Online network displays extracurriculars as resume


by Emely Navarro, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State has partnered with Portfolium, a social and professional online network, to showcase student involvement inside and outside the classroom.

Portfolium, is a networking vehicle that creates a professional profile focusing on students’ extracurricular activities. The site gives potential employers examples of what students have done in their classes or in a particular club.

For more than three years, Student Life and Leadership, Career Services and the Vice President’s office have been interested in working with various areas throughout campus to transfer paper-based portfolios online.

A committee of six people worked closely with the Portfolium company  to create a site that caters to the needs of SDSU.

It was important it provided a place for students and alumni to show their skills and experiences achieved through their roles in various organizations, Student Life and Leadership Dean of Students Randy Timm said.

“When I go on and I talk with alumni from the university they talk about the amazing experience they had being a student government leader or a leader in a student organization, but they had no way to show that on their resume,” Timm said. “This is providing that opportunity.”

Later this year, SDSU will give every student this opportunity to showcase their skills on Portfolium through a co-curricular transcript. This means that any extracurricular activity or leadership role an SDSU student has partaken in, will be available in the form of an official transcript on the site.

Currently, all databases for the co-curricular transcripts are complete. SDSU is now working on how to feed that information into Portfolium and generate certifying badges of involvement.

James Tarbox, the executive director of career services, said this site is an excellent medium for students and alumni because by promoting these specific skills, they could be more marketable to employers.

Students received three emails letting them know about the new networking site that launched Sept. 7.

On Oct. 19, an email was sent to approximately 140,000 alumni with instructions on how to create their account, said Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement Ryan DeLong. More information regarding Portfolium will also be available in the October edition of the SDSU Alumni E-newsletter.

Giving alumni access allows them to network exclusively between the SDSU community, bridging the gap between current students to alumni, DeLong said

“Portfolium not only creates a new channel for those alumni seeking employment, transversely, it allows alumni employers a better opportunity to hire Aztec graduates,” DeLong said.

Portfolium is available at no cost to all students and alumni for life.

So far more than 7,000 students have created their account and more than 4,400 signed up within the first week alone.

“My big thing is, I would really want every student to have access,” Tarbox said. “If they said, ‘No I don’t want to use it,’ that’s fine. I’d rather have them have it and have free access and be able to use than not to have it because they couldn’t afford it.”

CSU just signed a three-year contract with all campuses giving them access to Portfolium. This means that if a campus chooses to use Portfolium every student will have access to it.