Sometimes you don't have to go anywhere to be given an amazing opportunity and it's just a matter of recognizing it on time.
Last week in the exact same building I work in every day, an interesting training course took place and I had the possibility to attend. People gathered from different countries to learn about online portfolios and their role in today's society.
Every person had his own reason for participating and they had very different backgrounds - from students to youth workers to microbiologists and economists! Different aspirations, different ideas. We were quite a colorful bunch. After getting to know each other and exchanging our fears and expectations about the upcoming week, we started to think about online portfolios. What exactly are they? Where can we find them? Why are they used? Soon we realized that if we wanted one for future employment, we should have a CV on it as well. Thankfully, one whole afternoon was devoted to that topic. We got some guidance from a wonderful woman with a lot of experience who patiently answered all of our questions. Also, we discussed writing letters of intent and got some tips for job interviews. How amazing is that! :D The following days were dedicated to a more practical approach and we were reviewing portfolios of others, noticing some good practices as well as those which we would have to avoid. After the discussion we started working on our own portfolios on a very user friendly platform. Maybe it didn't give us as much options as we would like in some areas, but it looked professional and gave us enough freedom overall. I was thrilled to devise and build my pages and tweak the design to suit all of my needs. In the end we realized how much work does it actually take to assemble the complete portfolio. All taken into account, the trainers were very satisfied with the results.
To take a rest from the computer screen, we were analyzing the needs of youth and ways they could benefit from an online portfolio. We touched the topic of education and carefully drew the line between different ways to learn: formal education, non-formal education and informal learning. Furthermore, we had a session about emotional intelligence and how influential is it in our lives. We got another bonus as well – a short yet very important lesson about optimizing our portfolios for search engines. As we were slowly reaching the end of the seminar, we brainstormed and wrote proposals for possible projects involving the knowledge we gained through that week. We discussed the ideas and maybe, at some point in the future some of them will be realized. The week ended with hugs and emotional goodbyes.
By actively participating in the seminar, we took one step closer to establishing our online presence. Motivated and full of inspiration, we are continuing towards our dreams.