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Intern Perspectives: To portfolio or not to portfolio – that is the question: Day 4

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I want to touch on the importance of creating your portfolio while working on your undergrad degree. Keeping record of your accomplishments that you have received praise for is obviously a no-brainer. However, also keeping track of class assignments, projects and anything that you create as it relates to your field is critical. (e.g., press releases, websites, feature stories, advertisements, flyers).

Think about your future. Fast-forward to after graduation and the possibility that you have not secured a job already. It’s now time to start working and start applying at different companies. A guaranteed first requirement along with submitting your resume will be to either present writing samples or some work from your portfolio. Employers don’t expect an entry-level applicant to have much experience, but some practical experience will set you apart.

Scenario A: You have been diligent in keeping track of your work in a either a physical portfolio or you have even gone a step ahead and created a digital portfolio or website displaying your work thus far. Scenario 2: You have not taken the time to keep track of your accomplishments and now you have to scramble to find something to submit to them.

Remember, this is a competitive field, and while you are working on something to submit or finding some of your old work – your competition has already sent in their samples and are now waiting on a callback for an interview. Granted you may be the more qualified party. Nonetheless, the delay on your end could cause the competition to land the position.

Unsolicited advice from me to you day 4: Purchase a flash drive or even create a virtual portfolio over the web.  Whether it is a press release or a flyer it is all work that YOU have done. Not to mention you will be able to see the improvement of your work over the years. Be creative and love what you do; that will make all the difference. (Don’t forget though that you may be required to mark out certain portions of the work for confidentiality of clients)

Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.  ~Dale Carnegie


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