In this post, we’ll be sharing the experiences of Buff Sessions. She’s the mother of Syndney Session who’s currently working on her art portfolio with Karen Kesteloot at PortPrep. This post is about their visit to a National Portfolio Day 2013 event at Virginia Commonwealth University. This is a must-read for students who are planning on attending a National Portfolio Day event this year but do not know what to expect once arriving there.
National Portfolio Day, what a zoo! As you recommended, we arrived 2.5 hours early. Technically we were first in line, but we didn’t realize that you had to sign up before getting in line so we ended up being fourth.
Let’s talk about the line. there were probably 2000+ people by the time they opened the doors. Sydney saw several of her friends, some that she met at VCU this summer in the art intensive program she attended. There were others from her school. She had a few ask to stand in line with us. She was uncomfortable with this as others behind us had been there as long as us. So we didn’t let them cut in line. If we made the effort to be there early, they could have also.
When the doors open, it was like being at the mall on Black Friday. Everyone was running to their first choice. Sydney’s was VCU, and then James Madison University. She also spoke to Moore College in PA. The responses she received was very good. All three college reps said that her portfolio was ready to submit. The rep from James Madison was conflicting. She first said it was great, and then decided it was just good.
Sydney was very nervous at first. I believe she gained more confidence after showing her portfolio. The responses she got from the 2 professors from VCU and Moore College were uplifting for her. I think she realized that she is her own worst critic. She is going to work on a couple of drawings before submitting her application. I have spoken with her Art teacher and her ceramics teacher, who are helping her with this assignment. Both of these classes are independent study so she has free time to work on this.
Takeaways from this visit
- Do your research. Look for information online about the art and design programs you’re planning to apply for. Read student and alumni reviews from sites like Art School Reviews and Yelp to get an idea on how well the program has served people. You can also visit the university or campus during your scheduled tour there. Read this post to learn how you can maximize your time on your campus tour by asking the right questions and sitting down during classes.
- Arrive early. Since the lines on well-reputed art colleges will be long during the event, it will be to your advantage if you get there two to three hours ahead of time. Not only will you beat others for the line, but you’ll also have more time to check out other schools you may be interested in.
- Avoid letting friends cut you in line. It would be tempting to have some of your friends cut you in line. But think about it – you made an effort to be early while they weren’t able to. Your friends will respect your decision.
- Be prepared. Art professors and representatives from the different colleges will be ruthless on your portfolio if necessary. Therefore, you need to get your portfolio ready for review. More importantly, you need prepare yourself to be drilled down by professors about your influences and creative process on how you came about with your artworks. Read this post to learn the right way to prepare before attending a National Portfolio Day this 2013.