A Professional Electronic Portfolio – DPD Recommendation

What is a Professional Portfolio?

Portfolios can be used for many different reasons. Business professionals may use them to display case studies of experiences they have encountered, artists may want to show examples of their creative side, and models may want to show agencies or clients a variety of “jobs” they have been able to secure. In the world of education, portfolios were initially designed to help student’s reflect on different assignments and learning opportunities. Educators could also view them periodically to monitor progress in the learning process.

In the beginning, paper (hard) copies of portfolios were kept by means of a binder with tabs that divided the document into many different sections. Today, the web has made keeping an electronic portfolio more appealing. Students can still use the portfolio to reflect on what they have (or what they are in the process of) accomplished and instructors can still view them periodically to monitor learning.

Why go to the time and trouble to do an electronic one?

An electronic portfolio can be used to help you when you want to apply to other programs (Internship Programs, Masters Programs or even PhD Programs) or help when you are ready to begin the job search. By keeping a “journal” of things you create, accomplish or experience during the educational process, you will be able to not only tell future directors or employers what you are capable of; you will be able to SHOW them. In addition, some internships require that you provide a portfolio.

Organization of the E-folio

Because creative and electronic juices flow differently in different types of people, there are many formats in which to follow. Your E-folio should be designed using a format that is comfortable and possibly even familiar to you.  It is up to you to check out the different types of formats and design your portfolio with the tool you are most comfortable with. Below is a list of tools that have been used by other DPD’s or other UMN students. The list is by no means inclusive.

What to include in your E-folio

Your E-folio will always be a work in progress.  This is a professional development tool that consists of your best examples of work, volunteer and classroom experiences.  You should keep your best assignments/projects from your coursework that you feel demonstrates your strengths. 

Items you could include in your E-folio:

  • Resume
  • Writing samples
  • Computer work
  • Awards
  • Transcripts
  • Class projects
  • Goal statements
  • Documents created at internships
  • Student leadership examples
  • Work and volunteer experiences

For more information and access to an online workshop on Professional Portfolios:

http://www.careerhelp.umn.edu/portfolios