Fairmont Preparatory Academy International Business Program students in the Entrepreneurship and Marketing classes teamed up with students in the Fashion Design class to create their own fashion collections and present their businesses and marketing plans to a panel of “investors,” much like in the television show Shark Tank.
The presentations took place over a span of two days so that each group was allotted sufficient time to pitch their ideas. Students worked together in teams of four or five, each group with one student from Mrs. Carrie’s Fashion Design course and the remaining team members from Mr. Massimini’s Entrepreneurship and Ms. Brown’s Marketing classes to serve as start-up consultants. Students were able deepen their understanding of marketing concepts while also improving their communication skills and abilities to collaborate with individuals who have different passions.
“We chose to work cross-curricular for a couple reasons,” Massimini said. “One is that it brings together students with different subject-matter interests and asks them to contribute their knowledge base in conjunction with another person. The second reason for collaboration is that it asks students to work beyond their own silos of usual peers — and learning to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation is part of building grit.”
As the students worked together throughout the course of the assignment, not only were they able to learn from one another, but they were also able to create new bonds with peers they might not have known as well before.
“It really helped us to know more people and to know a different side of business — fashion, which we’ve never done before,” sophomore Tony Wang said. “We also got to make a lot of new friends. It was an awesome experience, and [the fashion students] were able to practice their presentation skills with us, as well.”
Through the creation of beautifully designed products and well-crafted marketing plans, students in all three classes were able to gain real-world experience and prepare presentations that impressed the audience comprising their peers, guest panel members, and teachers.
“My favorite outcome isn’t an outcome visible on paper in the students’ work or in their presentation abilities,” Massimini said. “It’s in the process itself that obligates students to, one way or another, face a challenge and find a way to handle it while meeting objectives.”