Changing Perspectives

Guest Blogger Heather Olin, ’13

heatherOresumesHello, my name is Heather Olin! I’m am a senior Media Arts and Entertainment and Strategic Communications double major, with a minor in Professional Writing Studies, which is what brings me here. ENG 282 CUPID Studio was never on the list of classes I thought I would be taking, but it definitely has been one of the most useful. This is mostly because the class focuses on two projects for the entire semester: our personal portfolio and a client project. Both are relevant and practical assignments that will help students during and after college.

Developing my portfolio has been an interesting and challenging process. At different points throughout college, I’ve been asked to turn in a portfolio of my work. Sometimes it was only what was assigned in that specific class, and other times teachers wanted something all encompassing. I don’t believe that any of the portfolios I created before are nearly as strong as what I’ve created in CUPID, which is why I encourage everyone to take the class.

Although my majors and my minor often have overlapping content, it’s always interesting for me to see the different approaches my professors take when teaching us. Assignments that have the same end goals are judged by different sets of criteria, making us, as students, decide which aspects of the project we spend more time focusing on. While other classes had me focus almost solely on the content of my portfolio, in CUPID I am spending a lot more time thinking about how I can best present the content I have in my portfolio .

While this may not seem like a major distinction, I feel that it is especially important and is something that more people should consider when creating a portfolio. The rhetorical strategies that we are taught to use have helped me better represent myself and the work I have completed. Instead of using the same generic titles and other formulaic conventions, we are urged to think outside the box with the design of our documents; this includes what is in the portfolio and the portfolio itself. Now, when I design or write a document, I consider the audience I am writing for and how to best appeal to them using ethos, pathos, and logos. This type of thinking is hard at first because it wasn’t something that was stressed in other areas of my education. The end result is worth it though, as I’ll finish the semester with a portfolio that is both visually appealing and thoroughly representative of the scope of my work.

HestherOlinFor my portfolio, I redid my resume by adding color and other design elements. Using InDesign instead of Microsoft Word was the biggest choice, and the best. Instead of my resume being a boring plain-text document, now it is a visual representation of the skills I am telling future employers that I have. This change of thought has kept my portfolio more organized and efficient while at the same time allowing me to express myself.

In this competitive job market, I feel like anything I can do to differentiate myself from other applicants is a plus. By thinking about how I present content, and not just what I present, I can more effectively market myself to future employers.


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