Creative, Professional Expression Through E-Portfolio

Image courtesy of Stephanie Calderon

By Stephanie Calderon

Everyday, someone is applying for an internship, job or opportunity but, in order to do so, they need to stand out from the crowd; John Jay has begun to introduce a perfect way to stand out to employers–E-portfolio.

E-portfolio can be considered a crossover between Linkedin and Tumblr, giving students the opportunity to be creative with expressing how they have spent their 4 years in college to be qualified for any job they apply for. It can also be used to put together a portfolio for graduate school. “This is a way for students to showcase their achievements, both inside and outside the classroom,” says Daniel Auld, Director of Learning Technologies & Support.

“The point of e-portfolio,” says Auld, “is for students to have a professional website where they can make it according to their personality, and don’t have to be afraid of it coming off as unprofessional, such as tumblr or instagram.”

The program was first offered to only students that had a first year or transfer seminar with a professor that wanted to use e-portfolio. The professors used this to replace Blackboard as a way for students to upload assignments, peer review, and so much more. However, after a fund was given to the program from New York State, it was expanded to all the students within John Jay.

There are many benefits of a student having an e-portfolio. Auld says, “This is the one place to put everything. It allows the student to be able to present themselves to their potential employer or application reviewer for an opportunity in a way that is much more personal than a resume and cover letter.”

An example of this is Magdalena Oropeza, a student here at John Jay whose dream it is to go to Law school. One of the steps to completing this dream is applying to the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program, a competitive law school prep program in which you have to compete between numerous other students for the program. When Oropeza applied for the program, she attached her e-portfolio link, just in case the reviewer wanted to know more about her before the final decision. When Oropeza was called for an interview, the interviewer said “she loved her e-portfolio, and spent 30 minutes on it versus her usual 3 minutes per application.” 

Brenda Almaraz, an e-tern with Student Academic Success Programs, has also used e-portfolio in a way that has helped her throughout her Academic Journey. E-portfolio was introduced to her during her first day of classes her freshman year with LLS Professor Jodie Rory and her English Professor Carmen Kynard. She learned about how e-portfolio could help her. In her English class, she was one of 9 “WebMasters”, which ultimately helped her to learn more about e-portfolio, which led to her falling in love with the work. Once she heard that a position was available to work with students, teaching them about e-portfolio, being a role model with her own portfolio, she knew that it was just something that she had to do. 

“Being an e-tern and having an E-portfolio has helped me with approaching faculty since I’m really shy and embarrassed when talking to more important faculty members,” said Almaraz. “It allows me to create a community with my peers and relate to them in a way that I wasn’t expecting.”

But are we the only students that uses this that makes us unique? “A lot of other campuses are also beginning of use e-portfolio, which means competition when applying, so the more that students are using their E-portfolio, customizing it with their passions, using the resources that we have here to help them make it as amazing as it can be is what will help single them out during the application process,” said Auld. Magdalena’s and Brenda’s experiences are only the beginning of what different types of opportunities that you can have.

Although there are a lot of students that are excited to be using this tool as a way to stand out, but not everyone sees having an e-portfolio as a benefit. One student said, “The only reason that I know what an e-portfolio is is for my job. I believe that it is a waste of time because of how much work it takes to maintain it and constantly update it.” Not everyone see e-portfolios as a tool, but more of a obstacle that they must go through to pass a class or complete for work.

No matter what the opinion of the student, e-portfolio is available for all students with their John Jay email, through the site: johnjay.digication.com