Alumna Jessica Kline, CPS’19, discusses how she leveraged her ePortfolio post-graduation. This post originally appeared on the Communications Alumni Network Blog.
When I first heard I would have to complete an ePortfolio as part of my program at Northeastern, I wasn’t sure if it would be valuable to me. It instead felt like any effort I put into it would be duplicative of the effort I was putting into my LinkedIn profile and resumé. I was working full-time while trying to balance school and other priorities, so it was hard for me even to figure out when I’d have time for this.
I also felt like the ePortfolio would only be valuable for someone looking for a job—something I had no plans of doing because I was already comfortably employed. Now, being on the other side of my degree, I am so happy I had—and still have—this ePortfolio.
Leveraging my ePortfolio During the Interview Process
When I started the MS in Corporate and Organizational Communications program, I was working for Dell Technologies on the Corporate Communications team driving executive communications for one of their senior leaders. As I said, I wasn’t looking for a new job—I loved working at Dell! Toward the end of my program, however, I got the opportunity to lead internal and brand communications for Blueprint Medicines—an opportunity I could not pass up.
For my interviews at Blueprint, I put together a portfolio of my work from Dell Technologies and sprinkled in some content from my ePortfolio at Northeastern. I felt that if I were competing against anyone else for this position, I needed to bring everything I could to the table that may set me apart. Being able to quickly and eloquently talk about my schoolwork and how it has strengthened my skills was much easier because of my ePortfolio; I organized it to show only what I felt was most important to my education and most valuable to strengthening my abilities.
Leveraging my ePortfolio On-the-Job
Now that I’m settled into my role at Blueprint, I still refer to my ePortfolio. For me, this is where the real value comes into play. I designed my ePortfolio in a way that would allow me, and others, to navigate it quickly, using headline formats for project names, one to three sentence summaries to describe the project, and a direct link to my work.
Today, I refer to my ePortfolio when I’m facing an organizational challenge at work and want to look for a company going through something similar. I can skim through my ePortfolio to find a case study featuring a similar situation and see what my recommended solution was. Blueprint is growing rapidly, and part of my mission is to maintain and evolve its already rich culture. As we grow, we’re bringing on new business functions that didn’t exist prior, so I’m figuring out how to keep everyone informed, connected, and engaged to each other, our culture, and our purpose.
In my Communication Networks and Managing Information course, a Sunbelt University case featured a similar situation. In my recommendation plan, I suggested the dean of the school begin sending out a monthly newsletter to inform, connect, and engage the Sunbelt University employees on the college’s strategy, vision, and mission. I’m starting to design a newsletter that takes a similar approach for Blueprint and can accomplish this quickly because I have many of the tools and templates in my ePortfolio.
Leveraging my ePortfolio during my Lifelong Learning Journey
My one piece of advice for anyone else creating an ePortfolio is to keep it simple and easy to navigate. You’re going to approach many situations in your career when you need to get something done quickly. Keeping the information in your ePortfolio on the ‘need to know’ and not ‘nice to know’ landscape will give you the ability to get exactly what you’re looking for faster than you thought possible.