Podcast bridges the gap between students and real-world opportunities – UofSC News & Events
Posted on: October 12, 2021; Updated on: October 12, 2021
By Matt Edwards
Pandemic or no pandemic, job hunting can seem like a difficult task.
Visual communications instructor Jason Porter recognizes that students can be anxious and question their abilities when it comes time for them to step into the real world.
“I think when students are considering careers after graduation, there’s a kind of ivory tower,” he says. “They may think, ‘Oh, I can’t get this job. I am not qualified. I’m not good enough. ‘”
But Porter also knows his students are talented and deserve the dream jobs they worked hard to prepare for. This is why he makes careers more accessible to them by welcoming guest lecturers into his class.
When the COVID-19 pandemic ended in-person classes in the spring of 2020, Porter launched his Let’s find a job podcast as a way to continue to share guest speakers with students.
In each episode, he interviews guests who work in creative media fields such as augmented reality, visual journalism, sportswear graphic design, animation design, and wedding photography.
“The guests are all based on the jobs the students want, and I try to stick to them as close as possible,” he says. “If a student says, ‘I want to move to Nashville and I’m really interested in art direction,’ I specifically want to try to find an art director in Nashville who does the type of work they want. ”
Porter strives to capture guests’ perspectives on how his DAY 560: Capstone Portfolio Development students can get into the industry and what it will take for them to be successful in their careers.
One of his favorite aspects of hosting is the interview process, which he says enthusiastically has allowed him to talk to some of his own design ‘heroes’.
“Last semester I spoke to a designer duo whose names are Adi Goodrich and Sean Pecknold, and I’m very obsessed – I have a professional crush on Adi’s work,” Porter says. “So the idea that a student was interested in the type of work he was doing, I was like, ‘This is amazing. I could not only answer students’ questions, but also meet some of my design inspirations.
Although Porter teaches less than 20 students in his Capstone Portfolio Development course, every episode of his podcast draws listeners from across the country.
One of those listeners is Kayla Reese, a December 2020 graduate from Fremont, Nebraska, who landed a job as an associate graphic designer at Gallup Inc.
After transferring to South Carolina from the University of South Dakota, Reese found her place in the visual communication streak at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and eventually had Porter for two of the four classes in her final semester. .
Porter strives to inspire students like Reese in whatever way he can and helps open doors for them, even if they don’t know those doors exist.
After Reese listened to the episode starring TV and movie graphic designer Megan Greydanus, she reached out to Greydanus to learn more about her career – a niche area in graphic design that the podcast introduced Reese to.
“I still listen to the podcast and will continue to listen because I learned so much about the different types of jobs,” Reese says. “I’ve always been very interested in the film industry, so I reached out to her to ask her how she got into the field.”
While Reese has gained a lot from Porter’s classes – namely her augmented reality and portfolio development classes – her impact on her extends beyond her time at the University of South Carolina.
“Even though I’m not trying to get into an area that one of the guests on the podcast is in, I’m still very interested in listening to it because it inspires me and motivates me to keep pursuing what I’m doing. want to do, “Reese said.
Porter finds pleasure in knowing that his podcast allows him to play a role in the professional development of students like Reese.
“Several students told me that there was a career path they hadn’t considered based on someone who had been interviewed and that they were going to contact that person,” Porter says. “Then the guests will contact me to tell me that a student has contacted me. It’s incredible. We’re connecting the career circle here, and I’m really excited about it.
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Subjects: Students, Alumni, Faculty, College of Information and Communications