Portfolio of Professional Practice

Time Management

Time management is managing your time so your able to complete your work successfully in a certain amount of time. Since starting the BTEC course, even before it, I saw myself as a very organised person. I would always be ready on time and never late for anything. When I started, I wasn’t as organised as I thought looking back. I would never write down my intentions, I would never do specific work at certain times. I would always just do my work when I felt necessary, say if i had deadlines before others, I would complete them as quickly as i could to get them out the way with so I didn’t have to bother with them. Although I finished the course with a Merit, Merit, Pass, I can’t help but wish that I had been more organised because I probably would have finished with a better grade. Not being smarter with my time is a regret.

nPOWER

This was an example of my work on the BTEC course before I really payed attention to time management. The reason I don’t like it is because I wasn’t careful with my time management and I wasn’t able to submit it to D&AD like I wanted to originally.

Now I am studying for my degree, ever since the start of the course I have been a lot more organised than I was before. I always make lists as to what I need to do in a day and give myself targets of what I wasn’t to achieve in a certain time frame.

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This is an example of how my time management has changed quite a bit. This is my timetable for my current Final Major Project. It shows me organising how many weeks have and what work I should have done by certain weeks. Having this level of time management and organisation takes a big weight off my shoulders, it means my stress levels aren’t as high and Im able to do my work all ready for hand in.

Its improved in me making all the stops to make sure I have enough time for different projects, with me improving my time management and writing down what I need to do at certain times has improved my work rate and increased my grades.

I am going to develop it further by including time in my scheduling. At the minute, Im only putting dates weekly, but I never include time, I feel that if I include time, it would run even more smoothly than it does now. ‘When a brief comes in, even if the job isn’t due for weeks, look through the files straight away’ (Drew De Solo, 2013), This is something I can develop doing, rather than looking through it at a later date, look straight away to plan it and become more organised.

Funding

Funding is being able to provide money to make a project better or extend it further. When I originally started the BTEC course, I found it very hard to get a job, which made it really hard to fund projects. Luckily, more or less all of the BTEC briefs didn’t require funding unless we wanted to fund it to make it better.

CallofCthulu Mockup

This was a mock up of a book cover for the famous horror ‘Call of Cthulu’. Obviously, this never needed funding at all, no one on my course funded it, but I really liked my design and I wanted to look into printing it on leather. Not for the brief, but for myself, to keep in my portfolio of work, to show people. I felt like it would of benefitted me if I would have done, but I just couldn’t afford it at the time.

This was a couple of film posters I made for the film ‘Shaun of the Dead’. We were tasked to make a movie poster to sell at Burton Market hall. I made these and I had to fund it by paying for the printing cost, the framing and the paint I splattered on it afterwards to create the blood effect. This was a great project for us to do in my opinion because it gave us a taste of what funding is and what lengths we need to take to make our work more successful and better. I ended up selling both of these for £25.

My funding has improved by gradually doing more projects after this one with university, now because I have done so many, I don’t physically go into different briefs without making sure I have spare money for printing etc.

It will improve when I leave University, because of having to move down to London with my girlfriend because of her University, I will have to freelance to make money, so I will be having to fund different projects to sell and get some recognition for clients.

Teamwork

Teamwork is being able to work as a team to do a certain project. I would say I am really good at working as a team, I am a very easy going person who allows everyones opinions and I let everyone have a part in it. Even starting on the BTEC course, I have always been good at working in teams. When we first started, we had to do a couple of tasks as teams, in which I think I did well in.

Untitled

This was a group project we had to do called ‘Glow’. A pop-up shop in which we all had to sell a piece of our work. I thought we worked really well to be fair, I have never really had a bad group project. Although we worked very well as a team, It had its issues. One of my fellow students took a very demanding role and in my opinion wasn’t being very fair on the rest of us, not letting any of us have our own say, which in my opinion is damaging on a team project, we could of all turned away at any second because of the way we were treated, but we all obviously stayed and just put as much input in as we possibly could.

This is our upcoming end of year exhibition that we were tasked to organise ourselves. Although this hasn’t been completed yet, I already feel this has been 10 times more organised than our pop up shop. Everyone has had a fair input, we have our social media pages, we as a group are putting up the exhibition and have tidied the venue etc. None of this felt like teamwork in the first project because it was being bossed about by someone. This one has felt more free and although the venue belongs to me, I have given everyone a fair input in and also they have let me give my input, so I feel we are working tons better as a team.

My teamwork has improved drastically. Like my funding, it has improved by just keep attempting it more and more. Our first was admittedly lapse, but everyone learnt from mistakes and has made this more organised.

I will improve it by continuing team projects, I want the opportunity to do more so that when I leave and I will be working as a company, I will find no issue working as a unit. ‘Adding another person to your team can expand your skill set’ (Kate Moross, 2016)

Presentation Skills

Presentation skills is being able to present and talk about your work in a more confident way. I feel that on BTEC course it was harder to bring yourself to present, especially when we first started because we were all strangers and didn’t know each other. With that being said I feel like that was useful because we might get situations in future where we do not know who we are talking to etc.

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This was our very first presentation that we did for the BTEC course. Its very plain and lacks information. This wasn’t a great presentation at all. I had no development apart from the small drawings in the corner, as well as that I can remember not being very confident in my talking and being very nervous so it effected me.

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This is my guideline page that was featured on my final presentation BBC brief in the first year of university. This is just an example of how much change there has been since the first presentation. This page alone holds more information than my whole first presentation did. Although we did not present this to the class, from the presentations we did, I feel a whole lot more confident than I did at the start.

My confidence improved when I got a retail job in the second year of the BTEC course, it really boosted my confidence and I now feel I can talk to anyone.

I will improve it and develop it further by continuing, not only that but I want to start presenting in front of people I don’t know, so i can build even more confidence to present if I was ever to be put in that situation.

Research Skills

Research skills is being able to research work in a thorough way to understand work and make your piece better. On the BTEC course I never really researched a whole lot, I never realised how thorough you can be with just writing about work.

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This is an example of research that I did on the BTEC course. This was one of the only pages I did of research. I never went into detail about the pieces of work, I simply said what it was and what I liked about it. At the time, I thought this was correct, that I should be researching this way.

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This is an example of research that I did for visual communication, In the second year of my university course. There is such a big difference in research between this and my piece above. First of all, I’ve split down into multiple subjects my research and I have made it as thorough as possible. It has over 5000 words, which is incredible when you compare it to what I used to do, obviously words aren’t a grade changer, Its the quality of the text itself but the fact I have that many words shows I go into as much detail and possible. Second of all, I have Harvard referenced every single piece that I wrote about, something that we have needed to do on the university course.

I have improved by going to every extreme of research to make my work at the best it can be, it really helps my work which is why I am happy to sit and research.

There is not a lot I can improve, I have done every element of research, including primary and secondary, but I could possibly look into doing more examples of research to make it even better.

Leadership

Leadership is taking a task into your own hands and suggesting/doing ideas to make it better. For me, it was extremely hard to get any leadership in on the BTEC course as we did not do many things as a group then, plus as well, with the group we were in, everyone had a fair say and there was never really a matter to argue or an idea to put forward that hadn’t been done. This changed a great deal when we started the university course.

With the group tasks being a ton bigger, this proved that if you don’t offer your say in situations, you won’t get what you want. Our very first group task (Glow pop-up shop, 2016) was very under control by one student, which is fine, leadership is obviously taking control of something, but it was very unfair because we weren’t aloud a say. I believe that to be a good leader you need to view other peoples opinions and listen to give a fair chance. This makes your project better.

This year we have our end of year exhibition (The Degree Show, 2017). So far even though we haven’t done it yet, I feel so much better about it than I did the other one. I had to step up and take leadership for the venue. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a space to display that fit our requirements. I then stepped up because my Dad owns a building that is ideal for us to use (3 George Street, Burton). Me stepping up as a leader for our exhibition is improving my leadership skills, something I will need because of wanting to set up my own business. Although I am leading the space of the exhibition and it is my own, everyone has their own say, I am listening to everyones opinions and giving everyone a chance. My leadership skills are good in my opinion.

To make them better, I want to have opportunity to do more, to organise more exhibitions, more events involving the public. Everyone had a say and a certain job for this and it has really made the organisation go a ton smoother than before.

Communication

Communication is built up of many things. Verbal, written and body language. I feel my verbal communication lacked slightly on the BTEC course. Verbal communication wasn’t my strong point back in college, I felt embarrassed to voice my opinion and ask for help on things when I needed it most.

In terms of written work, like in my research skills, I didn’t write a lot. I didn’t explain much to do with my work as I should of, my writing wasn’t very good and up to standard at all.

My body language back in college was also really bad. I never made eye contact when presenting, I would always slump and look at the screen. This is really bad presentation on my part and wouldn’t be acceptable on the level I am on.

All of my communication skills have gotten so much better on my university course. My verbal communication is more open, I am very confident when talking to clients and if i need help or I need to voice my opinion, I am not scared to at all. My written work has drastically improved, like I said on my research skills, I am writing a lot more and going into real detail to explain my work. My body language is a lot better as well, I am very confident in my speech, making appropriate eye contact with whom ever I need to, I stand up straight and rather than looking at the screen I present turned to the class with confidence and ease.

I will be able to develop my skills further when I am working and dealing with clients. I have already dealt with clients already, being confident in my speech, but I don’t do it very often and would like to take the challenge on a regular basis. I want to also get used to formal and informal language, I haven’t really had chance to do it much with not having many clients, but I need to get used to talking to clients in a formal way so I come across more professional.

Tech Skills

My tech skills range on a lot of software. To be fair, before I did the college course, I knew I wanted to do graphics and I was experienced with using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Powerpoint. This helped me a ton, it meant I didn’t have to get used to all of them things when starting the course and it gave me a head start in comparison to other students.

It has improved because I have had to adapt to new programs as well, since the start of the course we have also had to use Adobe Illustrator, which I am very capable of using now since I have been using it since the start of the college course. We have also had to use Adobe InDesign to present our work also. As well as this, I have also developed skills in all programs I already knew, learning keyboard shortcuts.

I will develop this further by testing out new software. Adobe are always bringing out new software and since I have the monthly subscription, I can download at anytime just to try them out. Some of the ones I have tried include Adobe Animate and Adobe Character Animator.

Pitching

Pitching is being able to pitch an idea or plan. When we did the college course we didn’t really have to pitch many things, In year 2, we had to pitch our own briefs for our final major project. I would say I was never bad at pitching a plan, but I didn’t include everything that I should of done, going to the lengths of looking at everything including health and safety etc.

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This is an example of my project proposal/pitch for a minor project we did at the start of second year in university. It goes so much more into detail than it did on the college course. This is probably the case because I didn’t do much pitching. This brief goes in to so much detail including funding, health and safety, target audience and costs. I am particularly proud of this pitch because of the amount I have done for it.

Pitching isn’t just this, Its also pitching ideas, something I had to do when we started to plan our exhibition (The Degree Show, 2017). I had to pitch my ideas of what to call it and where to have it, in which I had a really big say in. This type of pitching has also got better for me in university, because we didn’t do many team projects, I didn’t have to pitch anything before. I have improved it so much and I feel I can pitch any idea to any client now I have built up the confidence to.

I will develop it in future by pitching more ideas for live clients, when I leave university and also when/if we do an exhibition in future, I will be able to pitch my ideas with confidence and ease. Overall I am pleased with my pitching skills and to be able to improve it further in future will be a great skill to acquire, especially when I set up my own business.

References

  • Drew De Solo, 2013, Know Your Onions
  • Kate Moross, 2016, Make Your Own Luck
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