This weekend, on November 19th, AAF Buffalo hosted its annual Portfolio Seminar event, where three advertising pros from the Buffalo area talked about their experience crafting, presenting, and sharing a killer portfolio. This year we were joined by Katie Hazel a Group Creative Director at Crowley Webb with over 20 years of experience in the field. Brittney Sikora, Freelance Designer & Art Director with nearly ten years of great projects under her belt, joined us as well. Last but not least, we were also joined by recent Buffalo State graduate Jennifer Leising, who’s been loving her first year of design experience at Fourth Idea. Each speaker brought unique experiences to the table and shared what’s been successful for them and what might work for students as they hunt for that first job.
From networking tips to the amount of work you should include in your portfolio to which website builder to choose tons of tips were shared during our time together. Below are some quick takeaways:
- Quality over quantity of projects always!
- Push your project’s concept into different mediums uniquely instead of creating more mockups with the same graphic.
- Pace yourself and celebrate the small victories. Portfolios aren’t created overnight.
- Get out there! Networking is challenging, but coming to AAF events and making small steps to put yourself out there can have a huge benefit when you take the next step in your career.
- Submit your work to the American Advertising Awards and the Don Nichols Scholarship Competition. Agencies keep their eyes on this (Katie included).
- Be yourself. Create projects you’re passionate about and let that authentic love for your work come through when sharing it. This makes it easy to find a work environment that you truly feel comfortable in.
The tips in the bullets above represent a fraction of what Katie, Brittney, and Jennifer covered over the weekend, so mark your calendars for next November when three more Buffalo creatives will talk about what they think makes a killer portfolio.