When most young professionals think about having a portfolio, they typically think of photographers or artists. However, having a portfolio website is a great way to show off your skills, and what makes you stand out from other job candidates. This is especially true if you are looking for a career in marketing, as several companies ask for examples of work to provide, depending on the position you apply for. They also can make you stand out when at a career fair or networking event, so that your name is remembered by potential employers!
What even is a portfolio website?
"A portfolio website is something that acts almost as a living resume. It shows your most relevant skills, and what you can do, or at least what you have learned to do on your own; it shows that you have more marketable skills that can help a company soar, rather than just what the requirements are for a position."
Emma Potter, Acting Web-Master W 2019 - W 2020
Essentially, it is a way to show any company what you've got, and what they're working with. It can show what you've learned to do, as well as what the ground floor is for what you could do for an organization. In the beginning of this article, there are four great reasons for why you should start your own website. If you don't want to click on the link and read them, they are:
I'm a business student, so why do I need a website?
Depending on what discipline you are studying, a portfolio website can be the best way to show off what you've done in the past. For example, you could upload a copywriting example, or some marketing campaigns you've done for internships. On the Finance/Accounting side, you could upload some A+ assignments you've turned in, to show you really know what you're doing. Anything visual is great.
Okay, but, how do I start mine?
There are plenty of resources! We recommend using Weebly, as that is what our chapter uses to build our website! There is a free option, which provides plenty of building options for working on your site, and also has several templates to work with, so that it is as easy as possible to build something spectacular!
Other options include Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix. Links to all of these options will be linked below!
Good Luck, brothers!
"50 of the Best Personal Website and Portfolio Examples in 2020" | Ransom Patterson | College Info Geek
In order to rock that career fair you're getting ready for, or someone asks why you're looking for a job in a specific industry, or you're looking for a way to face that dreaded "So tell us about yourself" part of an interview, you need a good elevator pitch. Here are some tips to help you rock one out!
Firstly, what even is an elevator pitch?
According to Indeed:
"A personal elevator pitch is a quick summary of yourself. It’s named for the time it takes to ride an elevator from bottom to top of a building (roughly 30 seconds or 75 words). Elevator pitches are sometimes thought to be specific to an idea or a product, but having a pitch to sell yourself as a professional is a common use case for elevator pitches, too."
It is a great way to give a 30-second introduction of yourself, like a spoken cover letter. It should essentially be a summary of who you are. Indeed has several examples of what should be said, and different ways you can emphasize what you want; the article for them will be linked down below.
When Should I use one?
Obviously, you can use them at career fairs, and when directly asked about employment somewhere. However, you can also use them when crafting an idea and pitching it to your boss/another coworker. If you've got an idea and happen to be with them for a few minutes, just go for it! The worst they can do is say no. (Just make sure you can get all of the relevant information to them before you walk away.)
The other article has a great layout of a step-by-step guide for how to create one, and what the final product should look like. Feel free to take a look!
Have any other tips? Leave a comment down below!
LinkedIn is quickly becoming a widely used media service in business and recruitment as businesses become more digital and their web presence becomes more impactful. Most individuals either currently use or intend to use the social media platform for the purpose of appealing to recruiters and businesses in their field. LinkedIn isn’t necessarily unique in the purpose of users “selling” themselves to others, but it is a more professional and deliberate way of doing so. Here are some tips to better sell yourself on LinkedIn.
1. Define Your Goals
What are you looking for in your career? How do you think LinkedIn will better help you get there? These should be the first questions you consider when customizing your LinkedIn profile. What you put on your profile should tailor to your goals and help you reach them. These goals should be a clear statement; what do I want and how will I get there? More importantly, they should be realizable. The people you will network and connect with want to see that you have aspirations and the dedication to reach those aspirations. Once this is defined, you can begin laying the groundwork for your profile.
2. Improve Your Visibility to Others
In order to start the path to achieving your career goals on LinkedIn, you need to be visible, frequent, and reachable. First and foremost, optimize your introduction card. This is the first part of your page that anyone will notice and where you will make the biggest impact. The introduction card has three parts: the profile picture, the cover picture, and the headline. Your profile picture should be a clear, professional, and mild. Based off this picture is how people will recognize and assess you. You want to appeal to others as easy-going but not unreliable, professional but not unapproachable. Your cover image should be a compliment to your page, not a centerpiece. Make it something more neutral but personalized to your life or work. The headline is where you can clearly state who you are and what you do.
The key is to make it short but make it meaningful with 120 characters. Make a statement about your job or field and how it pertains to you. Use words that you want to be recognized as. If your field is marketing, then you’ll want to include keywords that can be connected to the word “marketing”.
3. Post Quality and Consistent Content
The content you post will define yourself to those who view your page. Much like any other social media network, people want to see interesting things about yourself. The difference with LinkedIn is that you’ll want it to be professional as well. This doesn’t mean you should only post pictures of yourself shaking hands with a Fortune 500 CEO or how you accepted a new position at a company. Perhaps you attended a leadership seminar or committed your time to volunteer or even a discussion post. Vacation beach pictures in Cabo? Probably not. You will want the people who view your content to be interested and engaged.
However, along with being professional, coming off as approachable and human is important as well. Someone is more likely to want to meet and talk with you if they think they’ll get along with you. You’ll also want your content to reach out to a “target market”. This target market can be the demographic of recruiters in your field, clients, peers, or potential employees of your company. If your content can further your personal brand, then it is worth posting.
4. Connect, Connect, Connect
At this point, you have the infrastructure of your profile built. Now all that is left is connecting with peers. Connecting on LinkedIn is how you expand your network. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to encounter people who may have something to offer you. Are the people in your network successful? Notable? Experienced? People will often view the people in your network as a reflection of your own traits and personality, like other social media platforms.
However, just because you have a strong network does not mean you have a strong platform. Joining groups is also a great way to connect with new people and show that you are active in a diverse area of interest. When connecting with someone, it is often best to offer a reason to connect, not just for the sake of doing so. For example, perhaps you are both alumnus from the same school or had the same previous employer. This allows for something to talk over and lead into different areas of conversation. At this point you have everything in place to start the actual networking aspect of LinkedIn.
For anyone reading this who isn't in the Lambda Xi chapter, or is still relatively freshly initiated from last semester, have you ever wondered just who makes up the full eboard? For some general information about our eboard and the individual bio pages, you can click here. However, we thought it might be nice for some of our board members to re-introduce ourselves to the new brothers of our chapter, as well as individuals who may not know us at all. So, here is your Winter 2020 eCommittee:
"This role has helped me develop leadership roles, and also has given me the freedom to learn more on my own about web development, as well as visual appeal and writing. I've genuinely learned a lot through the other board members, past Web-Masters, and my chapter in general. I am forever grateful for the editors that help me write the blog posts and everyone who gives me feedback on the website, in general.
"While being in this position, I intend to create something of intangible value to the chapter, and create that foundation for the next Web-Masters. This has been my goal with everything I've put into the Fraternity, but especially with the website."
1 - Go to bed earlier
2 - eat more veggies
3 - Learn to cook (start simple)
4 - pet more dogs
5 - read 1 book this year (or 2, if you're feeling Advantageous)
6 - Go for coffee dates with friends, and leave your phone in your poket the whole time
7 - Quit a bad habit, whether it be as little as biting your nails or as big as smoking
8 - Call your family more
9 - Drink more water
10 - Tell yourself "Good Job" more
12 - Start writing; a blog, in a journal; for everyone, for no one - just get your thought down
13 - Learn a new word every day (there are apps to help with this)
14 - Revamp/redesign your resume
15 - Track your sleep and/or your mood (finally learn what keeps you up at night; is it the coffee you had at 6pm or your to do list?)
16 - Deep clean four times a year (spring cleaning, but also in the summer fall, and winter)
17 - Schedule Me time (let's face it, if it's not in the calendar, it doesn't happen)
18 - Organize your hard drive
19 - organize your paper files
20 - wear that peculiar piece of clothing you've had in your closet for three years and have never worn, but you can't part with
21 - Go to bed and/or wake up earlier
22 - Volunteer more
23 - Get out of the house more; you don't need to spend money, just go for a nice walk
24 - Spend less time on social media
25 - Reward yourself for achievements
"Don't be the intern that I once saw, where someone said:
'I guess he didn't get the intern memo.'" - Tim Augustine
Congratulations, you've gotten an invitation to your office's holiday party! Welcome to a whole new set of rules. Holiday parties are a great way to get to know your coworkers, yes, but they have their own list of ways to act, especially if you are old enough to drink. Below is YOUR (short) Lambda Xi Holiday Party Guide:
1 - Dress like a secondary character, not like the protagonist (or the antagonist)
How you dress is immensely important when attending any kind of work event, but especially when everyone is feeling extra *~festive~*. An office may give a dress code for office parties, and if that is the case, follow that, otherwise, men, you can wear your standard business professional attire, and maybe a stylish pocket square or sweater under your suit jacket.
For the ladies, there are a few more restrictions. Anything you would wear to a New Year's party is generally off-limits with very few exceptions. Business professional dresses, or a nice skirt are good, but stay away from intense patterns or sequins and sparkles. No necklines lower than what you would wear on a regular work day, is generally the rule to follow. Also, no missing pieces (i.e. nothing with cutouts in the back), and anything with a smaller than acceptable sleeve should have a jacket, sweater, cardigan, etc. over top. Lastly, nothing mesh or relatively sheer. Below are some examples of what is acceptable.
2 - Knowing your limits is always the best bet
While it may seem polite to accept every drink your coworkers or boss offers to buy you as a welcome, or to have a drink or two to make you a bit less anxious in the new setting, know your limits. If you aren't 21, politely say that you can't oblige; if you are old enough, keep tract of what you've had, how many you've had, how strong they are, etc. Nothing looks worse than an intern who doesn't know how to control themselves in social work settings.
3 - “Companies may never come up with a better office communication program than a lunch break" - Amit Kalantri
There are going to be a wide variety of people at this office party, all at varying levels of how well you know them. Maybe you've only been there a couple of weeks, and you don't know most people very well, or maybe you've been there for six years and you have a best friend and you know who the office Karen is. Either way, branch out! Meet someone new! This is a great way to learn something new or make a new friend!
It's easy to ask them their name, or what department they're in, or how they got the job, but ask them new questions! You can start off with safe questions like the previously listed, but try asking why they studied what they studied in college, or if they were in any outside organizations. If the person you're talking to is a bit older than you and has been out of college for a few years, or maybe didn't finish or go at all, ask them if they have any advice for you moving forward within the company. Then, branch off of what they say, and ask questions or tell stories that relate to something they said - don't just say something to say something - to show you're really listening.
Know when the conversation is winding down. Don't linger around if the conversation hasn't gone anywhere in a while, or it seems like the other person doesn't want to talk. Politely excuse yourself, get some water, and find someone new to talk to!
Remember to have fun and be safe this holiday season, because you are still, unfortunately, kind-of at work.
1. Read a book for pleasure
2. work on summer job applications/updating your resume
3. Learn a song on an instrument, or start to learn how to play an instrument
4. Learn a new recipe, or learn to cook in general
5. Create an exercise routine
6. Create a budget for next semester on excel
7. Get all of your doctors' appointments out of the way while you're home
8. Fix your sleep schedule and catch up on sleep you missed out on during exam week
10. Get ready for next semester - buy textbooks, supplies, print schedule, etc.
"11 Ways To Be Super Productive Over Winter Break" | Elizabeth
Muratore, University of Virginia | Odyssey
October brother of the Month: Isaiah Quick
Brother Isaiah is always willing to lend a hand, and makes an ideal candidate for Brother of the Month for October. He is consistently offering old notes to brothers, willing to help in any way he is able, and is always there when you need him. Isaiah is forever searching for new ways to help out any brother he meets. Congrats, Isaiah!
November Brothers of the Month: Peri Kiefer and Lauren Trombly
Our blog team got to sit with a management professor at GVSU and ask him a few questions about what life is like after college, and for some advice for soon-to-be graduating-college students. Several Lambda Xi brothers have had classes with Prof. Ballard, and we all have nothing but awesome things to say! Here is some of our Q&A session:
Q: What courses do you teach, and what did you study in college?
A: Bruce currently teaches two management courses at GV, and was in supply chain management before it was even called supply chain. He has an engineering degree with a minor in materials and logistics management, which is what supply chain was previously titled.
Q: Did you always want to be a professor?
A: He was a student just like us, sitting in the back row and not asking questions, but as he was getting MBA, he noticed that a lot of faculty didn't have Doctorates, but they were coming in after work, and he thought that it would be cool. He thought that when it came to retirement, it would be something nice to do, rather than play golf every day. "It would be fun to teach and give back to our community." He decided to teach at Grand Valley since his daughter went here, and he eventually became a Visiting Professor.
Q: Where all have you worked, and do you have a favorite place?
A: Texas Instruments, Herman Miller, and Johnson Controls.
He doesn't necessarily have a favorite place to work, but he loved working at TI, and was there for 14 years. They are consistently on the 100 Best Places to Work For list, and eventually was asked to move to Japan with his family. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard then decided to move back to Michigan so they could have more life in the work-life balance, but he genuinely did love working there.
For Johnson Controls, he worked in purchasing and finance in automative electronics. He gained financial experience in which he leveraged later in his career.
Herman Miller was a new experience for him, since he was a tech guy and didn't necessarily see himself working in office furniture. However, from what he tells his students in class, he has a lot of good stories from HM, and did enjoy working there very much. He brings ideas from HM to the classroom, and uses his knowledge from being a Director there to teach his students using real-life examples.
Q: Do you do any work outside of the classroom?
A: He has a small business to keep him occupied, since he is retired, but he says that it is more of a hobby for him than anything.
Q: What is one thing you always tell your students?
A: "In Operations, many students do not see the connection to their major. However, knowledge of how a business supports its customer through its 'make' function is very important, no matter what function in which you reside. Also, when we take about Lean, it is important to think about how it applies to all functions, not just Operations and Supply Chain.”
Q: What is a piece of advice you'd give any student, if they asked?
A: 1) When looking at where to work after college, look first at where you want to live, and then look for jobs in those areas. 2) "Know you end game" and research what skill sets you will need for that, and what jobs can give you that experience. 3) Early in your career, focus on learning. Create a solid foundation for career growth in the future.
There is one thing Bruce tells all of his students at the end of lecture, and hopefully it puts a smile on your face, like it does everyone who's had him: