Why every college student should have an online portfolio

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Jasmine Marinelli – 2nd Year Bachelor of Public Relations

This semester I am taking an amazing course that focuses on developing our professional portfolios. Throughout the first month each student was given the task to create their own website, which would serve as our online portfolio. Now, we are building on our online portfolio’s by posting blogs, accomplishments, awards and achievements on our website. We focus on creating a positive reputation on our social media platforms, specifically LinkedIn and Twitter. After finishing half of the course, I have realized that having an online portfolio is very helpful when it comes to putting yourself out there in the working world. That is why I believe every student should have one. Continue reading to find out why online portfolios are so important.

Show off your skills

An online portfolio allows you to show future employers the skills you have. Through LinkedIn there is a specified column for skills and endorsements. LinkedIn allows you to input skills you have in your industry, tools and technologies, interpersonal, organizational skills etc. I reference my LinkedIn URL in presentations, videos and my resume. I do this because I want my future employers to see my professional reputation, get a glimpse of my skills, along with my job history. Having a website is another part of an online portfolio. A website allows you to show off your skills by displaying your projects, achievements and experience on specific pages. This will give you a better chance at landing that job you wanted because you have something to show for it.

Promote your brand

It is very important to have your own brand, one that identifies you, and is different from everyone else’s. An online portfolio allows you to share your brand, and promote it to anyone who crosses your portfolio. For example, on my website I have linked my professional Twitter account to it, so employers can see the type of things I tweet about. What I tweet about normally relates to my interests, which is a part of my personal brand. My LinkedIn profile shares my interests and expresses who I am, what I do, and my experience in my description. Then going back to my website, I post blogs that talk about things relating to my brand.

Being able to show off your brand through an online profile is crucial to setting yourself apart from the competition, and raising awareness about who you are as a person. It sets you above and beyond those who do not take the time to promote their brand.

Easy to access

Lastly, online portfolios are very easy to access. You can share your LinkedIn URL, Twitter URL and website on any social platform you’d like; and with a click of a button your portfolio can be easily accessed. I find employers ask for your handles more often than not, which is great when you have a positive online presence.

I think it is very important for students to have a professional online presence when it comes to showing off their skills, promoting their brand, and displaying their achievements. Online portfolio’s give students an advantage in the working world, and enable them to promote awareness about their professional skills. An online portfolio is an additional resume that goes more in depth about students, and what they have accomplished in school and outside of school. Having an online portfolio is very beneficial for all students, and I encourage those who have not created one to definitely start soon.

How to have the best reading week

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Jasmine Marinelli – 2nd Year Bachelor of Public Relations

Reading week is a beautiful thing, and guess what? It’s coming up shortly! You will finally have time to relax, and have a break from all of the chaos at school. It is your time to collect yourself, get your life back in order, have fun, and study for your midterms. Usually my reading weeks go a little something like that, and I hope yours will too.

Collect yourself

I like to use my reading week as a time to recoup, and collect myself. Normally right before reading week I am slammed with countless assignments, and things to do. That’s why I like to use this time to organize myself. You can dedicate a day or two right before you go back to school, to add anything to your calendar, and set yourself up for success when you get back. Collecting yourself, and de-stressing will help you focus on what is next to come.

Get your beauty rest

Sleep is so important for your everyday health, so it is very crucial that you get enough. Unfortunately, after reading week is when a majority of students have their midterms. This means they’re more likely to lose sleep due to studying. During my reading week I would sleep until 12pm just because I could, and I would wake up feeling amazing. Reading week is your chance to get as much sleep as you can so that you can prepare yourself for the late nights before your midterms.

Have fun

Let’s be honest, reading week isn’t just used to study and organize yourself. It is also meant to have fun, let loose, and enjoy your time off school. The way you can do this is by planning a day trip with your friends. You could go on a hike, a shopping trip outside of the city, go to an event etc. If that is not your idea of fun, definitely have fun in your own way. Not everything has to be about school all the time, and this week gives you time to have the fun you might not have had during school.

Study for upcoming midterms

Although this isn’t as fun as the other things I have said to do… reading week is technically supposed to be a student success week to help you catch up and prepare for you midterms. That is why I think it is very important to use your time wisely, and use it as an advantage. Studying for your midterms is always a good idea when you have some free time to kill. It will save you from having to study last minute.

Top 4 College Q&A’s for First Year Students

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Jasmine Marinelli – 2nd Year Bachelor of Public Relations

Your first month of college can definitely be a tricky one. You’re still getting lost, trying to make friends, starting to get stressed, and figuring out how to adjust to this new lifestyle. Trust me, I know it’s hard, and I’ve been down this road before too.

I wanted to ask so many questions during my first month, but was too afraid, and didn’t know who to talk to. Now that I have experienced one year of college, I am able to answer my own questions; some that you might be wondering as well…

  1. Can you have a job during the school year?

Yes. However, it is very important to make sure you are focused, managing your time well, and not starting to get stressed. I definitely think that working more than 20 hours a week is far too much for someone who is a full-time student. I tried to do it, and quickly realized that was not a good decision. If you’re looking to work during the school year I suggest only working a few times a week, 15-20 hours at most. Try and make sure that you do not burn yourself out working too many hours, or too many jobs. Your mental state is very important for success during school.

  1. Are college courses harder than high school courses?

Yes and No. College courses are not necessarily harder, if anything they are easier. They’re more interesting, and are taught by professors that have been in the industry for years. In high school you might have had to take a course that you weren’t interested in, or mandatory courses you thought would not be useful in the future. College is completely different, as you are enrolled in courses that focus on whatever profession you are looking to get into. They will be easier because you know that they’re connected to things you like (i.e. the program you chose).

  1. Are textbooks worth the buy?

Yes. There are many textbooks that I bought for my classes that I have used on a daily basis. Some are expensive, others are inexpensive, but overall, they are worth it. Last year I purchased books that will be useful for some of my classes this year. Professors you have will want you to complete readings from your required textbook, which makes it important for you to have the textbook so you can get full marks. If you are really concerned and want to know if you should purchase textbooks, ask your teacher. Most of my teachers have actually told me whether or not the “required” textbook will be useful for the class. Ask! Ask! Ask!

  1. How can you get involved at school?

There are plenty of ways you can get involved at your school. You can join a club that you are interested in, join a team or committee, and attend events. Many college clubs are looking for new students to add a fresh voice to their group. If you are interested in sports or play one competitively, try out for a sports team or join intramurals. College also offers a variety of different committees you can sign up for that might meet once or twice a month. It’s really important to get involved, and have fun during school.

By: Jasmine Marinelli