The Crowell School of Business requires all of its graduates to develop an ePortfolio website. This assignment, now scheduled to be completed in the BUSN 220 Management Information Systems course, is also a requirement to be accepted into the Crowell School of Business (beginning with the 2015-16 catalog year). Your ePortfolio is an opportunity for you to develop a website that is presentable to employers for future job and internship opportunities. You will continue to work on the ePortfolio through your entire time as a Business major and it will be finally assessed in your concentration Capstone course.
In a job market that is extremely competitive, professional ePortfolios give students a unique opportunity to showcase their experience online. A well crafted website can be the difference maker when it comes to standing out among the competition when applying for a job. This ePortfolio assignment will be your first step in developing a quality website that will showcase your academic and professional experience to recruiters. You will be adding to your ePortfolio as you progress through the business program.
Before you get started, take a look at what you will be building. Here are some examples of recent ePortfolios built by students from the Crowell School of Business. You can find even more examples further down this page.
You can find more ePortfolio examples at the ePortfolio Showcase page.
Here are the steps to completing this assignment:
Step number one in creating your ePortfolio is to close your computer, pull out a notebook, then STOP and THINK!! Think about the personal brand that you want your website to communicate to those that view it. In other words, what do you want the recruiter looking at your website to think about you? Do you want them to know you are a social media expert? Do you want them to know you are an aspiring marketer in the field of real estate? Having a personal brand will help give you direction as you build your website. If you don’t know how you want to brand yourself that’s okay, but these are the type of things you should be thinking about as you build your website and prepare for your professional career.
Be sure to check out this advice on how to build a personal website.
There are many website building platforms which you can use to build your ePortfolio. Many students have chosen to work on Squarespace, Wordpress, and Wix. Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages; some are free and some have a monthly cost. If you are unsure which platform to use, speak with your professor about which one would be best for you to use. The instructional videos that go along with this web page are currently based off using Squarespace as a platform.
The more you know what you are able to do on your building platform, the better your website will be. Spend at least 30 minutes just messing around with the platform and template you have chosen. How do you change the header fonts? Does the template automatically resize pictures? How do you edit the main navigation? These are the type of question you should be asking yourself as you initially work with your template.
It is now time to determine which pages should appear on your ePortfolio. Your ePortfolio should contain information about who you are, your professional experience, and your academic experience. This is the section where you need figure out how to communicate that information. At a minimum, you should have four pages: a home page, a page to show off your accomplishments, a page to describe who you are in some detail, and a page for your resume. You may want to create more than one page to show off your accomplishments, breaking them down by category (such as “class projects”, “internships”, etc.). You are welcome to be creative and add other pages as well, such as a page to show off your travel experiences, hobbies, or a Contact Me page. It is up to you to decide which pages you need based off what message(s) you want to convey about yourself.
Your goal is to make your website as easily to navigate and understand as possible. This includes your main navigation bar (main menu) at the top of your website, the buttons that help your audience move around your website, and any secondary navigation bars you might have. Be sure to think through the best way to navigate the pages you develop.
Examples: This main menu from johntounger.com is simple and gives clear direction for the different sections of this ePortfolio. This navigation from hannahellenwood.com is also very simple, but when you hover your mouse over the “Experience” option you get a drop down menu. You may want to consider something like this, if you have enough experience outside of the classroom to create a whole page about it.
A great looking website is defined by how the content is placed on the website pages. You don’t want to just throw massive amounts of text on the website next to a huge picture. You want to lay all of your content out very simply on the webpage.
If you don’t have a great “design eye” I would recommend using design blogs, Pinterest, or Tumblr for design inspiration. Pinterest is my favorite resource to see how great designers are laying out their websites.
Here are a couple great links to resources:
For each page, be sure you think through what content you can provide. Ideally, you will want to select items that have a good mixture of images and descriptive text. If you have a video or audio file that you can include, that will add an extra dimension of richness.
When you want to highlight your experiences (both academic and extra-curricular), choose projects where you can demonstrate your accomplishments through both narrative text and an artifact, such as a file attachment or video. For example, if you did a marketing project that you would like to highlight, you will want to be able to describe it on the web page and then also include a link to the actual project. If you did a presentation that you think would be a valuable contribution to the site, include a description, a link to the slides, and (ideally) a video of the presentation. You could also add in any metrics you have on a project. For example if you had a social media internship, by what percentage did you grow the account? Do you have graphs that can show this?
Besides providing proof of your talents, the ePortfolio will also demonstrate to potential employers your critical thinking skills. In order to do this, you will need to provide some reflection on one or more of your assignments. This shows the person viewing your profile that you are learning from your experiences. More details on this will be given in the deliverables section.
For this assignment, you are required to complete the following list of deliverables:
Please review the attached rubric for details on how this project will be graded.
Please remember that you will be expected to maintain your ePortfolio for the entire time you are a student in the Crowell School of Business.