CUPID Studio: A Time to Focus on Senior Portfolios

Guest Blogger Mia Brady ’13

I first took CUPID Studio during the spring semester of my sophomore year, and I knew, without question, that it was a course I would be enrolling in for the second time come senior year. While CUPID Studio is a two-credit course, students have the opportunity to take it twice to count for a four-credit class. While I absolutely loved the client-based component of the semester, I found a very memorable component of the CUPID Studio class to be developing my portfolio.

The importance of my Professional Writing and Rhetoric portfolio was established very early on in my academic career as a result of CUPID. In order to graduate, PWR seniors must compile a portfolio of work they have done throughout their time as students within the concentration. The portfolio should have between 8-15 entries, and be divided into sections intended to highlight the student’s academic strengths and achievements. While this portfolio has a significant academic purpose, as the student’s academic growth and accomplishments are showcased, it can be used in the job or graduate school search as well.

As I have continued throughout my academic career since taking CUPID my sophomore year, I have thought about projects, papers and the development of deliverables not as just assignments, but furthermore, as potential additions to my portfolio. As a sophomore, there were multiple seniors in my class, and as we worked on our portfolio towards the end of the semester, I noticed how beneficial it was for seniors to have CUPID as a time dedicated to building their portfolios.

Nearly two years later, as the fall semester of my senior year is coming to an end, I could not be more thankful to have taken this course. CUPID Studio has provided me the opportunity to focus on the organization of my portfolio, and the opportunity to receive feedback from Dr. Pope-Ruark on the contents on my portfolio. I find it incredibly beneficial that before the halfway mark of the semester, I had developed a working outline of documents to include in my portfolio.

Over the summer and during the beginning of the semester, I found myself stressed and nervous about organizing my work. I am a very organized person by nature, and I knew that it would take lots of planning to ensure that my portfolio was in order. How could I go about not only choosing which pieces to include, but furthermore, choosing appropriate categories to divide my work into? The thought was overwhelming, particularly because I fully understood the academic importance put on this portfolio from my previous CUPID experience. But just a few days into this semester, I realized that it would be more effective to not stress, but rather to take advantage of the learning and development process that CUPID provided. Developing an identity statement, as well as a list of my hard and soft skills, initiated my analytical thinking about myself as a student, and furthermore, how to represent myself as a student prepared for graduation.

Because of the course requirements for CUPID, I not only completed a detailed outline of documents to include in my portfolio to be approved by Dr. Pope-Ruark, but I also wrote a finalized version of a contextual narrative for one of the documents to be included in my portfolio. Contextual narratives, detailing the context, rhetoric strategies and decisions used, and a reflection, are an integral part of the portfolio that I was grateful to have had experience writing. As I have compiled my documents, and am now working on the contextual narratives for each document, I could not be more thankful for the focused time taken and review provided during CUPID class time.

I would highly recommend for all Professional Writing and Rhetoric students to take CUPID twice, if their schedule permits. Not only is working on client projects effective real world experience, but focusing on the portfolio is incredibly helpful organizationally. During the spring of my sophomore year, an appreciation and recognition for the importance of my portfolio was established. Now that I am a senior, I am sincerely appreciative of that established importance. I am excited to continue to develop my portfolio and looking forward to displaying the final product for reviewers and potential employers in the near future.

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