Lauren: Your Career in a Nutshell: A Guide to Making the Perfect Portfolio

Internship application season is well underway for journos, with most internship deadlines already passing on the first of November. However, plenty of publications are still looking for interns for the summer. You might have seen that a lot of applications call for portfolio websites, even for non-multimedia journalists. Don’t fret, making a portfolio is much easier than you might think! I’m here to take you through it step-by-step, and the end result will hopefully be a portfolio that showcases all of your skills and accomplishments as an aspiring journalist.

Step 1: Create it!

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As you can see above, welcome to my portfolio,! For starters, pick a content management software (in layman’s terms: a website creator) to begin building your website. My personal preference was WordPress, as I had used it before to create blogs, but other popular websites include Wix and Squarespace. Once you find the best CMS for you, it’s time to name it! This is the easiest part. It’s just your name! You’ll find yourself at a disadvantage if the domain is already in use, but if that’s the case, consider using your middle initial or middle name as a whole to differentiate. You can go the extra mile and buy your domain name (for a small monthly fee depending on the website creator that you choose), and you’ll become the new sole owner of Congrats, now you have a website!

Step 2: Customize it!

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This is probably the most difficult step of them all. What’s good about website creators is that they come with a lot of preloaded designs that you can choose from. Make sure to choose the website layout that is the least complex to navigate, as most internship recruiters will rarely spend a lot of time trying to figure out the layout of your website than reading the content that you upload. Even if you’re drawn in by the pretty designs and pictures of a certain preset website designs, just remember that you can take a simpler website format and create the same aesthetic with a little bit of work on the Customizer toolbar.
Step 3: Personalize it!

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No, this is not a reiteration of the last step. Once you get the website to an aesthetic that you approve of, it’s time to really make it your own. That is, it’s time to showcase yourself as a journalist and make this portfolio a summation of what you’ve accomplished in your career thus far! That being said, make sure to write a concise About Me page with a short bio about yourself, kind of like how you would write in the introductory paragraph of a cover letter. Your portfolio is also a good place to keep an updated copy of your resumé for recruiters to find it to either screenshot or download for themselves, say in the instance that the file that you supplied was corrupted or it was not the most recent version. You should also include a Contact Me page, listing an email that you can be best reached at and a phone number. Be careful how you format it, however; there are lots of internet bots that can skim your phone number and email off your website and flood your inbox and voicemail with spam. One way that I’ve avoided it is through differentiating the typical email format (i.e. youremail (at) gmail (dot) com) or simply omitting the information as a whole.

Step 4: Upload it!

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As you might have seen in the title of this blog, this is your career in a nutshell; I only emphasize this point because it’s important not to make your portfolio a complete timeline of your experiences. Instead, it highlights the best parts of your past experiences and shows your potential employer in five minutes or less what you may have accomplished in five years, or whatever the case may be. In my opinion, I would upload your top five to seven clips of your best work from each of your past internships, and maybe even less so depending on how much experience you have. On my portfolio, I provided links to my work on the original publication’s website, unless the article was blocked by a paywall, in which case I would create a downloadable file that had a PDF of the headline, text, publication, and date of publication. Make sure to create parent pages and child pages to easily organize your clips into a navigable structure.

Step 5: Update it!

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Now that you have a complete portfolio, the job isn’t over. As you grow and develop as a professional journalist, you need to make sure that your portfolio reflects that as well. That means updating it with your most recent clips, uploading an updated version of your resume, and making sure that the information included is the most relevant to who you are now (class year, current internship, etc.). It may seem like tedious work, but once you land the internship — or even job — of your dreams, it will all be worth in the long run.
With all of this information your disposal, I hope I was able to lessen the intimidation of creating a portfolio. It’s not as much of a beast as it seems, and with this step-by-step guide, you’ll see your byline in your dream publication in no time.

Lauren: IMAX is Believing!

I’m so excited to announce that for the rest of the semester, I’ll be one of the campus representatives for IMAX here at BU!  This means I’ll be hosting giveaways and events to promote the latest IMAX movies (like Skyfall and The Hobbit)!

Leading filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, JJ Abrams, James Cameron, Brad Bird and Ridley Scott prefer to have their movies formatted in IMAX because it creates an incredibly immersive experience for moviegoers!  With crystal-clear images, booming sound, and stadium seating that brings you closer to the screen, no other movie experience compares to IMAX! Some movies, like Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol and Skyfall, have even been released early in IMAX to build buzz and excitement!  In 2013, Oblivion will be doing the same!

If you’re ready to watch a movie like never before then head over to the AMC Loews Boston Common 19 theatre (located at 175 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02111) for the IMAX ExperienceSkyfall is now in theatres now and The Hobbit will be released on December 14th!

We recently promoted the release of Skyfall this weekend with our very own James Bonds by giving away martini glasses, decks of cards and free IMAX movie tickets all around campus!  But don’t worry if you missed out!  We’ll be having plenty of giveaways this semester!

At the end of this week, for example, just remember that there’s “No place like your dorm.”  Be on the lookout, and you might find some really great prizes where you least expect to find them!

We’ll also be hosting a study break with free pizza, refreshments and IMAX branded study materials right before finals weeks!  For updates on the IMAX Study Break and other IMAX giveaways and events at BU, you can follow me on Twitter (@laurhaslett)!

Make sure you like IMAX on Facebook and follow IMAX on Twitter for the latest info on upcoming releases and contests!


Lauren: ADventures in COM!

Hi everyone!  As an advertising major here at COM, I’ve had the opportunity to get hands-on copywriting and design experience inside the classroom!  It’s amazing to know that my professors are working to prepare me for life in the advertising industry!  I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to take such exciting classes.

In one of my classes, Creative Development, our professor assigns us a specific client each week, like Weight Watchers, Boston Public Health Commission or Happy Tot Baby Foods, and asks us to create the concept for a billboard ad, print ad or direct mailing piece for the brand or organization.  The class is generally split between copywriters and art directors, so two students work together on the project.  It really has helped us learn about what it takes to work successfully in a group setting.  We also have to present our ideas in front of the class, which gives us great public speaking experience.  Presentation skills are definitely useful, especially in the advertising industry.  This class is one of my favorites because it keeps my creative juices flowing and lets me experiment and present some wild ideas!

In another one of my classes, Design and New Media I, one of our assignments was to create the concept for our own, made-up company!  We’re spending the semester designing a website and promotional material for this organization!  It’s so much fun to execute some wacky ideas.  The sky’s the limit.  Along the way, we’re learning how to use the Adobe Creative Suite, Dreamweaver and other design software.  It’s amazing to take your ideas and be able to execute them right on the screen!

In my Advertising Management class, I’m learning all about the business side of the advertising industry.  It takes a special set of skills to manage an account and deal with a client, and this class is teaching me all about it!  We’re learning about branding, writing creative strategies, holding client meetings and other essential responsibilities of an account management position.   It’s great to have a great understanding of both the creative side and business side of the industry.  And a lot of the work I’m producing for my classes can be used in my portfolio too.

It’s incredible that I’m able to get such a great head start into the field! I feel like one of the “Mad (Wo)Men” already, and I haven’t even graduated yet!  I hope you’re all enjoying your classes as much as I’m enjoying mine!