It has been a long-standing tradition at the Digital Corps to have a Portfolio Day in the spring of each school year. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Portfolio Day has looked a little different the past few years. In 2020, the Corps did not even have a Portfolio Day (let’s just not talk about it, okay?), and last year, the Corps held the first ever completely virtual Portfolio Day. This year, it was such a special moment to experience this Digital Corps tradition in person yet again, but it looks a little different than before…
What’s on the Schedule
If you have ever attended a Digital Corps Portfolio Day, you probably remember that the day consisted of a science fair style portion, senior presentations, and a keynote speaker. This year, the Corps wanted to include some aspects from last year’s virtual event.
The Corps created a Miro Board for every student to upload their portfolio. Miro Board is an online, collaborative “white-board” that can be used for things like mind-mapping, virtual meeting spaces, or displaying portfolios! This way, Corps alumni who were not able to make the event could still participate in some way and provide feedback to current students.
Portfolio Day typically kicks off with a “science fair” style portfolio rotation. This is when all under-classmen get to show off their work. Each student sets up a table with displays of their work. This can be a laptop displaying their portfolio website or reel. They can have physical copies of their work, such as a 40-page thesis or their artwork. As long as they are showing off work that they are proud of and able to talk about, students can display their work any way they like.
The purpose of this round is for students to gain experience talking about their work—an important soft skill! Being able to talk about your work is important for when you are interviewing for jobs or crafting a resume.
It is an especially great chance for students to get to learn more about what the other teams are working on. Someone on the Communication Team may not know a lot about what the Development Team does and vice versa. Portfolio Day allows students to not only show their work, but also talk about it and explain the process.
“I liked all of it. I probably liked going around the most during portfolio rotations and seeing everybody else had in their portfolio, especially as a new hire because I’ve never seen anybody’s work before, and I’ve never worked with them,” says Millie Toone, a Communication Team Apprentice.
Seniors do not participate in the portfolio rotations, so instead they give a ten-minute presentation. The presentation is meant to highlight their work and college experience. This can include internships, immersive learning, classwork, Corps projects, and whatever else they would like to talk about.
“It was good to see what the seniors could come up with. Especially the seniors that have been here three or four years and like the growth, it was really cool to see how everyone’s grown and it started to make me think about what I want to talk about,” says Jacob Newlin, a Video Team Specialist.
The seniors did a stellar job presenting their work. Each of them found a beautiful balance between showing how they have grown in their work and as a person.
“It’s hard to believe that I am at the point in my college career where I am giving a presentation about everything I have done; it’s kind of surreal.” said Megan Huss, Design Team Specialist. “The presentation was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my time at Ball State and the Corps. It’s bittersweet, but I am looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life.”
Keynote Speaker & Alumni Panel
Following the senior presentations, the Corps was joined by former Communication Team Graduate Assistant, Christa Burkholder, via Zoom. She gave a wonderful presentation about how you can apply what you learned at the Digital Corps to your professional and everyday life—something that resonates with every member of the Corps.
She wrapped up her presentation by talking about post-graduation depression. Life is changing, graduates are no longer a short distance away from all your friends. They might be in a new place, surrounded by new people and it is easy to start feeling a sense of loneliness and longing to go back to college.
The day ended with an alumni panel, which was the opportunity for current students to ask questions to alumni about the industry, graduating, and more! This is the first time that an alumni panel was part of in-person Portfolio Day. The year prior, Corps alumni could easily join from anywhere in the world because it was virtual. To keep to that, the Corps had alumni join via Zoom or physically attended Portfolio Day.
It was an eventful day filled with insightful feedback, passionate presentations, and the chance to learn more about members of the Corps and all the amazing work that they do!