SRU offers e-portfolio platform to College of Business students

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Slippery Rock University students like Grace Bicehouse, a junior communication major from Grove City, are using Portfolium to display their work online for potential employers as part of SRU’s partnership with the e-portfolio provider.

Feb. 1, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Show and tell is not just an activity reserved for elementary school children; college students also need to display their work to potential employers and explain why they should be hired. And while the show part can sometimes be a challenge, students in Slippery Rock University's College of Business have the opportunity to access Portfolium, an e-portfolio platform that will help them exhibit their projects and skills on an online network.

Anuszek Profile Photo

   ANUSZEK

"It's super-easy to show all your work in one place and it's easy to take that (collection) to a job interview," said Emily Anuszek, a senior resort, recreation and hospitality management major from Tarentum. "Otherwise, I'd be taking a paper portfolio to every interview. That's a lot of binders to carry."

SRU is piloting Portfolium and making it available to students in the COB, which includes a variety of majors such as communications and marketing that rely heavily on visual content to share their creative work and experiences.

"As a communication major, a lot of our professors pushed for us to use some sort of online portfolio or website where we could link our articles and media," said Grace Bicehouse, a junior communication major from Grove City. "I found Portfolium to be very accessible. It's easy to upload everything and I could attach a link directly to my resume if I was going to send it out."

SRU is the second institution in Pennsylvania, joining the University of Pennsylvania, to partner with Portfolium, which connects its 3.5 million users to tens of thousands of employers who can search for candidates based on their skills. When students upload artifacts to their e-portfolio, such as projects, papers and presentations, they can tag them with the skills used to complete the work.

"Employers can jump onto Portfolium and find the candidates who have these unique skills and students have evidence in their portfolio," said John Rindy, SRU director of career education and development, whose office offers a variety of networking, training and job-fair opportunities to help students get hired. "Some big-name companies who would not typically recruit at smaller universities like us can now find our students. It's one more way that our students can be found on top of all our other programming."

Lawrence Shao, dean of the College of Business, identified Portfolium as an e-portfolio provider early last year. Beginning last September, SRU provided lifetime access for its 2,100 COB students and 75 faculty members through their campus email addresses. More than 400 students have already created portfolios in the first four months, a significant number for the early adoption phase, according to Portfolium representatives.

"I'm very pleased by how many we have so far," said Shao, who noted surveys show 72 percent of recruiters would view an e-portfolio if it were linked on a resume. "It's going to get to the point where employers won't say, 'Show me your resume,' it will be, 'Show me the link to your e-portfolio.' We are trying to stay ahead of the curve so students can show that they are technologically savvy and can verify what they say."

"We are thrilled to help SRU with their career readiness initiative and give its students a leg up on the competition by displaying their achievements on Portfolium in a portable way," said Troy Markowitz, Portfolium's vice president of academic partnerships. "SRU students now have the unique ability to better connect and articulate what's learned in the class (...) to the skills attained from curriculum matching workforce needs."

Anuszek has uploaded projects like a sample request for proposal from her Meeting Planning course last fall and a slideshow from her award-winning "Christmas in July" event that she organized as an intern at the Marriott Vacation Club's Harbour Lake resort in Orlando, Florida, last summer. Her e-portfolio is available for viewing by clicking here.

Although Anuszek won't have to lug those projects around to job interviews in a binder, Rindy said the more notable benefit of Portfolium is having it accessible and searchable.

"It's not so much the portability to show people in interviews; you aren't given a lot of time in those interviews," Rindy said. "However, you can link to it and people can view it (before or after the interview). The gem is they can find you in the first place."

Anuszek tagged all the skills she demonstrated in her uploaded projects, such as customer service, event planning and vendor management that can show up in employers' searches.

SRU integrated searchable skills in Portfolium based on the institution's Student Learning Outcomes, with tags such as critical thinking and quantitative reasoning.

"The more you add, the more beneficial it is to you," Anuszek added. "Now everyone can see all the great work you've done; it's not just on your mom's refrigerator."

SRU will determine if it will offer access to Portfolium as the University-wide e-portfolio provider for all students based on the response and evaluation of the COB's pilot program.

For more information and a link for COB students to access or create their Portfolium account, visit www.sru.edu/portfolium. To schedule training from SRU's Office of Career Education and Development, call 724.738.2028 or email career.education@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu