The 1st Annual ePortfolio Showcase was held on Monday, October 28th at The Cabral Center on campus. The event, attended by more than 50 students, alumni, and faculty, recognized the top 4 ePortfolio ‘authors’ for 2018-19: Josh Gelinas, Jessica Kline, Jingyi Lyu, Liz McCarthy.
Dr. Ed Powers kicked off the ceremony, providing an overview of the ePortfolio program and how it has evolved as a central feature of the Corporate and Organizational Communication master’s program at Northeastern. The honorees were selected by a panel of members of our Alumni Advisory Council.
The judges evaluated 12 ePortfolios, completed during the 2018-19 academic year, that were nominated by the program’s full-time faculty. Ratings were based on four criteria: Student reflection on their learning journey, writing quality excellence, communicative fluency, including the creative use of multimedia, and “going beyond” by focusing on volunteer involvement, campus engagement, and professional networking.
According to Powers, “The ePortfolio is an opportunity for students to reflect on what they’ve learned and how it applies to their career aspirations It’s an ideal way for them to tell their story.” And tell their story, they did!
Jessica Kline, the Associate Director of Internal & Brand Communications at Blueprint Medicines, explained her mindset while creating her ePortfolio. “I thought, if someone only has five minutes to look at this, what do I want them to know?” With that in mind, she focused on course highlights and creating links to her project. She also spent a great deal of time considering and creating a “visual experience” for readers by including images and videos she thought they would find appealing. This approach paid off, as in addition to “demonstrating an impressive utilization of multimedia”, the judges found Klein’s ePortfolio both “easy to digest” and “interesting to look at”.
Jingyi Lyu’s work was recognized for being “comprehensive and integrated”, as well as for her strong organizational skills. Lyu explained that because she doesn’t have much work experience, she chose to focus on her interests, skills, and abilities. “The ePortfolio was an opportunity for me to show people who I really am. For instance, I love making videos because it allows others to see another side of me outside of school.”
Liz McCarthy is currently a Public Affairs Specialist at The U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Massachusetts. Her ePortfolio was recognized for “great storytelling” as well as her ability to continuously reflect and apply her learnings to her job. As McCarthy commented, “What I do naturally is reflect. I take a lot of lessons and carry them with me. Telling my story and reflecting on my experiences, both in my coursework and on-the-job, is what I did in my ePortfolio. I also focused on the courses and subjects that resonated with me.”
Our fourth honoree, Josh Gelinas, Director, Citizenship and Sustainability at AT&T, is based in North Carolina. The , judges praised Josh’s “deep reflection combining his 20 years of work experience in a range of communication roles and his study in the program.” (You can learn more about Josh’s experience in our program in a previous blog post.)
Dr. Patty Goodman then led a panel discussion with the honorees and Ellen Goldman, Senior Associate Director Employee Engagement and Career Design.
Goldman underscored the value of the ePortfolio beyond its role in the Corporate and Organizational master’s program. The ePortfolio, she noted, is a tool in the job search process: “The ePortfolio tells your story to potential employers. You can show who you really are. As long as you’re authentic, your professional brand will shine through. You’ll also get an easier interview because you’ve already prepared. The interview turns from a question and answer session to more of a conversation and then they can picture you in the role. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your communication fluency.”
The honorees agreed. As McCarthy explained, “It’s given me a lot more confidence. Now I look at a potential communication role in an organization and think: I know that I now have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills and the experience to do that.”
And Lyu summed up her experience in the job search process: “I used to be afraid of the question, What did you learn in school and how can you connect it to a career? Now I can show them: This is what I’ve achieved and I can explain how it can help me contribute to their organization.”
Special thanks to our Alumni Advisory Council ePortfolio judging panel: Hassan Al-Baghdadi, Minam Choi, Layla Jahrami, Tara McDonough Fritz, Julie Myers, Clara Rivera Vargas, Alex Rochefort, and Zurui Yan.
To learn how our program has implemented ePortfolio using a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach and to ‘tour’ our honorees’ ePortfolios, click here.
Post by Kerry Murphy, CPS’18