The Importance of a Portfolio By Stephanie Hoover

12715567_10153921603249634_4763333588532269202_nMy former journalism instructor Kay Luna, reporter for the QC Times, always described me as a “prolific writer” to anyone I met -and I hold to that title! However, whenever people ask me what I’ve written I just say, “Um, I wrote most of the Scott Community College paper when I went there, I write a lot for class –a lot about Frankenstein and Fight Club, um, I have a vlog and blog, and I think I have 72,000 different Facebook pages…oh and I have two published books and I [sort of] started an organization trying to change the perception of body image in society, and I have 9 billion writing projects on my mind…” But what do I have to show for it? A stack of SCC newspapers and countless binders and notebooks full of my work collecting dust in my basement is what I have!! So I decided to organize my precious writing projects into a portfolio. Now my work is has become organized, [more] purposeful, and tangible that I can now [better] use in job interviews, in preparation for application into a PhD program, and something a little bit more concrete to remind myself of what I’m capable of! (Including my incessant use of endings sentences with prepositions!) “Wow! I did a lot more than I thought I did!”

For my articles from the SCC paper and magazines I thought it best to use a scrapbook. I went to Michael’s (craft store) because they had a deal to buy one and get one free! They also usually have a 40% off coupon in their ad and/or on their website. I bought a black one for $30 with no picture pocket on the front. However, the ones with a little picture pocket were $20 and you could insert your name and [contact/date] information into that slot to make it more usable. If you only need one, then ask a friend if they need one and you can split the cost (if BOGO is going on)! Then your portfolio could cost you only $10-$15! Mine came with black paper in the sleeves so all I had to do was cut out and glue my work to the pages and lay everything out as I wanted it. I typically have 1-2 articles on a page, but every now and then I have 3 if they were small enough. Or I’ve made use of tiny tidbit pictures or mentions of my name to offset the layout a little to make it stand out.

My next big project is to make a portfolio of my papers, which many may see as just assigned work to get a grade, but realize how much work you put into that! Use that to show your skills! More importantly take the feedback from your professors and rewrite those papers and put THOSE into a portfolio. I think I’m going to use binders and clear sleeves for this project, but I’ll keep you posted on the final product!

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