For the last three years, The Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia University has worked with Seelio, an Ann Arbor-based start up that allows students to showcase their work in an online portfolio.
The digital portfolio service is free to students and has grown since its debut in 2012. Although used by students on over 800 campuses, WVU is one of only a select number of partner universities with exclusive access to a full-service, custom network of portfolios.
“We feel very fortunate to have found Seelio for many reasons. We are able to use Seelio as a platform for student learning and development as well as collaboration in the classroom,” said Andrea Weber, associate professor and undergraduate curriculum coordinator for communication studies.
“It is a great resource for students to reflect and showcase to employers how both in-an-out of classroom learning translates to the professional world. I just can’t say enough about the flexibility and usefulness of this tool.”
David Nesbitt, the Educational Services Lead at Seelio, worked with faculty to teach students new ways to stand out to prospective employers. During his visit, Nesbitt spoke with four communication studies cornerstones and capstone classes.
Faculty learned how to incorporate Seelio into the classroom, while students learned how to use the site as an employer portfolio.
Communication Studies students are now required to create their Seelio portfolios in their cornerstones class. Throughout their college career, students are encouraged to add all of their projects to the portfolio.
Bridget Egler, a senior communication studies and marketing major, learned how to make her portfolio “employer ready” in Weber’s capstone course. Students in this course had to complete their Seelio profile and biography, as well as include a professional photo of themselves and examples of at least eight works.
“I think it’s an amazing tool, and I’m glad the communication studies department requires us to utilize it.” Egler said.
Nesbitt said that he shared tips with the students about how they can use Seelio to better prepare for talking with employers at career fairs and job interviews, as well as tailoring a message when communicating with these employers about jobs.
By using Seelio as a portfolio, employers can actually see what students have done and what they are capable of through examples of their work. Having a digital portfolio to share can really help students to stand out in an interview, said Weber.
“People can get a sense of all the things you’re experienced and worked on,” Egler said. “These aren’t just papers, they actually show how hard you’ve worked and what you know.”
Nesbitt said that he and the Seelio team are very excited to continue working with the faculty and students at WVU.
“Students asked excellent questions about how to use Seelio, which made for a very engaging time together,” Nesbitt said. “These students are now ready to use Seelio it its full potential, to document everything they do at WVU and share that compelling story with employers.”