Portfolio Day: How do DMACC students “measure” up?

PD14_Profile-webSince 1972, the Graphic Design program has hosted an event every year for graduating students called Portfolio Day. Students display a portfolio of their finer work for prospective employers, family, and colleagues, and network with industry professionals. Around 300 professionals from many creative disciplines are invited to the event.

Last year, students from DMACC’s Web Development and Graphic Technologies programs also participated in the event. This year, Photography will be the fourth program to participate in Portfolio Day.

Michael Blair is a professor of Graphic Design and handles the coordination of the event. “It made sense to include all of the creative programs under DMACC’s Advanced Manufacturing umbrella in Portfolio Day.” Blair said.

Dave Beltrame is the program chair of Graphic Technologies. “These programs used to be separate, but now they are collected together under the graphics umbrella. Graphic Technologies used to have its own display event done through MPGA, a printing organization, as well as an open house on campus. Portfolio Day collaborates all the programs with one event.” Beltrame said.

Indeed, with four programs involved in the event, the attendance will be higher than if each was to host a smaller event separately.

Because many companies are now using integrated media for their companies, many employers will be looking at the work from all of the programs.

Jeff Gullion is the program chair of Web Development. “All of these programs are complimentary, and when you combine their skills side by side, it creates a powerful effect.” Gullion said.

The event will be hosted at Hoyt Sherman Place this year on April 17 at two times: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free to attend and is open to the public.

In the past 42 years of the event, it has been at several venues including the World Food Prize building, Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Science Center, and Des Moines Art Center. “We have held the event on Campus some years, but found that we get more professionals to attend if it is more centrally located.” Blair said.

This is not just a showing of artwork like you might see at a state or county fair. It is possible that some students could be hired or at least called in for an interview through the event.

“I’ve been to other Portfolio Days here, mainly to see the design and art work” Gullion said. “What I liked most is the preparation to present to the public. Watching students be able to be proud of their work … we’re delighted that we can be a part of it”.

Students and friends are encouraged to attend the event, not only to enjoy creative and imaginative artwork, web work, and photography, but also to show support for their fellow DMACC students.

“I would encourage other programs to attend the event. It might give them a model to possibly host their own similar event. At the very least, the event might spark some ideas for the other programs.” Beltrame said.

“Any program for an occupation that presents their work to the public needs and event like this.” Gullion said.

So save the date: April 17 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. Refreshments will be served for the guests. See how DMACC graphics students measure up.

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