If you’re taking an online class, you’re probably already preparing to advance your career. Classes will get you to your degree, but they’re so much more than that. Here is how you can get the most out of your online classes to prepare you for your career:
It’s one thing to learn something in a class, but it’s another to put it into practice. You should try to do more than what you’re assigned. This way, you won’t do something once and move on. You’ll have a better chance of retaining new information and perfecting a new skill if you do this. But it’s still not enough to practice a skill; you need to show that you actually know it.
This is where your portfolio comes in. Your portfolio allows you to show samples of your work to potential employers. Some jobs explicitly request that you show a portfolio. Even if they don’t, you should include a link to yours on your resume. In this digital age, it’s a good idea to have yours online. Personally, I created a Google site for mine, but there are many options to choose from. Find what you like best.
In your portfolio, you want to include any work that you think best shows off your abilities. You can show off a wide variety of skills that you have, but you want to tailor it for the field you’re going in to. For example, if you’re going into graphic design, you want to focus on your design skills rather than your ability to write news reports.
Save all the work you did for class and see what you think would be appropriate for your portfolio. Look at the feedback your instructors gave you and edit your work before putting it in your portfolio. This ensures that high-quality work will be going into your portfolio, showing potential employers that you are a qualified candidate. What goes into your portfolio isn’t limited to what you do in your online classes, but those assignments can help give you an extra boost as you move forward with your career.
Stephanie Lass is an undergraduate student pursuing her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing at Webster University.