This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in one of my favorite annual AIGA Minnesota events—Portfolio 1-on-1. 185 students from a variety of states and universities came to Minneapolis for a jam-packed two-day event of studio tours, panel discussions, workshops and portfolio reviews by professionals in the design community. This was my third year as a portfolio reviewer, but it was my first time being a volunteer with the planning committee that makes this event possible.
My first time experiencing Portfolio 1-on-1 was my junior year of college. Having gone to school in Wisconsin, AIGA and the agency world of Minneapolis wasn't something I had much exposure to. After strong encouragement from my professor, I registered for the event and made the trip to Minneapolis. Looking back on my first event, I'll admit that I experienced culture-shock. The studio tours were my first time seeing what an agency setting was like, I met students from different universities and got a glimpse of what other schools were like, not to mention what the competition was going to be like after graduation, and for the first time I presented my work to three professionals and got a mixed-bag of reviews.
The experience was eye-opening and gave me the motivation I needed to really push myself my senior year. I went back to the event as a senior, a little less terrified and a little more confident and came away with more great insight about how to succeed in the job market after graduation.
The event left such an impact on me, I was thrilled when I was able to sit on the other side of the table and be the professional helping students.