Home Page Photo of Rachel Higgins (by Rachel Higgins and relatives)
Last week, I worked on and completed the first version of my portfolio website and introductory video. It focuses on my media experience and it lists my writing and multimedia examples, internship experience and resume.
The main challenge when creating the website was keeping it professional, while at the same time visually appealing. For this blog, I used lilac and blue-green as theme colors, but I toned it down by using basic black and white for the portfolio. In addition, I gave it a static home page as the front page rather than the blog page and removed the blogging option entirely.
Other differences include having only a “search” bar, archives and contact info as widgets. However, one key similarity is the pictures I used with blog posts, as their exclusion made the website seem too plain.
Although the website did not take that long to put together, the introductory video was more difficult. The weekend I decided to film was windy, so my hair was in the way constantly and even with the wireless microphone, some background noise could be heard. Originally, I had planned to shoot the video outside with Honors College in the background, but I changed the location to inside the Seretean Performing Arts Center.
The Seretean is one of my favorite places on campus because of the performances and events like the Autumn Arts Gala. It also has a calm, dignified atmosphere and is relatively quiet, which is why I decided to film there.
The filming itself took between three and four hours, as I had difficulty speaking in front of the camera. I usually would either forget part of the script or mispronounce a word. When I finally obtained the footage I needed, most of my work was done and I was relieved.
Boone Pickens Stadium (via Flickr/thecollegerag)
OSU is a high-quality university and it was easy to find things to brag about for my video. I ended up filming areas that never made it to the final cut, such as the sororities, downtown Stillwater and the Seretean Performing Arts Center. However, since it was impossible to fit everything into a two-minute video, I had to decide what I thought was most impressive.
OSU’s advantages for undergraduates interested in research include Edmon Low Library and scholarships such as the Wentz. However, for incoming freshmen, the best program is the Freshman Research Scholars, which helps students find a faculty mentor, develop and present a project and awards them a $1,000 scholarship. Edmon Low Library and the Freshman Research Scholars program were obviously important to include, along with the Honors College, to attract the academically-oriented students.
For students interested in social activities, I wanted to make it clear that not only are there a lot of clubs but also that students can easily form their own. Stillwater is a small town that may come off as boring to some, but I think emphasizing that clubs can provide fun activities helps diminish that disadvantage. In addition, I wanted to bring up the Student Union as the hub of activity so interested students could see the place they are likely to spend time with friends.
Finally, I wanted students to know that OSU has places to exercise and relax, so I included the Colvin Center and Theta Pond. One thing I did not include was the sororities and fraternities.
Fraternities have been accused of everything from racism to date rape recently, with OSU having an incident with the confederate flag. Therefore, I decided not to bring up fraternities, as I feel some high school students would view them as a disadvantage.
Highlighting Oklahoma State University from Rachel Higgins on Vimeo.
Music orchestra-fragment by Chinese Pekin University Orchestra from freesound.org/xserra.
OSU is one of the best and most affordable public universities in the United States. Every high school student should consider it when applying, especially if they are interested in research.