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Job Search Skills: Leaving the perfect voicemail

April 17, 2013

Job searching is full of uncomfortable moments, and making phone calls is no exception. Whether you are calling to follow-up on an interview or reaching out to a networking contact, there are unspoken rules you will want to follow. Here are a few pointers to take the stress out of leaving messages.

1. Leave one. Some people just don’t leave voicemails- they prefer to call and call until they reach someone. That’s fine when it’s your friends, but in a professional context, it’s bad etiquette to call over and over without leaving a message.

2. Be brief. Leaving a voicemail becomes simple when you consider that you only need to cover a few basics. Keep it to 30 seconds of the most crucial information someone needs to make the decision to call you back. Read more…


Freelancing Tool Kit: Copyrights

April 10, 2013

If you want to get clients and job offers, people have to see your work. But as soon as your work goes online or out to potential clients, there is always a risk that someone will take it and use it as their own. This is where copyrights come in- copyrights protect your intellectual property, and give you recourse if someone does steal your stuff. Cara Dehnert Huffman, JD, spoke as part of our Freelancing Tool Kit Series this Monday and gave students basics on copyright law. A few highlights:

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Alt Careers in Photography

April 5, 2013

On April 3rd the Portfolio Center partnered up with the Photography Department and hosted a panel discussion about alternative careers in photography. The five guests represented some of the many jobs in the photography industry that don’t involve taking pictures. Two of  the guests represent photographers in gallery settings and in commercial endeavors. Another guest assists in the picture-making process as a digital tech and another as a retouching expert. And the fifth guest has worked as a lead developer for a web firm, an art director for a global ad agency and now has returned to photography, sort of, as lead developer for picturelife. Four of the five are Columbia alums.

The panelists had a lot to say about finding opportunities, transitioning to new opportunities and “rules of the road” they’ve learned along the way. Here are a few:

-Be awesome to everyone, large and small. There’s no reason not to be.
-Form a support group of friends and colleagues with similar goals. Meet regularly. Super helpful.
-Have a plan but be willing to throw it out the window at any moment and make a new plan. But have a plan.
-Your side projects are often the ones that make you grow as an artist.
-Work on projects- even after the $ meter stops running- to make them excellent…cuz it’s excellent work that makes clients come back to you.
-Stay on top of technology. It often points the direction in industry trends.

There was a ton more, but hey, you shoulda been there.

Freelancing Tool Kit: Contracts and Business Formation

March 20, 2013

Lawyer and music industry pro Justin Wexler joined us on Monday for our second Freelancing workshop of the semester. If you missed it, here are a few highlights.

Justin broke contracts down into their essential elements – an offer, and acceptance of the offer. Of course, many contracts include much more information about terms. For example, most include information on duration, usage, and geography in which a contract applies. Terms can sometimes be negotiated, but only if you understand common language. A lawyer becomes important anytime you have questions about a particular term means. In Chicago, Lawyers for the Creative Arts is a great resource for students who need access to legal services.

Justin recommended these articles by Steve Albini and Courtney Love for any musicians considering a recording contract.

Let’s throw in some bonus content on business formation! Many people think that when you launch a business, registering as an LLC is a must. In fact there are many other good (and less expensive) options to make your business official.

Join us on April 8th for Legal Basics Part 2: Copyrights!

The Good, The Bad, and The Interview

March 18, 2013

Hey all, Maddie again. I’ve come this week to set the record straight about something.

Interviews. The dreaded interview. Talking about yourself, wearing nice clothes that you didn’t just toss on, business lingo, people…with authority. Shudder, am I right? NO. Interviews are nothing to fear. Interviews can be fun, even. Work? Fun? Yes! Read more…

Navigating ColumbiaWorks

March 11, 2013

Hello fellow Columbia students, it’s Maddie again. I come to you this week with some Columbia basics. ColumbiaWorks! I’m sure you’ve all heard of it, and if you haven’t…well, honestly I’m surprised. But there’s still no shame in that! Regardless, we’ve revamped the site, so not only does it look a lot nicer with fancy designs, but it should also now be easier for you to navigate.

Now we all know that you can do a job search on ColumbiaWorks; that’s usually why you hear about it. And I’ll review that process as well. But there are a few other cool, totally 100% worth your while things that you should hear about! So let’s get started.

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The Portfolio Center Goes to WMS & WGN!

March 8, 2013

From Creative Industry Liaison Julie Ford

The Portfolio Center and Interactive Arts and Media teamed up to take students to WMS Gaming, a leader in digital and electronic gaming machines used in the casino industry.  We had a great tour led by Michelle Havrilla, Senior Staff Campus Relations as she does all the recruiting for internships for WMS.  Their campus looks unassuming from the street as WMS started as a company that made pinball and video arcade games. However, as you approach their main building it is stunning as is was just built July 2012, and is a LEED building, filled with light and airiness.


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