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Web portfolios showcase work to world

- By Christina Gurnak/Staff Writer

Unknown to many students, Web portfolios may become the link to getting jobs faster.

WHAT IS IT?

"Web portfolios provide a way to showcase one's work utilizing a wide variety of media as part of a resume," Gary Mote, production manager for the Student Multimedia Studio, said.

"This could include illustrations and graphics for graphic designers and artists, set and lighting designs for theatrical or television scenic designers, voice and on-camera performances for television, theater and music majors or architectural illustrations and 3D models for architecture majors," Mote said.

ADVANTAGES

"The best advantage to students is that by being on the Web, your resume is available to anyone in the world instantly," Mote said.

Mote said Web portfolios help students stand out from the crowd when they are applying for jobs.

"Many times, job search committees will eliminate students without experience without ever having seen their work," Mote said. "But with Web portfolios, students with outstanding talent have the opportunity to display their work as part of their resume."

Mote said computer experience is an asset when applying for jobs.

"Technologies are impacting every business, and a Web portfolio demonstrates to employers that the person who created it is capable of utilizing these technologies in a practical application," he said.

Mote said Web portfolios become a "teaser" to potential employers.

"When a movie is promoted, you don't see the whole movie," he said. "You just see a 30-second preview. I see a Web portfolio as the same thing. Web portfolios give job hunters the chance to let employers preview the best of their collective works in order to get that all-important interview."

Mote said students have the option of "burning" their Web portfolio onto a rewritable CD and sending it with a traditional resume.

Web portfolios also are easily undatable, Mote said.

"This is a major advantage to students because they are gaining experience every day," Mote said.

"The disadvantage of having a print resume is that the employers you send them to won't have current information about you unless you send them a new resume," Mote said.

Mote said students can even design multiple Web sites depending on the kind of job they are applying for.

"You can gear a Web site for a certain employer if you think certain qualifications would be more important to them," Mote said.

WHERE TO DO IT

The Student Multimedia Studio is located next to Audio Visual Services in Room 331 of the library.

The studio was created to provide students with the facilities and support to design, develop and create Web sites, interactive multimedia, digital video programs and other new technology-based forms of communication, Mote said.

Lab assistants and student multimedia developers are on staff to "work one-on-one with students," Mote said.

Students can borrow digital cameras and a digital video camcorder from Audio Visual Services.

All workstations in the studio are equipped with Hewlett Packard or Microtek scanners.

The lab is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

HOW TO DO IT

Mote said the portfolios can be created using Dreamweaver software.

"Students don't have to know how to write HTML with Dreamweaver because it does it for you," Mote said. "This is the best software anywhere for Web development."

"Three high school students came here (the Student Multimedia Studio) for a career shadowing day, and in one hour they created a high-quality Web page," Mote said.

"It takes a little while to learn how to use the equipment, but our staff is here to help," Mote said.

Mote said the most difficult part of the process is deciding what to put on the Web page.

"Ideally, you're trying to sell yourself. How effectively you do that is based on your communication skills," Mote said. "Just pick what best represents you."

WHO'S DOING IT

Evonne Whitmore, assistant professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, is offering extra credit to students of her Advanced Broadcast News class if they do an online video resume.

Whitmore said it is required for broadcast students to have a video resume.

"I think it's a good exercise for them to put some stuff online," Whitmore said. "It may save a few steps for some people down the road."

Whitmore said Web portfolios may be the trend for the future.

"I have no doubt it will be a class requirement in the future," she said. "In the long run, the more we can expose students to the technology, the better."

Kristen Capitena, a senior broadcast news major, plans to do a Web portfolio by the end of the semester.

"Even though I think it will be a lot of work, I think it's a great requirement because it's preparing us for the future," she said.
 

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