The Appalachian

Ways to Develop Your Portfolio as a College Student

Ways to Develop Your Portfolio as a College Student -- Hue & Tone

If you’re a creative in college, you probably have your eye on what comes next. You may choose to start a business, like I did. Maybe you’ll try your hand at a corporate job. Either way, you’ll need a strong portfolio to get there. Read on for a few ways to make that happen.

1. Join your campus newspaper. Or magazine. Or anything.

I can’t even lie about it…I lived at my college newspaper. And my high school newspaper. Because of that, I had the opportunity to shoot and edit video, design print pages, start a blog, be the boss, draw a paycheck, write editorials, make infographics…basically, a little of everything. That’s the biggest plus of working for a college organization. There’s nothing you can’t try.

2. Offer pro-bono services

What are you passionate about? What keeps you awake at night? Whatever it is, there’s a nonprofit (or 20) serving the cause. Reach out and offer your services -- yes, for free. You’re giving back and honing your skills at the same time!

3. Do internships. Do a ton of internships.

I spent my college years trying my hand at any internship that sounded appealing, from a small design firm to a daily newspaper to a nonprofit solely focused on building a solar house. And I couldn’t recommend that strategy more. You may be noticing a theme here, and that’s – try a little of everything. You’ll diversify your portfolio, and you’ll know what you really love doing.

4. Team up with your friends

When your best friend’s hosting an event and needs a flyer designed, say yes! In return, she can teach you how to shoot a photo, or compose a perfect Tweet, or whatever she does best. Building relationships with other smart, creative people, working together and sharing skills, is a great way to build your body of work and learn new skills.

Looking to gather your work together in a portfolio site, or develop your personal branding materials? Let’s talk! hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.