Tag Archives: digital portfolio

Sep24

Get Blogging

Blogging-TipsIf you’re hoping to break into a creative industry and are constantly trying to get your foot in the door, the first step to gain exposure is to start by branding yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard that a thousand times, but it’s really something that is necessary when you’re trying to establish a career for yourself. One of the most beneficial methods of doing that is to take your online presence to the next level. Sure, you have Facebook and Twitter, but a great way to get noticed is by having your own blog. Blogging can get you published on your own terms and to share your work with the world, whether you are a writer, videographer, photographer, or whatever field you may be in. Take initiative to get a blog up and running as a way to showcase your talent. You can build up your portfolio and direct potential employers to a URL in addition to a standard resume.

Blogging can also bring about tons of unique opportunities. You never know when a company might be looking for someone with your tone of writing and your perspective. It’s a tool that wasn’t accessible to people back in the day, so take advantage of what is available to you now. It’s simple and free, so why not? Here are some tips to help get the blog roll going.

Find your niche.

Decide what type of content your blog will consist of. Are you a sports fanatic? A movie buff? A fashionista? A tech wiz? Or even a combination. There are so many different topics that you can focus on, so find what suits your interests and let your creative juices flow. You could be as specific or as general as you’d like, just be true to yourself. Let your passion show through the content you create and people will take notice.

Choose your platform.

Next, you might be wondering which blogging platform is right for you. From Blogger to WordPress to Tumblr, the list goes on. All of them have their pros and cons, but it really depends on your personal preferences. I’ve used multiple platforms and have found the one that is most comfortable for my style. I chose Blogger, but WordPress and Tumblr are both great options as well. Give them all a test run and it’ll be much easier to find one that works best for you. The great thing about having your own blog is that you have complete creative control and freedom to take it in whatever direction you want—you can play around with layouts, fonts, colors, the works.

Share, share, share.

Spread the content that you’ve worked so hard on producing! Share on all your social networks and get it out there. You can always use your different accounts to connect your work. Write a blog post, tweet about it, post it on Facebook, the more the merrier. You’ll gain more exposure and bring in a wider audience. Although, you must keep in mind that people like unique content, not spam. Show your readers the value of your content.

Collaborate and connect.

With so many people now online, it’s so easy to find others with similar interests and connect with them over the web. Having a blog instantly makes you a part of a blogging community, which is great for meeting new people and engaging in interesting conversations, all while building up your own brand. Join different groups and take part in Twitter chats to find other bloggers who you could potentially collaborate with in the future. You really never know who you might meet and where these connections could lead.

Be consistent.

Once you’ve got your blog up and running, stay committed. You’re building up an audience now, who want to follow what you have to say, so be actively posting. You have this awesome voice and perspective, so put in the effort to make your blog as great as it can possibly be. Keep it up-to-date and always post fresh content to keep your readers coming back. Soon enough, you’ll gain an audience that is eager to see what you post next.

I hope this has inspired you to start up your own blog. Don’t worry if it’s just your friends and family reading in the beginning—you’ve got to start somewhere! It’s definitely worth it, so get on it. Happy blogging!

Jun22

How to Stay Sharp at Your Internship

keep calm

Since most internships last an average of 3-6 months, you don’t have time to waste! In that short amount of time, you’ll want to squeeze in as much knowledge and experience as humanly possible.

In order to keep your ideas fresh and sharp, here are some tips I’ve found useful at my internships:

Brainstorm

If you have weekly meetings with your team, take advantage of them. This is your chance to bounce ideas you have off of others to see what sticks. This is especially useful if you’re responsible for a weekly task, such as blog posts, since you’re bound to run into at least one roadblock. Asking others in passing for ideas is simple and pays off.

Read the news

I found a lot of my blog and social media content through internet inspiration. Staying on top of current events gives you an extra edge because the content you write or ideas you suggest are relevant and interesting to others – some may not even know about it yet and you get to be ahead of the curve.

Observe

All too often I realize that I’m spacing out rather than observing my surroundings. By being aware of what’s around me and studying human behavior, nature, new architectural developments, I’m able to gain inspiration from very unlikely sources.

Do new things

This one is a double whammy. Obviously, you could learn something new and shed light on a world you’ve never experienced before. The kicker is that you can learn something about yourself you never knew before, which can have a dramatic affect on your thinking. For instance, when I started taking kickboxing classes, I discovered that I’m able to withstand a lot more physical torture than I had previously thought, and that truly shattered the invisible barriers I had set for myself.

Written by Diane Ly

Jun19

How to Rise Into Fame & Stardom

creative interns

Whether you dream of on-stage spotlights or scoring victoriously on the basketball court, breaking into stardom is no simple task. If rising from mediocrity to fame and success were easy, then who would make up the population of average people? Along with innate talent, acquired skills and boundless determination, future stars can achieve their wildest dreams.

Jack of All Trades

Expand upon your single-faceted skills. Whether you’re in school for an acting degree or want to try theater, step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into the trenches of artistry and performance. Test out singing, dancing, your live energy on stage and onscreen presence. A multi-talented individual can fulfill a wide range of mesmerizing character portrayals, which helps in scoring that one big break.

Tom Hanks perfectly embodies the ideal actor who has exceptionally diverse acting capacities. In 2013, Hanks will appear on the Broadway musical “Lucky Guy,” thus demonstrating that Hanks isn’t restricted to any role or genre.

You are Your Character

The ability to effortlessly and veritably portray a character with depth grows and improves your acting repertoire. Magnetically convincing audiences and directors takes work, and successful actors actually live as their characters. Place yourself in the character’s world. Feel their fear, pain and euphoria. Uncover the true nature of any character and how he or she impacts the storyline. As her role in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Rooney Mara earned an Oscar nomination because of her dynamic “ability to convey a range of often competing emotions,” describes InterviewMagazine.com.

Confidence is Essential

To obtain star power and shine, an individual must be comfortable and self-assured. For example, young athletes who dream of going pro need to maintain a high level of confidence, especially during disappointments, losses and moments of self-doubt. Incredibly talented athletes who just need a little growth and experience also have to learn how to drop their egos while on the field or court. Accept criticism, let go of defensiveness and practice what you’re taught. Follow in tennis extraordinaire Roger Federer’s footsteps as he rose to become a world-class, victorious pro athlete despite a year of rival losses and a No. 2 ranking.

“I’m not over-confident, just very confident. I know my game’s in place now. Once I win a certain number of matches, I know what I can do, what I can’t do…” (Roger Federer).

Never Give Up

The pursuit of stardom, fame and ubiquitous recognition for your talent and passions shouldn’t be without letdowns and disappointments. The moment you experience self-doubt and the urge to give up, remember that more often than not, Grammy-award winning singers and bands who perform in front of a sold-out crowd had to overcome struggles too. Nate Ruess and his indie pop band, Fun., finally earned their deserved recognition by winning the 2013 Grammy’s Song of the Year. Lead vocalist Ruess is a self-taught singer from Glendale, Arizona who first acquired his taste of fame with his widespread, yet under-acknowledged band The Format. After The Format split, Ruess formed Fun. and has since broken into the music scene with star-studded prowess.

Written by Helen Macgregor: A successful designer of theater and movie costumes, Helen’s life is all about fashion and how it can be used to tell a story of one’s life.

Jun13

Let’s Get Visual

The days of using a generic resume template from Microsoft Word are becoming a thing of the past with the increase of creativity floating around cyberspace. Many employers are now looking for a URL to an online portfolio or even your Twitter handle to get a better sense of who you are.

So how can you fully reflect yourself and everything you have to offer on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper? That’s where your creativity kicks in. And with so many different tools out there, it’s easy to get started.

Indiana University student Lauren Jerdonek saw this as an opportunity and jumped on the chance to help others create resumes that would help them stand out from the crowd. She launched Précis Resumes as a resource for young professionals to get their feet in the door with a resume that would catch any employers’ eye.

Lauren Jerdonek

CreativeInterns: What made you want to start your own resume writing business?

Lauren Jerdonek: I was so frustrated when I was applying to jobs in New York City. I was sending my resume to hundreds of employers and not hearing back from anyone. I knew that I was well-qualified for the positions and I was sure that if I could personally hand them my resume they would be able see that. I knew that wasn’t possible so I decided to create a resume that was mature, but was also infused with my personality. I re-sent my resume and heard back from dozens of the same employers that had previously ignored it within hours. I knew I was onto something.

CI: Why do you think it’s important to break the traditional resume format?

LJ: Sending out your resume is essentially the first interview — you’re just at a disadvantage because you’re not there to defend yourself. I think it’s important to have your resume reflect your professional personality 100%. Whether or not that reflection is traditional or not is up to you.

CI: What is the best way for students to get noticed in this creative industry?

LJ: Create your own opportunities. So many students come to me and want to know how to even get content for their resume on top of an internship and the answer is to create opportunities for yourself. Always put that 120% effort in your classes, not for your grades sake but for your portfolio’s sake. Team up with friends or local businesses who have different talents but the same ambitions and create something to show of it—a photo shoot, a campaign, website. Exchanging your talents for one another’s benefit is a free yet amazing resource. When you have experience to show your future employer, and that experience is self-made, it shows your ambition. Plus, you can talk about your trials and errors as a leader which is something every boss wants to hear of their new hire. Don’t go the extra mile, go the extra ten miles.

CI: Has your revamped resume led to any cool opportunities?

LJ: Having a show-stopping resume got me in the door to a lot of amazing brands and companies. Being able to sit in a room with some of my industry idols were surreal moments for me.

CI: When you’re designing a resume, what’s the process like?

LJ: Before I do anything, I like to have Google+ Hang Out with my client. I like to see them & get a feel for their personality before I begin to craft something that’s supposed to represent them. I ask them about their ambitions, where they see themselves in ten years and silly questions, too. Immediately after that, I put together an inspiration board with colors, images and fonts that serve as a baseboard for that particular piece. I get a draft ready and my client and I work on fine-tuning it to their satisfaction.

CI: What tips do you have for college students when writing their own resumes?

LJ: Choose your words wisely. Avoid the dull trigger words like “organized,” “responsible” and “assisted.” Scouts read those words six-hundred times a day and phrases with those words in them make you seem boring and robotic…you’re not! You don’t need to make it obvious that you used the Online Thesaurus, but try to incorporate impact words like “accelerated,” “created” and “orchestrated.” It’s amazing how powerful your positions can sound by just choosing better action words. Another tip is that some things are better left off your resume. When you craft a resume you want to appear as the perfect candidate—don’t put work or jobs down that make you appear less than what you are in that moment of time. If you’re in college, leave all high school experience off your resume. If you have three similar internships under your belt, pick and choose different aspects of each you felt you were strong at doing rather than being redundant in your descriptions. It’s important to remain concise in conveying your work. The third tip is to be honest! Transparency is the key to building to a good relationship with your employer and if you’re unable to live up to your initial words it looks poorly on you, your boss, the department and the company…your contribution isn’t the ant you think it is! Aspiring employees put too much value on what they aren’t and less on what they are. Be different in saying “Hey, I know this area isn’t my strong point, but I can do THIS area better than anyone you’ve met and I’ll work day-and-night until my weak areas improve.” Be eager, keep your head down but be the hardest working employee or intern in the whole building.

She’s living proof that putting the time and effort into making a stellar resume can get you one step closer to your dream career. She’s a budding entrepreneur working with different fashion brands on projects in New York City this summer. Need resume-building inspiration? Check out Precis Resume at www.precisresumes.com.

Jun03

International Internship Experience: Climb Every Mountain-Sail Every Sea

books

Ten years ago, who would have thought that one company could have employees working together from different countries, from all parts of the world, miles and miles away? The world is becoming more interconnected every day. Companies want to hire people from all around the world, exchange experiences and make their workforce more diverse and powerful.

As an international student, I can tell you from first-hand experience that companies like when you have overseas or international experience. I’m originally from Serbia. I found my way to Russia to study Russian in The Pushkin State Russian Institute over one summer and later in New York City to study Business and English at  New York Institute of Technology.

Every student that cares about their career and is hungry for experience should do at least one internship during their undergraduate studies. You can learn a lot from internship experiences. Even if the internship is unpaid, a quality company with knowledgeable workers and a structured internship program can boost your learning and help you develop new skills. Some unpaid internship programs are actually better than paid programs. It all depends on the type of experience and connections you are interested in obtaining.

You can earn industry experience, learn problem-solving skills, achieve accomplishments and all of that you can put on your resume to make it easier for you to get the job you are dreaming about. An international internship experience can benefit your career even more. Employers will recognize you as courageous for getting on the plane and flying into the unknown, working with other cultures and being able to use your knowledge and skills in any environment.

“Completing an internship overseas not only provides international work experience for your resume but also serves as a valuable cultural experience and network building opportunity. Also, if you want to practice improving a foreign language skill such as Spanish or Mandarin, consider interning in a country that requires you to speak these languages.”  says, Marc Scoleri, CEO of CreativeInterns.com and Co-Founder of Creative Village. There is no better way to master a foreign language than to immerse yourself in that country, so you can speak the language every day and hear it all around.

Some may think you need rich parents to get international internship experience, not true, you can first intern over the summer somewhere local and work a part-time job to save money to complete an international internship the following summer. There are many travel guides  explaining how to save money for traveling, and also revealing facts on how to travel for cheap. You might be surprised how many different opportunities there are and how many companies are seeking fresh talent coming from other countries to make their business better and  exchange knowledge, experience and ideas with them.

Housing and transportation can be costly so make sure you do your research and create savings goals and a budget before you hop on the plane, train or boat to your new destination. If you do good research you will be able to find great deals. Most of the companies will be happy to help you out, give you tips and tell you about local deals. Once you get there you will see that everything is not that complicated. You might go through a little cultural shock, but definitely by the end of the experience it will all be worth it. You will have expanded your horizons and gained more knowledge about different cultures and the world.

Long story short, an internship abroad offers you many benefits. It promises a memorable and enjoyable experience, but more than that it offers you the chance to impress potential employers.

May23

Flore Dorcely-Mohr from Drew University Discusses Volunteer and Internship Programs

Flore Dorcely

Flore Dorcely-Mohr, Internships and Federal Community Service Program assistant director at Drew College shared her experience with Creative Interns around the globe. Take a close look on what Mrs. Dorcely recommends to current students who are trying to find their way into the creative field.

Tell us in your opinion on how internship or volunteer experience can help students during and after their studies?

They help students realize the practical aspects of their career passions by helping them experience some of the pre-professional activities involved in a particular field. It is helpful to network with people who are already working in their area of interest or just to be able to explore other options, if expectations are different than reality. Through this type of experiential learning, students can more vividly see whether their skills, personality or values match their career choices much more effectively than within the walls of a classroom.

What are some most valuable internship employers your college partners with? What makes their program special?

We value all our employer partners, but those in the field of law or medicine are some of the hardest to come by. Typically, these areas hire interns at the graduate level so undergrad opportunities to do research or get involved in substantial projects are less common. We do however have some special opportunities provided by alumni or friends of the center so these are relationships we try to nurture carefully. And also we have a few employers who only advertise exclusively at Drew so we try to earn their loyalty with strategic efforts at recruiting top candidates for those opportunities.

What professional development courses or workshops does your college offer to students?

We have offered and continue to offer a myriad of opportunities to help students in marketing themselves. We have networking events, panel discussions, resume review days, information sessions, etc. We held a social media branding workshop with a leading author/speaker on the topic and often invite guest speakers (often alumni)from across multiple industries to give their perspectives on interviewing and job searching in general.

What piece of advice would you offer a student struggling to obtain interviews?

First, they should come to our office and meet with our counselors to talk about what is happening at the resume application stage and get their resume/coverletter reviewed. If they are not able to get any call backs, I would be concerned that their resume or coverletter may be the issue. Or it could be that they are not applying for the right type of opportunities for their level of experience. Or it could simply be a problem with their email or voicemail! I once had a student who complained to me that they had sent out 50 resumes and did not get a single call back. When I finally got to see her resume, I realized that she did not have her phone number on it! Another student had trouble getting interviews and when I saw her unprofessional email address, I suspected that employers might have been turned off by it.

What kind of skills are in demand by employers these days?

Employers want people who are innovative, critical thinkers, problem solvers, take initiative and show enthusiasm for the field or business. These are more character traits but since they really can’t be taught, I think it very important to convey the right attitude on the job. These are the types of skills/qualities that we emphasize in the liberal arts. I can teach technical skills with a basic competency level employee, but if I don’t like you, it will be tough to keep working with you. The job marketplace is very competitive and if you are not willing to show these types of high demand strengths, someone else will.

What online resources do you recommend for students looking for jobs in creative industry?

Well, we first point them to our own online database, DrewLink and then we have a few online resources depending upon what type of job they are looking for and in what career field. We just acquired an account for a new resource called CareerShift and that is working out pretty well for finding jobs and contacts.

Untitled

Flore Dorcely-Mohr is Assistant Director and joined the Career Center at Drew University in 2006. She manages all aspects of the academic and zero-credit internship programs for undergraduates and serves as the Instructor for those courses. She also directs the campus-wide Federal Community Service (FCSP) Program for students earning work-study funds at local community service agencies. She assists employers from all fields in developing and advertising internship and FCSP opportunities for Drew students. Prior to Drew, she worked as a High School Youth Employment Specialist and for the Career Services department at Bloomfield College. Her background includes working with an Executive Recruiter and Career Coach and teaching career development coursework online. Flore is a Drew Alum with a BA in Sociology and an MA in Counseling with a concentration in Student Affairs-Higher Education from Montclair State University.

May09

Building Experience and Starting Your Career

Rosie Antonecchia

We contacted Career Center Director, Rosie Antonecchia from Palomar College and asked her to share her experience in helping students develop their careers. All the way from California, Rosie replied back with great advice and encouragement for current students. She encourages students to stay humble and invest in their future by earning valuable work experience while still in school. Here are some of the questions we asked Rosie:

In your opinion, how do internships or volunteer experience help students? Internships can provide a glimplse at a career they are strongly considering. Also, students can get valuable experience from volunteer opportunities and walk away with skills they can add to their resume. Maybe most importantly, they meet PEOPLE that have first hand experience and can give feedback to the intern about what they can bring to the table as a potential employee.

How do you help students to prepare resumes, portfolios, social media, and interviewing skills?  We offer job readiness workshops: resume and cover letter building, job search strategies, and mock interviews with career counselors.

What piece of advice would you offer a student struggling to obtain interviews? Practice, practice, practice with a live audience and be open to feedback. Making small adjustments during mock interviews can hep your correct the wrong behavior before the real interview.

What kind of skills are in demand by employers these days? Creativity and innovation, up to date technology skills, effective listening, verbal and written communications skills, strong interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, a strong work ethic, having a “can do” attitude, self-starters and strong team players.

What do you recommend for students looking for jobs in the creative industry? Instructors in the creative departments are a great resource of information for students in these programs. CreativeInterns.com seems like a valuable resource for entry-level talent and hiring employers.

Palomar College

Rosie Antonecchia’s 20+ years of counseling experience includes: group counseling, individual counseling, outreach activities, workshop facilitation, teaching classes, newsletter writing, marketing material production, that range from mental health facilities, high school settings, social work agencies, career centers and community colleges.  Rosie is currently a Career Center Director at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. 

Written by Ana Komnenovic

Feb27

Design A Mind-Blowing Portfolio

CreativeInterns.com’s Motion Graphics Intern, Diane Bruzzese from Stevens Institute of Technology created this animation to illustrate some important points in Designing A Mind-Blowing Portfolio.