While in college it is best to approach each endeavor as if it is a potential addition to your portfolio or a job interview talking point. Thinking about chronicling the work you’ve done while in college will enable you to better showcase your accomplishments, growth, and level of professionalism. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Compile: Save and compile copies of all the significant pieces you produce in college, whether it’s something you created, a project you proposed, etc.
- Reviews: It’s important to make sure your portfolio is the best it can be, so when instructors and peers evaluate your work, whether it’s performance critiques, essay comments, etc., see if you can use their insight to improve your craft.
- Consult Professionals’ Opinions: Since most professors, instructors, and teachers have worked as professionals in their field (a photography teacher has probably worked as a photographer) their insight into how to building a portfolio and prepare for your career can be invaluable. If you are working towards a degree that does not require a portfolio, it is still a good idea to consult your instructors to see if they have any recommendations for preparing for your career—including possible internships to look for, books to read, blogs to follow, events to attend, and so forth. Building a rapport with professors and instructors is also important as they can help you build your network and can write you letters of recommendation when you enter the job market.
- Create an Online Portfolio: Whether you’re a writer, a designer, a software engineer, etc. you should create an online home for your portfolio. An online portfolio helps building connections as it gives you a way to share your work with people you meet. You can be as creative as you want when designing your online portfolio, if you keep in mind that you are trying to present your portfolio to professionals. As for content, be sure to include your work and a description giving each entry some context, and keep it tasteful and professional.