Cover Story: Makers of industry-ready Designers, Pearl Academy

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A Candidate’s industry and hands-on experience even before entering into the realm of the professional world has become a major requirement among the new-age recruiters. This feature can be found in each graduate of Pearl Academy-making them unique – throughout their academic tenure at the academy, they are intensely trained and groomed both by in-house faculty members and industry leaders. Established in the year 1993, Pearl Academy has emerged as a credible player in the creative higher education space, trusted and acknowledged not only by the design aspirants but also by industry players. The academy is renowned globally as an institute of higher learning that focuses on Internationalism; entrepreneurship and employability; thus meeting the needs of the design, fashion, business, and retail industry.

Growing strength to strength since its commencement, the institute has already placed its campuses in the country’s four major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, and Jaipur making it possible to provide access to quality education to optimum students. Nandita Abraham, President, Pearl Academy highlights, “From the very beginning of the establishment of the institute, we have been committed to maintaining international quality benchmarks and strive towards achieving the highest standard of excellence. Our relentless efforts can be well confirmed by the initiation of our new campus in Bangalore. We are also planning to come up with a new campus in Kolkata very soon.” Taking the agenda of empowering the creative minds of the country, the institute conducts more than 30 uniquely designed courses under the following domains of Design, Fashion, Business and Media like Communication Design – Graphics, Animation, Fashion Design, Fashion Styling & Image Design, Global Luxury Brand Management, to name a few.

“Our strong and successful alumni base is the testimony of the institute’s excellence. We support our alumni in various ways. We have supported alumni through shows at Lakme Fashion Week and the India Fashion Week in Mumbai and Delhi and at the Dubai Design Week. We arrange special scholarships of 25 – 50% for them for their Masters with our International Partners in UK and Europe. We also welcome them back to Pearl through various platforms like alumni master classes for existing students, and feedback sessions where they share their professional journey and experience with their juniors,” Nandita adds proudly.

The institute has an alumni network of approximately 10,000 which includes notable names such as Nikhil Mehra of Shantanu & Nikhil duo, MandiraWirk, Rohan Chabbra, Gaurav Gera and many more. Further, aiming to boost the relationship with the industry, the institute has strong strategic alliances with institutions like Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID), Adobe, Asian Paints, Association of Designers of India, Amazon and so on. Nandita pinpoints, “The institute has a very strong Corporate Relations team that works with the Industry across India- from new course identification and development to faculty hiring and curriculum review. This lets us understand the pulse of the industry and prepare our students accordingly”.

Honing the Right Skills

Believing staunchly on the saying “Great teachers never stop learning”; Pearl Academy takes extra care in keeping its faculty members updated with relevant information which will ultimately help in enhancing the teaching and learning process of the students. “At Pearl Academy, we have a One Year PG Certificate program in Academic Practice that our Faculty is enrolled in. It facilitates academic improvement, personal & professional development of faculty by supporting their professional journey,” shares Nandita. With student-centred teaching at the core, the institute’s faculty members have to not only be educators but also leaders taking complete responsibility of the student’s learning experience and transformation. The faculty members being themselves agile thinkers, creative problem solvers, and scholars, encourage the students to embrace essential skills and qualities like positive thinking, problem-solving, interpersonal skills and discipline. Beside the unparalleled one-to-one learning session that goes inside the campus of the institute, the students of Pearl Academy are also provided with the opportunity to be part of Global Learning Project that consists of student exchanges, projects with students from around the world, international faculty and international online modules.

Nandita elaborates, “The Pearl Total Learning System has 4 pillars addressing learning needs based on future employability viz.

  • Industry Integrated Circuit,
  • Career Mentoring,
  • Global Learning Project and
  • Ahead Spaces – these are supra curricular spaces created for forward-looking courses and experiences preparing our students for tomorrow’s environment.

“Placement holds paramount importance at Pearl Academy, keeping in mind that providing each student a secure career is a part of the overall course objective. Students are holistically developed by incorporating robust pre-placement activities and organizing other activities like HR summits, Higher Education workshops, ‘First 60 days at your first job – what industry expects’, ‘Start-up challenges’ and so on. Nandita adds, “Our Career Service Department which has 25 managers across campuses dedicatedly focus on robust students career development and those students looking for international placements are identified, counselled and guided with the right placements by the department.”

Understanding the role of a campus in the student learning experience, the institute has high-end facilities such as fully equipped laboratories, a rich repository of national and international books and other resources for creative disciplines in the library, digitally-enhanced classrooms and collaborative spaces for the 21st-century learner and so on. Completing such an enriching journey at the institute comprising matchless industry and global learning exposure, 360-degree comprehensive learning-based model and dynamic career guidance, the students of Pearl Academy without any struggle lands up opportunities to work with organizations of repute such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, John Lewis, PUMA, L&T, TCS, IBM, DK, Gartner, Skin Elements, Arm Worldwide, Socially, Last Eleven and the list goes on.

Meet the President:

Prof.Nandita Abraham

The President of Pearl Academy, Prof.Nandita Abraham is an energetic leader who works with a mission to keep students at the center of all initiatives. Over the years, she has worked successfully at various positions within the academy. Nandita has a ‘Masters in science’ from Philadelphia University, PG Certificate in Higher Education from Nottingham Trent University, PG Diploma from NIFT, Delhi and Bachelors in Economics from St Joseph’s College in Bangalore. Nandita is on the Executive Committee, IFFTI – International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes and the FICCI Higher Education Committee.