Each college student leaves their university equipped with three things: knowledge, a diploma, and an official academic transcript. BYU-Idaho is looking to add to this list with a recently-adopted network called Portfolium, which will serve as an individualized leadership transcript.
The adoption of this new network—Portfolium—fulfills the university’s goal of finding a program that highlights a student’s experiences while attending BYU-Idaho, enabling students to showcase those accomplishments to future employers. Portfolium is essentially an online leadership transcript, where students can post both academic and extracurricular achievements.
“You have your academic transcript, which shows your grades and how well you have done here academically, but we wanted to show students’ involvement, volunteer opportunities, projects, and so forth,” said Debbie Peck, portfolio manager for Student Life and Research and Strategy. “We wanted to show that BYU-Idaho values the experiential achievements of students as well as their academics.”
Portfolium, which is available at no charge to all BYU-Idaho students, mirrors a social media networking site, allowing students to build a profile where they can establish connections with others and upload projects they have completed that demonstrate their skills.
“If you’ve mastered the cello, you can upload a video showing your skills,” said Kyle Martin, Student Services managing director. “If you’ve written a paper you’re proud of or have written a successful story, you can upload that to Portfolium.”
Once a student completes a profile, employers can connect with the student and view all of his/her uploaded materials.
“This allows students to network with each other and employers. More than 125,000 employers who are on this network can see potential employees who have demonstrated certain skill sets they might be looking for,” Peck said.
Portfolium serves as an extensive online resume that can easily be shared with potential employers.
“When employers ask for a resume, students can send a link to his or her own Portfolium profile. These profiles won’t just tell employers about the skills that students have acquired, but will prove these skills are there,” Martin said.
One of the core values of a BYU-Idaho education is that it prepares students for the real world. Portfolium accomplishes this by taking projects and assignments out of the classroom and pulling them from I-Learn to allow students to use them to market themselves.
“Instead of students just learning in their own sphere, this program opens up their world to many of the things happening around them,” Peck said. “It matches a student’s employability with the employer’s needs.”
Portfolium has created an opportunity for students to prove that they have valuable skills, and is an opportunity that should be readily taken.
“Students should begin building their profile from the moment they step foot on campus,” Martin said. “They should add to it thoughtfully throughout their time here, so that way they can ultimately leave this campus with a robust resume of experience.”
Peck also said that faculty members have the opportunity to increase the relevance of their curriculum because of the benefits of this program. Faculty can log on to Portfolium and see what students from other classes are doing, which could help them create projects for their own students that will be professionally relevant.
“We want to be sure we are offering the right skills and be on the forefront with our course curriculum design to make sure we are aware of market trends and how to best make sure our students are successful when leaving BYU-Idaho,” Peck said.
Portfolium, which aims to benefit students, employers, and faculty, should be viewed as an important tool in a student’s post-graduation job search. Equipped with this tool, students will be able to apply their learning experientially and be better suited to enter the real world.
“We want the students to know that we feel their academic career is very important and we want to provide a broad experience of all they could learn,” Peck said. “We similarly want them to know we understand that their leadership and experiential opportunities are just as important.”