Last week the annual selection of the AMFI Honours Program took place and the names are soon to be published. To find out according on what criteria the students will be selected, Peter Leferink gave short introduction into the program and its importance.
Interview by Stephanie Barbian, 2nd year International Fashion & Management.
Why is it important to have the Honours Program?
“The essence of the program is based on one hand that we simply do have a number of highly talented and excellent students and on the other hand that there is a huge demand for excellence in the professional fashion world. We are surrounded by critical thinkers, by people with different visions, by people who are willing to take an extra step. It is my personal belief that a lot of educational programs have a mediocre outcome; kids being trained to fit in, so the program is an opportunity for selected students to get extra attention and guidance in order to make their talent really shine.”
What is the idea of the program and what is the outcome?
“The idea is to motivate the students to make us of their creative freedom to the full extend. AMFI is encouraging and motivating the students with the help of the coaches to get to the end product of this program, the mini collection. The mini collection consists of three outfits established from their own vision and showing their own handwriting.”
What criteria do you follow to select the students?
“We work according to the AMFI competences, which include research skills, decision-making, actualisation skills, presentation skills, organisation skills and lastly evaluation skills. The outcome of these skills per student always play an important role. Next to that we pay attention to the products they have created over the study time at AMFI and also things they do outside AMFI.
The teachers’ opinions also play a role in the selection, even though it is quite hard to consult them about their experience with the students, since experiences are personal and always differentiate.
At the end, it is also about the personal institution; if I start talking to students at the very beginning, I sort of already know if they could fit the program.”
What do students get out of it?
“The most interesting thing each student gets out of this, is probably self-confidence. It is very important especially for creative people to establish confidence since most of them are highly insecure and at the same time highly perfectionistic. They are always afraid to fail and to make mistakes. Apart from this, students who took part in the program mostly have an easier time in the following semesters and are willing to put an extra effort in their work, what also increases their chances of better career opportunities. The Honours Program students are capable to be more critical about what they do, the quality of their work and value the power of collaboration.”
What is your experience of the program?
“Personally guiding people who heartily believe that they have a story to tell, is a special thing for me to do. The students differentiate so much and we if we chose a student who is not doing too well, it is especially intense to get the student to the point in which they start acting and creating. So according to our selection, it can be very hard, but also meaningful and inspiring to help the students to get the best out of the program, it is a very fulfilling feeling for me to guide the students and see how they develop.”