At Portfolium, nothing motivates us more than hearing about our users’ success stories!
We recently talked to one of our most impressive users, Jesse Sidhu, to find out how he’s using his e-portfolio to record his projects, collaborate with teammates, and impress employers! With 26 entries, 102 likes, 57 connections, and 15 Staff Picks, Jesse a is without a doubt a true Portfolium rockstar. He’s also brilliant, very successful, and an all-around nice guy… so I’d definitely listen carefully to what he has to say!
Who: Jesse Sidhu
University: UC Irvine
Major: Aerospace and Material Science Engineering
P: Tell me about yourself – interests, major, school, hobbies, dream job, etc.
J: I just finished my B.S in Aerospace and Material Science Engineering at UC Irvine and I’ll be heading to USC this fall to start my Ph.D in Astronautical Engineering. I’m a pretty big space geek so I try to spend time outside of work and school showing people how cool space really is, especially elementary students. I hike and surf whenever I get the chance and love good food. I’ve been really lucky to have my first job be my dream job, working for NASA has been a lot of fun, I hope I can get the opportunity to help people get to other planets and eventually other solar systems.
P: When did you make your Portfolium, and what motivated you to do so?
J: I made my Portfolium towards the end of my junior year at UCI (May 2014). I was getting serious about applying for jobs and figured that I needed to show employers all the projects that I worked on. I looked into making an e-portfolio and I happened to stumble upon Adam’s Portfolium and saw all the cool projects he worked on. We both have a similar academic background so it was cool to know that his work was getting attention and appreciation.
P: What do you like the most about Portfolium?
J: Outside of being able to showcase my projects, I really enjoy being able to show people that I was involved with several other projects with my friends. Being able to tag my friends in projects shows a valuable skill in teamwork and I know for a fact that nobody wants to hire an engineer that can’t work well with others.
P: What types of entries do you display on your Portfolium?
J: Most of my entries are the class projects, research projects and extra-curricular activities that I’ve worked on over the years. In particular, all of my entries are related to engineering in some way or another. My class projects are mostly from my upper-division coursework.
P: How has it contributed to your online presence?
J: I don’t use social media all too much but I frequently make sure that my LinkedIn and Portfolium are as up-to-date as possible. I do this to ensure that I have all my material ready to go when I am applying for jobs.
P: Has it had an influence on your job search?
J: Without a doubt, Portfolium has made a huge difference in the success of my job searches. This past year I’ve received job offers form SpaceX, Lockheed Martin as well as NASA. When I apply(ied) for jobs, I usually export my Portfolium to a PDF and submit it with my application and in most cases my interviews have covered a lot of the projects that I mentioned in the PDFs. Of the job offers that I received, the interview usually focused on a particular project that I included on my Portfolium. This past fall, I applied to a single university for grad school and it so happened that I got accepted there. When I applied to USC, I also attached my Portfolium with my application so that the admissions officers and prospective mentors could see all the projects that I worked on. When I got accepted, not only did I receive funding but I also received an offer to work as a graduate researcher.
P: How do you think Portfolium is helpful for engineers?
J: I think Portfolium has been an indispensable tool for engineers like me. Many of my friends have also enjoyed showcasing their work and receiving job offers from various companies. The job search process has transformed from the days of submitting a paper resume to H.R and I think Portfolium is definitely changing the way students in general, apply for jobs during/after college. Many of my engineering professors said that they never “applied” for a job, in that they would turn in a paper copy of their resume to HR and wait to hear back from them for an interview. Nowadays, engineering students have to go through several interviews before getting a job offer and in most cases getting the first interview is the most difficult. I truly think that Portfolium is doing an awesome job of helping change an outdated job application process.
P: What advice would you provide to individuals who are in the process of making a Portfolium and how does an individual use a Portfolium effectively?
J: If you’re working on awesome projects at school and take the time to make it look great (i.e presentable), making a Portfolium should be very easy. It’s a great way to organize and showcase your skills to prospective employers. If you want to take advantage of all that Portfolium has to offer, I would start by saying that your project description shouldn’t be two sentences but it shouldn’t be a page either. Take the time to discuss what you learned and the skills that you used/gained in the process of working on this project. Additionally, attach any and all relevant files and pictures to make sure you entry looks great. Make sure you refer to these files/pictures in your description so people know what they are looking at. Lastly, make sure you tag your friends, chances are that you probably worked on that project together in/outside of class.
A HUGE thank you to Jesse for his time and invaluable advice! If you have any questions for Jesse, feel free to shoot him a message via Portfolium.
Have you ever used your Portfolium to land a job? We want to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story!