|Jae Young Min talking about her own portfolio|
Have you ever heard the word ‘portfolio’? You might often think of a briefcase, a compilation of materials or data collection whenever you hear this word. These are all correct, but have you ever wondered why portfolios are important? Today, we are going to be digging into a portfolio with an electronic engineering student in the class of 2014, Jae Young Min, who won the second place prize in the national portfolio competition.
Q: Would you briefly introduce what a portfolio is to our readers?
Min: Yes, a portfolio is a kind of compilation, a career certificate of works or relevant references. Creating a portfolio is not simply collecting materials, but organizing how life is lived and constructively planning the rest of one’s life.
Q: What motivated you to apply for the national portfolio competition?
Min: I often used to participate in school activities. There were many activities for writing reports, designing a final product like a capstone design, and I combined them into a file categorized it by semester. I was trying to help juniors and thought of it as a great boon to myself, too. I have a lot of classified materials and there are many tutors who assist us at The Center for Innovative Engineering Education.
Q: I am wondering what contents you included and in which segments you were highly scored.
Min: I set the theme of my portfolio as the growth of a tree. 1. From a seed to a sprout: resume, cover letter, personality type test, activities done when young. 2. From a stem to a branch: school curriculum, all studies including major and electives. 3: From a leaf to a flower: school activities. 4. Fruitage: comprised vocational ability, performance analysis, setting my future direction, etc. I have learned this from my dad’s landscaping business. You would never know what the plant is and how it is going to grow only by looking at the seed. The same applies to people. No matter what people’s backgrounds are, their lives differentiate depending on how they nourish them. I found what I would like to do based on a series of school and vocational activities. Through participating in a variety of educational and contest programs, I had a dream of working in the IOT research industry. I was highly rated for taking advantage of major related school programs, received good feedback from every program, and found a specific dream by linking it with other programs of different areas. Also, the referees of the programs especially focus on candidates’ blueprints of what they are specifically going to do in the future when choosing outstanding portfolios. For example, the grand prize winner had everything planned out from the first year to the final year of university and made a portfolio to the extent of planning achievements.
Q: Was there anything difficult about preparing your portfolio?
Min: Above all, it was very tiring. Since I lack design skill, it was very hard to draw a blueprint when working on the portfolio. Fortunately, I got a lot of tips on how to design it from one of my co-workers in Changwon University, especially the way of simply thinking about the content and its design and finding specific materials was a great help to me.
Q: What did you feel while preparing for the portfolio competition?
Min: There are a lot of people doing various activities, but they are just doing those activities for nothing. If the activities are not recorded in the portfolio, it’s easy to forget what you did in the past. That is why I always record everything I do. I got the opportunity to participate in the portfolio competition since I organize every achievement I make. Besides, what I have felt since the competition is that my career is not a total waste even when I become employed in a year. By continuously updating my portfolio, I became confident by objectively looking at myself and saw that something good must be happening while keeping focused on my duty as a student. The reason I only won second place was, I guess, I am short of my passion. I just included a journey to my vocation, but other superior winners already made clear plans for their four years of university life.
Q: It seems like a meaningful activity in the sense of it being a life-containing process. What is your criterion to choose an activity?
Min: I do it when I am placed in a situation that I can become interested in. The school follows a trend of providing education in popular fields. The automotive field was popular when I was a sophomore, IOT and Bluetooth, a junior and drones, a senior. Since school programs follow popular fields, you should participate in these programs to keep up with the current trend. Whether a company lives or dies is decided by how much the company has kept up with the current trends. Trying one thing or another, I have become experienced in what industries need today.
Q: Please give some helpful advice to juniors who are graduating soon.
Min: Just enjoy university life during the first year. Build your fundamental knowledge of your major in the second year. In the third year, find your interests through participating in numerous vocational activities. In the final year, I advise you to intensively focus on your vocation. Activities are very important. If you don’t know what to do, just join the programs that your school supports. You’ll find your best fit in the end. Even if you get a low mark on one of your major subjects, you can always make up for it by doing another activity. Keep your balance by doing adequate studies and activities.
Lee Hun, reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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