Recap: AIGA Portfolio Workshop

The time draws near fellow students, the time for internships and job hunting. We are all fumbling around trying to get our content in order, trying to figure out how and what to showcase. Luckily, AIGA KC established an event to help us sort through the mess. Subsiding some of the bombarding questions in our heads, “Is this piece strong enough?”, “Should I include this?”, or “Do I have enough work?”.

AIGA KC’s Annual Student Portfolio Workshop was a great way to meet with experienced designers. The professionals kindly took the time out of their schedule to come review and critique the numerous works at hand. Avila University Campus hosted the space for the event on February 15. The roster filled up quickly with students from area design programs. Over 50 creative individuals signed up to attend the event, with some on the wait list, too.

The experience can be described as portfolio “speed-dating.” Students are allotted times with the assigned reviewers at their tables. Projects are briefly explained and then critiqued by the reviewer. Having feedback from multiple perspectives on your portfolio stimulates a variety of ideas and potential growth for your work, which helps flush out areas that may be lacking or not as strong as others.

The feeling of having to be flawless can be overwhelming, especially during interviews. The workshop served as preparation for design students – the moment before the big presentation. Portfolio Day was about learning and spotting those weaker points to refine and build on. The environment was intended to take you out of the “school” mind-set and become more career-oriented.

In addition to portfolio preparation, the event also focused on how to best present oneself in the job search process. There were small lectures that gave an insight about proper work and social network etiquette, learning proper etiquette and networking is a means to help us get a foot in the door and get ahead.

I attended the portfolio workshop as a junior, and again as a senior. Both events have given me the chance to keep improving, thanks to the advice from the generous professionals. The workshop is a great opportunity and resource. I would say it was another successful portfolio day!

Melissa Kim Huynh, a senior at Kansas City Art Institute

Published March 31, 2014
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