A couple of weeks ago Stuart Price from design company Thoughtful came in to give us a talk, mainly about presenting portfolios, but also advice in general about the transition from student to practitioner. I say he came in, but really their studio is actually based in Stockport College so he only came up to our floor, but he’d prepared an excellent presentation for us, which I’m grateful for because I’ve taken a lot from it already!
The first part of the lecture was really quite bizarre; he had us dancing! Apparently, studies show that fifteen minutes of dance a day helps your thinking, so we did some structured dance to help our convergent thinking and improvised dance to help our divergent thinking!
Then I took in a lot of advice and knowledge, like a sponge. The key points I picked up on were that potential clients/ employers etc like to see a good mix of ideas, personality and execution in portfolios. Somehow I don’t think that it’s a mere coincidence that the three sections we get marked on are creativity, professionalism and technical aspects! It’s also better to be interested than to be interesting, so do your research. Finally, it’s a good idea to learn digital, as this is the way the world is moving.
Common mistakes to look out for when designing portfolios were for spelling, typo’s, too much/ not enough talking in interviews and people who show the work to themselves, not their audience.
Some other words of advice were based around the interview itself and getting in contact. Stuart told us that persistence is essential, as designers are busy so we’re not always on their minds. In the interview, get an idea of how long it will last so you know how to structure it. Most of all, communicate!