Girl Genius
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Girl Genius

How to Build a STEAM Portfolio

Via Shillington Education

When creating a STEAM portfolio of your work, there’s a lot of things to consider; Maybe you want to display the work you did throughout a summer research internship, or maybe you want to show the coding languages you’ve learned by displaying the website you created. No matter what aspect of STEAM you’re in, having a portfolio of your work has become more and more important. Portfolios allow people like recruiters or interviewers to see what kind of work you’ve done and how you’ve grown in your skills and abilities. Though some portfolios might display years of work, others might include only a few months worth of projects. Here are four tips to keep in mind when building your portfolio:

Choose a platform

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

When it comes to creating a STEAM portfolio, you might want to consider an online portfolio over a physical one. With many work opportunities becoming virtual or remote due to COVID-19, a digital portfolio will be a lot easier to share with recruiters. There are plenty of websites that will allow you to display or make a portfolio, such as Notion, Wix, Webflow, or Weebly. You should also take into account the type of work and projects you plan to display. If you want to showcase your art, platforms like Dribbble or Behance are good options to consider. However, if you want to display links to some websites you’ve coded, then maybe a simple Carrd site or even a Linktree will suffice. Make sure that you choose a platform that will best display your type of projects.

Showcase your BEST work

Though it might sound obvious, only your best pieces of work should go inside your portfolio, for the most part. It might be alright to include a few projects that aren’t your greatest, but as you expand upon your collection of work and improve in your abilities, make sure that your portfolio accurately depicts your quality of work! Try having someone else in the STEAM industry, such as a mentor or an advisor, take a look at your portfolio and help review your work with fresh eyes so you can determine which pieces of work to keep and which to take out.

Tailor and update your portfolio as needed

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Consider the target audience of your portfolio. Who will you show this work to? What kind of things will they be looking for? As you answer these questions, keep them in mind when making your portfolio, and even adjust it to fit your audience each time if you need to. Additionally, as you continue to create more work to showcase in your portfolio, update it periodically. When your portfolio continues to grow, you’ll also have more options of what to display and what not to display. Don’t be afraid to expand upon your collection of research projects, app demos, or artwork!

Make it unique and personal

While it’s important that your portfolio is professional, you also need to make sure that it is original and reflects who you are. It may be tempting to go online and take a look at the STEAM portfolios that others have made, but your portfolio will be much more authentic and unique. Incorporate your own creative flairs into your portfolio, not someone else’s. By allowing a more personalized style to your portfolio, those who view it will get to know more about who you are.

At the end of the day, a portfolio is really all about you. Your LinkedIn and resumé might include all of your work experience in bullet points or short paragraphs, though a portfolio allows those around you to explore your work and find out about your abilities. While portfolios are very important, there are many other factors that recruiters consider. It’s also completely okay if your portfolio is not exactly how you pictured it. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” portfolio, as each person might view your work differently. After all, we’re still works in progress, and it takes time for our work to improve as well!

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Girl Genius is a student-run organization empowering the next generation of female leaders in STEAM. We are confident that anyone can pursue careers in STEAM and challenge conventional gender standards.

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Melanie Kuo

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