So you’ve just graduated from university, and you find in your hands a scrap of parchment with a bunch of letters on it that don’t make very much sense (say, for example, “Bachelor of Science from the Faculty of Communication, Art & Technology”). You want to work in the creative sector, yet your resume is looking rather thin and few seem interested in hiring a recent graduate of the science arts on her word alone. What can be done?
Well, I think you should consider building an ePortfolio. An ‘ePortfolio’, in addition to being a ridiculous word, is a thing on the internet through which people can learn about you and your work. The idea is that the student projects in which you invested so much time, but which cannot rightly be communicated or listed as ‘experience’ on a resume, may hereby be repurposed into a polished and readily-accessible form that (when designed properly) is both broader and deeper yet more approachable and indeed even more succinct than a resume could ever be.
My portfolio got me hired and yours can do likewise, which is cool. But beyond employment prospects, developing a portfolio provides a good opportunity to work uncompromised on a meaningful (yet also profitable!) personal project. Your porfolio can serve as a milestone; a monument. It can be a source of closure, of renewed opportunity, and even of personal transformation. For while it would certainly be more fun to go travelling for a year (perhaps “finding yourself” at a dive bar in Munich), people in our field should already be aware of the most effective route to self improvement: Good, hard, thoughtful, painful work. And a portfolio requires exactly that. This is a chance to synthesize everything you’ve done in school, for employers, and elsewhere in life; to produce your first proper masterwork. And unlike an unpaid internship or a placeholder job you don’t really want, if you put enough effort in I can guarantee you’ll be glad you did it.