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Photography Students Gain Relevant Experience Through Portfolio Reviews

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 5/3/2024

Students in Iowa Central’s Photography Program had the opportunity to connect with local professionals recently for their annual portfolio review day.

Students graduating from the program met with local business owners and photographers Thursday morning to participate in mock interviews and review their work with experts in the field.

“The first few hours of portfolio day are mock interviews,” said Rochelle Green, photography program coordinator at Iowa Central. “Local business owners and professionals are here to ask them questions, test their communication skills, see how they present themselves and hear about their career goals.”

Angela Ayala, art educator and assistant director at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in Fort Dodge, volunteered her time to be an interviewer for the day.  She spoke with students about their goals and visions and how to successfully present themselves in interviews and as business owners.

“I’m looking at how confident they are; do they have clear goals, their communication skills and professionalism, can they adequately talk with people about their vision.”

Ayala said she enjoyed meeting with the soon-to-be graduates and hearing about their projects and plans.

“It has been really great to see all of their growth,” said Ayala. “They’re confident in what they have accomplished, and their interviews show just how far they have come with the program.”

Carissa Behounek, a photographer who owns a studio in Algona spent the day reviewing and critiquing the student’s portfolios.

“I’ve been looking at portfolios, their social media and welcome packets,” said Behounek. “It has been fun to work with them and see them open up to concepts and suggestions as they go along.”

Carter Hansen presented his brand through his portfolio and in how he dressed, wearing a shirt with his logo.  He said he had learned through the interviews to share details but also how to get right to the point.

“It’s been a great experience,” Hansen said. “I’ve gotten some great feedback and learned how to phrase my words so I can get to my point easily whether that is through presenting at a conference or to a client. I appreciated the chance to get one on one with people and learn from them.”

Photography student Kelly Toler said the portfolio review experience was fun and worthwhile, but also a test of her nerves.

“It’s been both fun and nerve-wracking,” said Toler. “I’m not used to talking about myself, but I have gotten great feedback and critiques on professionalism and how to best present myself.”

“It has been a pleasure and I feel like I have gotten the experience I needed out of this,” said student Rachel Gibbs. “The interviewers really have our best interests in mind, and I have enjoyed the process of learning the things I might need to know going into a real interview.”





Photography Students Gain Relevant Experience Through Portfolio Reviews

Diversity is important to me. For people to learn and grow, there must be diversity in the workplace, schools, and sports. That is another reason I wanted to go to Iowa Central; there are so many people here from across the world, all with different backgrounds and life experiences. I saw Iowa Central as an opportunity not only to grow in both academics and in athletics, but also to become a stronger person.

Lilia Alvarez
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