How to Prepare for the 2012 AIGA Raleigh Student Portfolio Review

AIGA Raleigh is happy to announce that the 2012 AIGA Raleigh Student Portfolio Review is scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 14th at McKinney in Durham.

The AIGA Raleigh Student Portfolio Review is an event established for senior, undergraduate-level students who are beginning their transformation into emerging designers. As a participant, you will receive a constructive, one-on-one evaluation of your work from a variety of design professionals located in the Triangle area.

Anna Vaughn Creech, ECU graphic design graduate, recalls her initial thoughts at the 2011 Student Portfolio Review: “As I sat in one of the glass-walled rooms at McKinney on Saturday morning, staring at my open portfolio and waiting to be reviewed, one of the many racing thoughts was: How do I rate? ” Similar to Anna, as a soon-to-be graduate, you might feel the same way as you complete your journey in the classroom, embark on a career in the design industry and look for guidance on what is well-received in the ‘real world.’

Consider the Student Portfolio Review to be your call-to-action: to receive broader feedback and critique from fresh, experienced eyes. While this event is not a job fair, some reviewers may be looking for potential employees or interns. This is a great way to network and become aware of who’s who in the Triangle design community.

Local design professionals provided their feedback at the end of the 2011 AIGA Raleigh Student Portfolio Review and mentioned a few key points on their expectations and what they look for when hiring a junior designer. As you prepare your portfolio, keep in mind the following:

  1. Interactive work is in high demand.
  2. Don’t make excuses. Don’t point out negativity in your work.
  3. Your personality and having people skills DO matter.
  4. DO show versatility and range of work.
  5. Showcase and know your strengths.
  6. Pursue personal projects — without classroom limitations.

Ideally, what really counts is the work itself — only show work that you’re the most passionate about and you can discuss with enthusiasm.

Plan to Bring:
Come with 6 to 8 of your best portfolio pieces. You are also encouraged to bring business cards and several copies of your resume. If you plan on showing interactive work, come prepared with a fully charged laptop. Time is very limited at these events, so be sure that your work is presentation ready. Above all, bring an open mind and a strong chin. This event is designed to provide junior creatives with the kind of brutal, honest feedback they don’t always receive from friends and teachers. It’s a tough but important rite of passage for all designers.

Are you a Professional or a Junior, Undergraduate student?
Students: We’d love for you to volunteer to pitch in to help manage the event. Be a part of having the ability to interact and network with design professionals in the Triangle area as well as getting a taste of what the Student Portfolio Review is like!

Professionals: Volunteer as a reviewer and check out the newest talent that the Triangle has to offer. Guide up-and-coming designers with your valuable insights and advice, and maybe even find that shiny, new intern you’ve been looking for.

Email Kristin Fowler if you are interested in participating:

Continue to look for more detailed information to come in regard to the AIGA Raleigh Student Portfolio Review!

Click here to Register Today!


by Kristin Fowler, commentary credited to Anna Vaughn Creech and Yvette Navarro

By Kristin Fowler
Published April 1, 2012