects in mind, Ms. Sandra also introduced varied courses in the field of Art and Design. Her specialization lies in developing interpersonal relationships, team and leadership management, strategic and risk management, business development plans, and establishing industry connections.