Communications Career Day and Portfolio Seminar 2011

The Advertising Club of Buffalo and PRSA Buffalo Niagara joined forces to host the annual Communications Career Day on November 4. More than 50 college students from across the region visited New Era Cap Co. for a one-day event crafted to help them find jobs and learn how to network with some of WNY’s top communications professionals.

The event kicked-off with a panel discussion on the topic: “How I Started my Communications Career.” Our panelists included young professionals working in various agencies, large corporations and nonprofits. Guest speakers also shared well-received information on how to create a personal brand and manage online reputation while job searching. Sure, you could google some of this—but combine all the insider knowledge with real face time? Now that’s an opportunity worth nabbing.

Career day concluded with resume and interview skill sessions, and “speed networking” with some local pros. While the volunteers wiped out entire stacks of their business cards, the students filled their notebooks page after page with priceless info. We’d wish these future communications grads luck, but we’re pretty sure they won’t need it.

Portfolio Seminar 2011

It’s just a portfolio, what’s the big deal?

What’s the big deal!? Well, on November 5th, Greg Meadows, Mark Wisz, Jessica Black and Levi Neuland had lots to say about that. And design students from UB, Buff  State, Villa Maria, Daemen and Canisius got the inside scoop.

Our crew of experienced pros talked about the basics and the not-so-basics of crafting a meaningful book of work that showcases your true talent. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they suggested how many pieces to show (6 to 8), and a few recommendations on format (your iPad is ok, just practice, and boards are fine, as long as your craftsmanship is impeccable). But like a really good tell-all book, they shared the gory details of what it takes to get a second interview. What you should leave off your resume – like rampant swirlygigs, or your 4th grade position as hall monitor. And how much cologne you should wear. (In the wise words of Jessica Black, “Don’t stink.”) After almost two hours of pure, unadulterated wisdom, the pros fielded questions in an open Q&A session. Questions like “at what point do follow-ups become annoying,” “do I need to know coding,” and “what was your absolute worst interview ever.” And to top it all off, the pros shared their own portfolios so the students could literally see all this advice in action—a rare opportunity in the design world.

It was an honor to put on an event that brought together these young talented designers and wicked smart pros. Pros walked away fulfilled. Students walked away entertained, educated, and with a leg up. Thanks to all who were a part of this annual event; and here’s to the hope that it makes for fewer “worst interviews ever,” and way more “best interviews ever.”