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Portfolios? Who needs them? You! Why?

"Understanding the significance of portfolios and mastering these programs is crucial for the future."- Erin Berthon


By Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Ah, the digital age! In a world flooded with media and endless possibilities, the question arises: how can YOU stand out? The answer lies in digital portfolios. Unlike traditional resumes, digital portfolios provide a platform to showcase creativity and critical thinking skills that extend far beyond a typical resume. They offer a deeper dive into an individual's work, allowing employers to gain a more personal yet professional understanding of the candidate. 




Photo provided by Ms. Erin Berthon

I recently had the pleasure of conversing on the subject of Portfolios with Ms. Erin Berthon, Wilkinson College's Career Manager, who is Wilkinson's in-house expert for the Career and Professional Development Center. Erin, who has a master's degree in School Counseling, has worked in the education field for 12 years, the last 5 of which have been dedicated to higher education.  This experience has given her a wealth of knowledge to pull from when working with our students on Career Development, Higher Education Leadership, and Team building. Erin has long been driven by her passion for working with students, guiding them towards their career and academic goals, and empowering them to unlock their full potential!


During our conversation, we delved into the significance of portfolios and their growing impact. Erin highlighted how portfolios offer students a platform to tell a story, display their skills, and showcase growth. We also discussed her idea of creating Portfolio Week at Chapman, featuring workshops dedicated to the subject from February 20th-22nd, 2024. You can find our full interview below and read her insightful piece on the topic here.


Flyer provided by Ms. Erin Berthon

Why did you decide to host portfolio week?

EB: One primary reason is my unfamiliarity with crafting portfolios when students approach me for advice on the matter, and since I have a strong desire to learn about this topic, these workshops became the perfect opportunity. Additionally, I've come to realize that having a portfolio is not limited to those in creative fields; it's becoming increasingly important for everyone. It is the future, and I want all students to know that this workshop is open not only to Wilkinson but also to everybody at the university.


Why did you specifically choose the people that are speaking at the workshops? 

EB: I chose these individuals to lead the workshops due to their expertise in the subject matter. Additionally, I selected three distinct programs to provide students with a variety of choices to explore based on their interests and needs.


Workshop #1- Adobe Portfolio Workshop

  • This workshop will be hosted by Christian Monarrez, Training and Communications Specialist for IS&T here at Chapman University and will cover comprehensive insights into how to utilize Adobe for your Portfolio building purposes. It’s important to remember that Adobe is a tool that is available to current students to use for free but after graduation will cost a fee to use. Rest assured, your work won't be lost, you’ll just need to subscribe to continue using it. Get ahead of the game by taking advantage of these opportunities and learn how to excel in using platforms such as Adobe!

When:  Tuesday, February 20th, 12:00-1:00pm

Where: Location: AF 209B


Workshop #2- Squarespace Portfolio Workshop

  • This workshop will be hosted by Severina Thom’ 17, who graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design. Severina, who is currently teaching at Chapman in Wilkinson's Department of Art, has extensive experience with Squarespace and will be hosting the workshop to teach participants how to effectively utilize the program. With her expertise in graphic design, branding, professional experience, and technical skills, Severina is the ideal instructor not only for her students but also for others interested in learning about Squarespace through this workshop.

When:  Wednesday, February 21st, 5:00-6:00pm

Where: Location AF 209A


Workshop #3- Wix Portfolio Workshop

  • This workshop will be hosted by Melaine Lo, Curriculum Developer at Wix.com. Lo, whose speciality is in working with universities and colleges to create customized learning material to integrate digital skills into their programs, will be showcasing how the platform can be used to create a unique portfolio.

When:  Thursday, February 22nd, 12:00-1:00pm

Where: Location AF 209C* 

*This workshop will be hosted in AF 209C where this event will be zoomed for an audience.  In addition, this will be the only recording, if you are unable to attend the WIX workshop, and would like access to the recording, stay tuned for further details to come!


Please remember to RSVP using this QR code for these events: 





By Sigmund on Unsplash

Is there something specific that you hope students will take away from these workshops, to use in the future?

EB: Understanding the significance of portfolios and mastering these programs is crucial for the future. I hope students grasp the importance of integrating their portfolios into their resumes, personalizing them, and showcasing their diverse skills and achievements.


For instance, if a student majors in political science but also has interests in writing and photography, they inherently bring more value. Showcasing involvement in both their major, other passions, and activities makes that person a better candidate because they bring more to the table!



By Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Do you think students appreciate what Wilkinson is offering through these workshops, and if so, do you think that you might plan more like this in the future?EB: I sincerely hope so! This marks the first time Wilkinson has organized workshops like these, and we hope to make it an annual tradition because portfolios are the future. Regardless of your field, everyone possesses unique talents and experiences to showcase, making learning how to create a portfolio extremely beneficial.


Flyer provided by Ms. Erin Berthon

In terms of additional workshops in the future, what do you think Wilkison has in store for us?

EB: Senior week is coming up! During this time of year seniors often feel overwhelmed and apprehensive. To address their concerns, I'll be conducting a workshop covering essential resources that can help them as they transition to post grad life. Specifically, we'll delve into Vmock, Careershift, and Panther Network, platforms offering valuable tools like resume generators, job and internship listings, and networking opportunities with fellow alumni and current panthers. Seniors, mark your calendars for Senior Week and keep an eye out for further announcements on these platforms! 


We're thrilled about the upcoming Wilkinson Portfolio Week and hope to see you there! It's essential to make the most of these opportunities and utilize the tools at our disposal to thrive in the future. Huge thanks to Erin for sharing her wealth of knowledge and for her kindness in bringing these opportunities to Chapman.  Mark your calendars and don't miss out on Portfolio Week!


(P.S stay tuned for upcoming blogs on resources to help you succeed!) 

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