Student Success: Portfolio Building

We recently connected with Micro-Intern all-star Teagan Ferraby to hear about the 11 Micro-Internships she had already completed, and the 12th she had recently been hired for as of this writing.  Teagan, a Graphic Design major at the Cleveland Institute of Art, shared how Micro-Internships have allowed her to gain professional experience and build her portfolio.

Q: How did you hear about Parker Dewey?
Teagan shared that she likes to keep an eye out for any sort of job or opportunity boards related to freelance work or graphic design, so when she found out about Parker Dewey via social media, she knew she had to check it out. 

"It was easy to make an account and apply for opportunities, so I started to apply to everything I found interesting."

Q: What intrigued you about the Micro-Internship model?
Like many students, Teagan had an idea of what she wanted to do with her career, but didn't necessarily start college knowing the specifics. Micro-Internships gave her an opportunity to make more informed decisions about her career goals while building her portfolio, gaining professional experience, and getting paid.

"Honestly, my goal when I started was income. As a college student, I didn't have a ton of time for a job because my class load varies week to week. That's why the short-term projects work so well for me. They also allow me to learn a lot while regularly making new connections. There are so many paths you can go down with graphic design - logo design, social media design and strategy, print design, etc. With Micro-Internships, I've been able to experiment in a lot of these areas through real-life application instead of just class projects."

Q: How have you benefitted from Micro-Internships?
While not a given, Teagan shared that  "Everyone I've worked with through Parker Dewey has always encouraged me to share my work", which has helped her land even more opportunities.

The portfolio additions that come from Micro-Internships have also only expanded as many of Teagan's supervisors have either brought her back on for repeat projects or longer-term opportunities. 

"These experiences really teach the importance of understanding and delivering on expectations. Generally employers are really helpful and excited. They understand the you're a student and want to help you and see you be successful - not only for you, but also for them and their project."

Teagan has also seen the added benefit of her own expertise and skills improving as a result of Micro-Internships. One of her earlier Micro-Internships prompted her to jump into the world of social media - something she wasn't as familiar with before, but now uses effectively in other Micro-Internships, regular job, and in-progress thesis project.

"Looking at my work from last year to this year, the real life experience and feedback has improved my skills so much more than a classroom setting alone would have. Class critiques are helpful,  but pleasing an employer pushes so much more for growth than doing a project for yourself."

Q: What would you say to an employer considering posting a Micro-Internship?
"It's a really nice thing for specialized projects because you can get that knowledge without the hiring commitment, and if you do want that knowledge long-term, it's like a long informative interview. Especially in graphic design, if you use a Micro-Internship in your hiring process, you don't have to worry about whether their work ethic will match their portfolio, because you'll get to see for yourself."

Q: What would you say to a friend considering setting up an account on Parker Dewey?
Teagan is no newcomer to searching for opportunities. Before creating a profile on Parker Dewey, she already had accounts on a variety of other job search sites, and had this to say about Parker Dewey:"It's the easiest application platform I have ever used with the best results."

In fact, logging in to Parker Dewey is part of Teagan's morning routine, and she encourages other students do to the same.

"It's the same as any job search. You're not going to get every job you apply to. Whether it's freelance, internships, or full-time career jobs. Apply to 10, interview for two, maybe you get one. It's a numbers game. If you do see something that interests you, it takes not even 15 minutes to write something up and apply for an opportunity that could have a big impact."

Q: What does the future hold for Teagan?
Teagan shared that the social media knowledge she built in a previous Micro-Internship has lead her to the one she was recently hired for, and she's excited to dig in. Longer-term, Teagan is looking forward to graduation and is engaging both the network and portfolio she has built in her full-time job search. She's looking forward to continuing to do remote design work, hopefully with a dog by her side in the near future. "Eventually" she said with a smile on her face, "my goal is to buy a puppy with money from a Parker Dewey project".

 

JULY 2022 UPDATE:

Teagan, now a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, is working full-time as a graphic designer. She also has a new furry coworker, the 'hiring' of which was partially funded by Teagan's 18 completed Parker Dewey projects. Meet Roa!

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