Elizabeth Bischoff’s journey to graduation
College of Design, 2016
When my twin brother and I were born, my family lived in South Minneapolis. Later, my parents, older sister, twin brother, and I moved to Buffalo, Minnesota.
My freshman year of high school, I joined the HERD Marching Band, Buffalo High School's summer parade marching band. After playing alto sax in the band for two years, I auditioned and became a drum major. The drum major conducts the marching band, standing behind the band with the drumline and whistling the tempo at the beginning of the performance.
Creativity and determination
In this photo of my mom and me, I’m wearing the first dress I ever made. I designed this prom dress and then sewed it with my grandmother. While fashion apparel may seem to be just about creativity, success in the apparel design major at the U comes down to time management and technical skill. Of the 30 or so students who began the major, only 14 of us made it through the rigorous coursework and freshman portfolio review that determines entry into the major.
U traditions, family traditions
My sister was a graduating senior in the U of M marching band during my first year. This is a picture of my parents, older sister, and me after we participated in a special U of M marching band tradition. Graduating seniors conduct the whole band—all 300 of us—in singing “Hail! Minnesota.” Traditions like this are part of why the marching band is an amazing community. When I joined, I felt like I had just made 300 new friends!
Bringing my design skills to marching band
In marching band, I not only led the alto section, but also had the amazing opportunity to use my design skills to contribute to the donor-supported uniform redesign. The marching band has incredible supporters who made my education and band experience possible by providing generous scholarship support for my junior and senior years.
Sharing my creative vision
My apparel design coursework culminated with the senior fashion show. I produced a collection of non-traditional bridal gowns that were based on stories I’d begun writing the summer after my junior year, when I had traveled to London and Paris to study fashion. The cities’ architecture, art, and cultures inspired the dresses’ designs and the mental narrative I created for the women who would wear them.
We design majors self-fund our collections, so I was especially grateful for the wonderful scholarship support I received my senior year. Without it, I couldn’t have produced this collection.
Excited for my next big challenge
Here I am on graduation day with my brother, parents, and grandma. My older sister was studying in Tel Aviv, Israel.
At the U, I pushed myself to my limits, and I now know what I’m truly capable of. I believe that my future is bright. I am currently working as a floral design assistant for an events company and as an alterations specialist at a bridal shop, and in the future I look forward to working at a Minnesota company where I can continue to grow my skills in product design and marketing.
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