Emily Wolfkiel’s reflection on the portfolio process (Artifact L), SDA e-portfolio 2013:
This process was trying at times, as I am not much for reflecting—I sometimes feel that I reflect too much in this program, but then I do not know if that is possible. I much prefer reflecting through dialogue, and found the task of written reflection to be tedious at times. Now that I have completed this undertaking, however, I am happy to have had the chance to make greater meaning of all the things I have learned along the way. I have had the opportunity to make intentional connections between course content and professional practice, and can speak to my experience in the SDA program in a comprehensive way. This process has also helped prepare me to talk about my learning in the job market and with other professionals, which is a valuable skill to have moving into the future. I find that in the professional interviews I have completed up until this point, I feel more prepared if I have spent time reflecting beforehand. Working on this portfolio project while simultaneously searching for my first professional job have made me more comfortable with the ambiguity of what my life will look like after graduation.
The portfolio process helped me recognize within myself an ability to take a large, daunting task and separate it into manageable parts. I held myself to a timeline, and this self-discipline was critical to me completing this project. Though I have always considered myself a high achiever and diligent, I worried that at this point in my academic career I would not have the energy to finish strong. I am pleasantly surprised to have proven myself wrong, though I certainly cannot take all the credit. At the beginning of the SDA program, I very much wanted to put 100% into everything that I did in graduate school; while I still have that ambition, I have realized that sometimes life happens, and sometimes things do not turn out as you would hope. I am proud of this final portfolio, as I feel I have truly given it my all despite challenges that I have faced this year.
I am grateful to have had an opportunity to look back at my accomplishments and learning over the past two years in the SDA program. It has felt like a whirlwind at times, and to be near the end of my SDA career is both exciting and daunting. Through the portfolio process, I have identified ways in which I have grown over the past two years, and ways that I hope to continue to grow in the future. I am at peace with my experience and the challenges I faced along the way. I am grateful to my peers and classmates for their support in our collective journey through this assignment, and I thoroughly enjoyed opportunities to commiserate, share work spaces, or offer advice. I do not think I could have completed this task without the help of my peers.
Looking ahead, I hope this portfolio serves as a reminder of all the hard work I have put into my graduate degree. I hope that I can look back on it and remember the joys and frustrations that I endured. It was not easy; in fact it was much harder than I anticipated. Finally, I am excited to revisit my experience in the future and discover new things about myself that I am unable to see at present.
Please feel free to explore my portfolio at the following link: http://emilywolfkiel.weebly.com/index.html