Portfolio Center plans ‘tWork’ to prepare students for careers


Dolly Nguyen

The topics of discussion at each meeting are dependent on the needs of its attendees, said Michael Goode, career development coordinator at the Portfolio Center.

By Campus Reporter

In alignment with the collegewide Strategic Plan’s goal of better preparing students for the workforce, The Portfolio Center has created a series of group discussions focusing on students’ transitions from the classroom to a successful post-graduation career. 

The series, “tWork,” which is a play on “twerk,” will take place Thursday afternoons throughout the semester and consist of regular group meetings for students or alumni who have questions about their job search, said Michael Goode, the career development coordinator at the Portfolio Center. 

“It’s a group discussion born out of the idea of a job club, which is more or less a support group for job seekers,” Goode said.

“tWork” gives students and alumni an opportunity to share resources and can help students feel more confident in their job searches, according to Goode.

“tWork” was not created in response to the Strategic Plan’s outline of career initiatives, but the goals of both complement one another, Goode said.

Christie Asif, executive director of the Portfolio Center, said the center has done two series’ called “Boot Camp” and “Launchpad” in previous years, but staff members thought the former terminology was intimidating.

“We wanted to create something that was more accessible to students, and it started with ‘transition to work,’” said Jamie Shaw, assistant director of Career Development at the Portfolio Center. “We had the idea that we’d abbreviate it to something catchy, hoping it would get students’ attention and help them understand [that] sometimes preparing for a career, while very serious, is not a terrifying thing.”

Asif said the Portfolio Center and opportunities like “tWork” offer support to every student, regardless of experience or career interests.

“We want to instill the idea that portfolio developing is a process and not just something you do at the end of your senior year,” she said.

One of the series’ goals is to help students find a variety of opportunities, whether they want freelance, part-time or full-time work, Shaw said.

Shaw added that in addition to a college education, work experience is a necessary component for post-graduation success.

“It’s important that students are working or have an internship if they are able to do so,” Shaw said. “[Students] need to be getting that experience in college.”

Shaw said the series is a good networking opportunity for students because they have an opportunity to speak and connect with successful alumni working in their fields.

“Because there are people coming from different places in their career development, people learn from each other,” Shaw said. “Students and alumni are not only getting support from us as staff members, but they are also going to get the support from their peers and colleagues.”

Asif said the Portfolio Center already strives to improve the way students present their body of work, and in alignment with the Strategic Plan, a new series like “tWork” is meant to help students better understand the importance of a portfolio and how they can vary in content depending on each major.

“There is a lot you can do with a portfolio, but sometimes the word ‘portfolio’ doesn’t resonate as much [with students],” Asif said. “Portfolio developing is a process.”