Starting with the 2017 fall semester, the College of Business (COB) is introducing an online portfolio for students. “Portfolium” is designed to help students connect directly with employers, similar to the professional identity site LinkedIn. According to Dr. Lawrence Shao, Dean of the College of Business, this new initiative will have a positive correlation with students getting good jobs upon graduation.
“Portfolium is really LinkedIn on steroids; the potential connections to employers offered by this program is going to make it much easier for students to effectively display their full body of work,” Shao said.
Earlier this year, Shao and his team were exploring different avenues to help students find the entry-level jobs that they were looking for upon graduation. They decided on Portfolium in early August based on the success the program has had since the social networking site was founded in 2014. Portfolium is used by major universities across the country, including Ohio State, Virginia Tech, UCLA and the University of Georgia.
“We’re hoping that this endeavor proves to be a great way for students to show off their skills to potential employers,” Shao said. “The COB is the first at Slippery Rock to be testing this program, and so far we have been pleased with the participation and interest of our students.”
Of the approximately 2,100 students enrolled in SRU’s College of Business, 413 of them have begun building their online profile via Portfolium. Students are free to customize their profiles by adding any projects or term papers they may have completed, in addition to detailing recent internship experiences they may have had. Each student’s online portfolio can be viewed by employers like Apple or Amazon, making it easier for businesses to contact students when they finish their degree.
“We are approaching a day in the near future when we will stop asking, ‘Do you have an online portfolio?’ to ‘Where is your online portfolio?’. This is the way of the future, and Slippery Rock students deserve to be on the cutting edge of this industry moving forward,” Shao said.
The COB helps students get started initially by listing skills known as Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) on their profile. These SLOs include digital citizenship, effective communication and critical thinking. These skills are what SRU students are expected to gain through their academic and co-curricular programs on campus. Students will also be able to add additional skills to their profile as they progress through their respective courses.
Portfolium will remain free for life for SRU College of Business students and is also open to alumni and staff who wish to connect with and track companies to see how they’re evolving for the future. E-mails have been sent out to every student enrolled in the COB and professors are being encouraged to discuss Portfolium with their classes. Shao hopes to see more students access what he calls a “can’t miss opportunity” to enhance your chance of getting a job once you get a degree.
“I am confident that a program like Portfolium will help SRU grads find the job that is best suited for their skill set; that’s what we’re ultimately trying to achieve here,” Shao said. “The overarching goal of student success is taking what they’ve learned and applying it to their future profession, and I believe Portfolium is a great way to start that process.”