Portfolio Day is open to all juniors and seniors in Graphic Design, Illustration, Digital Media, and Photography.
The goal of Portfolio Day is to practice presenting your work and to get feedback from an array of professionals. For the first hour, you will have short sessions with several reviewers. The last half hour is time reserved for more open conversations.
How to Prepare
You will have 1/2 table to lay out your work. Arrive 20 minutes early to set-up your table. No wall space is available.
Bring about 5–8 individual works or 2–3 bodies of work that might contain a series of individual pieces. It is unlikely you will be able to talk about more than a few projects in depth during each conversation – but you do not have to present the same work to every reviewer.
When applicable, we highly recommend bringing physical work rather than digital documentation of your portfolio (unless your work is digital). This is a chance to show your craft, demonstrate how you use materials, and consider scale in your work.
If you plan to bring digital work, charge your device(s) prior to the event. Students will not have access to outlets, and we cannot guarantee internet access.
In addition to your portfolio, bring
- Resume (approx. 10–20 copies)
- Business Cards with email and website address (approx. 10–20 copies)
- Notepad and pen to write down feedback between reviews, and make note of anyone you meet in case you want to contact after the event.
- Optional: Take-away for Reviewers (approx. 10–20 copies)
The event format
Portfolio Day works similar to speed dating. For the first hour, you will have 8 minutes to speak with several reviewers. The last half hour is time reserved for more open conversations. This is your chance to introduce yourself to reviewers you may have requested to meet with but did not have the chance to. At that point, please communicate to Jessica Tomlinson or Samantha Haedrich if you would like to be introduced to a reviewer.
Conversations will go quickly. Make sure you introduce yourself and state your year before you start discussing your work.
Practice aloud how you will present your work prior to the event. Jot down a few key points about each project, including:
- the concept behind the work or assignment
- key decisions you made in the creative process
- skills that you used within the assignment
- lingering questions you have about the work that remain unresolved
The goal of Portfolio Day is to practice presenting your work and to get feedback from an array of professionals. Be open to criticism and be respectful of reviewers. Everyone you will speak with is volunteering their time. Say thank you.
There have been a few instances when people have emerged with an internship or job opportunity, but most reviewers who attend Portfolio Day are not looking to hire students. Use this experience as an opportunity to learn, network and develop your skills.
There is no dress code, but we recommend wearing clothing that is appropriate for an interview.
- Writing a Resume
- “Ten common mistakes in résumés and cover letters” by Petrula Vrontikis, Vrontikis Design Office, AIGA
- “Presenting your portfolio” by Steff Geissbuhler, AIGA