Guest Post: I Used Seelio to Land An Internship and You Can Too!

See How Purdue University Calumet graduate, Stephanie Peters, used Seelio to land an internship

Today we’d like to introduce you to our student spotlight guest contributor, Stephanie Peters, a recent Purdue University Calumet graduate. Congratulations on this great accomplishment, Stephanie!

Stephanie has been kind enough to share her experience using Seelio and how it helped her prepare for her career. As you’ll see, her story is full of tips you can take away as you build your own portfolio. Read on to learn more about:

  • How to use out of class experiences to showcase your skills
  • Why the “About Me” section matters
  • How building a Seelio can help you land an internship or job
  • An employer’s perspective on why portfolios are valuable in the hiring process

SPeters_PUC_BlogPost

Take it away, Stephanie!

A picture is truly worth a thousand words

The saying is somewhat overused but it’s really true! Why not tell your story using real examples of your work instead of just writing a paragraph about it?

I was introduced to Seelio in one of my courses at Purdue University Calumet (PUC) during the 2014 fall semester. At first, I thought it was a nice idea for the future; something I could use once I graduated or began job searching. But my interest increased immediately when my professor announced a portfolio competition for our class!

How to use out of class experiences to showcase your skills

As I developed my portfolio that semester, I added a variety of works which best represented my career interests: web design, graphic design, and photography. On the day of the competition, my portfolio was chosen as one of the top two from my class! I was pleased to see that I was on the right track.

*Tip: The nice part about Seelio is that works are not limited to school assignments. You can feature any type of work which you feel best showcases your skills and talents. For example, a work could be developed from an internship experience, volunteer work, or even a personal hobby.

Why the “About Me” section matters

As I reviewed my own portfolio and compared it to other classmates, I noticed that a lot of people hadn’t fully completed their “About Me” section. I consider the “About Me” section to be a work of its own; my portfolio wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t fill it out. Some of my classmates said they didn’t have enough work experience to finish that section, but I encouraged them to add any type of experience that could be relevant to their career interests.

*Tip: Other experience areas could include leadership, previous courses, awards, and personal interests. By listing these experiences, you strengthen your portfolio by presenting a variety of talents which helps make your portfolio more well-rounded.

How your Seelio can help you land an internship or job

I was nearing graduation, so I started thinking about internships but wasn’t sure where to begin. One of my professors shared a digital media internship opportunity with me that I was excited about, so I decided to apply.

I emailed the employer my résumé, which contained a link to my Seelio. Soon after, I received a reply back; the employer thanked me for my interest in the company and asked if I could share samples of my work.

At the time, I was finalizing my senior design project website. So once my site was live, I created a work in Seelio for my project for the employer to see.

*Tip: Here’s what I included in my work:

  • A brief summary of my project explaining how I formed the project idea, my project’s goal, and how I planned to achieve that goal
  • A link to my live website
  • Photos I used on the site
  • My project’s site map

The employer liked seeing the sample of my work, and I ended up getting the internship! During the internship, I improved many of my skills and gained experience that I wouldn’t have been able to get in a classroom setting. My work included various digital media tasks such as editing and recording audio, developing digital design roughs, editing PowerPoints, and working on web design tasks. I’m very grateful to the entire company, and specifically the digital media department for their time and guidance during my internship.

An employer’s perspective on why portfolios are valuable in the hiring process

Looking back on my internship, I know that my Seelio portfolio helped showcase my skills and experience. While working on this post, I contacted my internship employer to ask him a few questions. When I asked him how online portfolios impact an employer’s hiring decision, he explained that in creative industries like art, design, and digital media, it’s crucial to have an online portfolio. Specifically, he said:

“Having access to an online portfolio can provide employers with a better insight to the level of experience and professionalism a candidate may have. An online portfolio is a must for any intern who wants to be considered a professional.”

I went a step further and asked him about the importance of having real examples of work to share with employers. In reply, he said:

“Employer’s needs are very simple when it comes to hiring a new intern. They look for qualified individuals who can fit into their production team and instantly contribute to the company’s success. In your case, your résumé was impressive but the quality and professionalism of your online portfolio sealed the deal before we even approached you as a candidate.”

I hope my story encourages you to develop your online portfolio and use it to land an internship or a job!