Carbone Smolan, Pearlfisher, Sequel, Frog: What these names have in common, apart from being top design firms, is that all of them hired Portfolio Center graduates just a few weeks after this year’s portfolio review in New York City.
Each Fall, the days following their graduation are not a quiet time for Portfolio Center grads. Instead, they’re tucked away in their workspaces as usual, making changes to their books and trying to one-up one another with takeaway items to give to the industry professionals they’ll soon be meeting in the Big Apple. Their long hours are mirrored by the school’s administration, who work every year to make sure this amazing opportunity goes off without a hitch. As portfolios are being tweaked and reprinted, portfolio review invitations are being sent out to the top design and advertising professionals working today.
One crisp New York morning the review begins at 11 a.m. sharp and quickly picks up speed. For the rest of the day the room is full of guests from some of the country’s most respected companies and agencies, who listen to the graduates present their books. Every year these agencies accept the invitation to view Portfolio Center’s work, and every year they leave talking about the high quality of the work they’ve viewed. By six that evening, the graduates are hoarse but happy, and their visitors leave impressed, inspired, and—quite often—ready to hire.