The Fashion Graduates of 2011: My Life at AI

Michal Williams

Michal Williams

By: Michal Williams

I started attending AI in August of 2009, and to be honest, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to attend in the first place because of the outrageous price of tuition. At that time of my life, I was living with my ex-boyfriend’s sister and I wasn’t making a lot of money. I was financially supporting my mother who was homeless at the time, and my father was working for, the financially struggling, Chrysler Cooperation. In most situations, I felt like I was on my own financially. I had already been in school for three years but I was no where close to graduating. Due to unforeseen circumstances in my life, my track record with attending school was off and on.

How it all Began

I attended an open house a month before attending The Art Institute, and was introduced to Dionne Senawi, who was my student advisor. I don’t remember our exact conversation but I was explaining my whole life story and everything that had happened up until that point. Our conversation ended with her telling me how proud she was of me and that I am able to do this. Needless to say, I signed up for classes that next week and started attending classes a couple weeks later.     

My Exhausting Lifestyle

By the end of my first semester I moved into my own apartment and was financially sustaining myself. I was in my apartment for maybe three weeks before my mom unexpectedly had to move in with me; which was an extra expense to my household. It was rough, and then after a while I picked up a second job. I was then working two jobs and attending school full-time. I was falling asleep in class, and sometimes even falling asleep while driving! I was always moody and sleepy and never got a chance to study and my homework wasn’t as good as it could have been. I wasn’t really getting any financial help therefore I felt like I had no choice in the matter.

            For about a year and a half, my life was pretty basic and systematic. The system was as follows; I went to work, went to school, went to sleep for a couple of hours, woke up, and then went to my second job, and then  back to sleep and then woke up and did it all over again. This system was boring and tiring. 

The Amazing People I Met

I think one good thing about going to a smaller school is that you get to meet and make friends with many different people who have different or maybe similar backgrounds. My classmates were great and very easy to make friends with. I can’t remember disliking any one that I had a class with.

            There were many teachers that I found to be really amazing and helpful. I truly thank every teacher I have had for the knowledge that they have given me; however there are a couple of teachers that really inspired me and encouraged me throughout my time at AI. One really inspirational teacher is Mary Storey-Kramer. Mary’s life story of what happened throughout her lifetime really inspired me. I love that fact that she is very easy-going and she has so much experience and so much knowledge in the field of both Fashion and Interior Design. Mary never had an objection to helping me when I needed help. The second teacher that has really been an inspiration is Holly Mosher. I seriously love and respect Holly’s humbleness. Holly has tons of stories about her adventures as a buyer in the industry. I think my favorite story is the story about the pirates (when you see her, ask her to tell you the story). To be honest, when I took Retail Buying, I thought that was going to be the most boring class ever but I couldn’t have been more wrong about that. Holly did everything she could to make the class fun. I also like that she cares about our well-being. I remember when one of the girls in my class was having relationship problems with her boyfriend, and Holly did her best to make her feel better. I couldn’t have asked for better teachers. I was truly blessed with the best.

Advice from a Person Who Has Seen It All

My life has truly been a journey. I have had money and I have been broke. I have lived in a house, yet I have been homeless. I have seen sunny days as well as rainy days. With that being said, I hope that you choose to take some wisdom and advice from this article. Now, I’m sure there will be some person that reads this that thinks they know everything there is to know about life but hopefully you could put your ego aside for one second sees what it is that I have to say. The following is some tips and advice that I think someone may find helpful

Stay at Home

Some teens think that moving out of their parents’ house is a declaration to their independence, YOU’RE WRONG! My advice to you is this, if you are in school, and if your parents are still offering to let you live under their roof for free then you should stay at home. Why add an extra stress by moving into an apartment? Using the excuse of “My parents get on my nerves” is not a logical explanation. By the way, if your parents live twenty minutes away from school; why are you living in student housing? Working a full-time job and attending school full-time is not a fun thing to do, so if you don’t have to, don’t do it!

Parents Know Best

I know, I know, I hate to admit this too but its true. Whether you want to believe it or not, your parents have your best interest at heart, and they want to see you do well so asking their advice on things is not a bad idea. They have lived longer than you and they have most likely been in the same situations you have been in. Include them in any major decisions that you make because their expertise can be more valuable than what you think.

 Alls Well That Ends Well

I hope that you found what I have written to be inspirational. You can move mountains if you believe in yourself. I would like to wish anyone who is reading this many blessings and much prosperity. I also would like to wish the other graduates in the other programs many blessings and I pray that everybody will find their happiness and work in the field that they have always dreamed of.

Elizabeth Morgan

Elizabeth Morgan

Olivia Adams

Olivia Adams











 Congratulations Class of 2011 

I have really enjoyed my time at AI. I knew when I went back to school; I wanted it to be special; I wanted a career. I chose Fashion Merchandising, I chose an art school. I chose the Art Institute of Michigan. I have had such a great time networking and sharing ideas with all sorts of creative minds. The programs intertwine between students and so much inspiration floats around the halls in the walls.

This is my last semester at this lovely melting pot of muses. I will really miss it here but I feel empowered to go out and face the world with an appreciation of myself creatively and strong-minded in helpful tools to take on my career. Besides learning to be professional in the potential workplace I had a lovely time become aware of how strong suited I am in graphic arts. I learned that in catalog class. I am graduating with a GPA of 3.8. I am thankful for my experience at AI and will put it to good use.” 

  ~Elizabeth Morgan~



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