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Preface

Preface

Welcome to Building Professionals: Creating a Successful Portfolio. We have been involved in higher education in a variety of roles and functions but always with the interest of assisting students during their college experience to prepare for rewarding and productive careers. Although our initial interest was with social work students, it soon became clear to us from our work in general education that learning ways to achieve success is an interest of all students. That interest is the same whether students are studying to be biologists, artists, business leaders, or teachers.

Building a professional portfolio is the challenge of learning about yourself and recognizing what you have learned in terms of knowledge, skills, and values in relation to your chosen field, and then finding opportunities to use them in a career. The unique framework of this portfolio prompts you to demonstrate to others (employers, professors, graduate programs, and so on) what you have learned, accomplished, or produced. Areas such as critical thinking, leadership, initiative/ follow-through, working effectively with others, and communication provide structure as users progress through the important components of portfolio development. Incorporated into each component in this book is the opportunity for mentor feedback and designing a blueprint for growth.

We hope this book will aid you in the process of discovery, recognition, and documentation of your accomplishments—whatever your chosen field.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Tara Collier, MSW, and Jeanne Link, MSW, for their contributions; Clark Johnson, Minnesota State University, for his comments and suggestions; and University of Missouri–Columbia field staff and students for trying out the reiterations of the Linking and Learning Worksheets. We would also like to thank our families, friends, and colleagues for their support.

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