5 reasons why portfolio school is completely worth it

Here’s the thing: everything has pros and cons. Nothing’s going to be worth 100% of the time. Sometimes you’ll try something out, and it just won’t be for you.

But other times, it will be.

We want to look past the pain and doubt that comes with going to any school, and talk about the good, shiny, sparkly side portfolio school (we’ll cover the bad later, of course, maybe next week when I’m in a shittier mood).

Here are five reasons why portfolio school is the literal shit:

1. You’ll actually learn stuff


I know. It’s crazy. But after earning a fancy, massively expensive four-year college degree, and then ditching academia completely to join a two-year “idea” school, I think I still learned more with the latter.

At portfolio school, you’ll learn the Adobe Suite program basics. You’ll learn writing basics, photography basics, and design basics.

But then, they teach you how to concept, how to get over your fear of presenting shit, and how to fudge a campaign out of thin air.

And if you’re smart and you care, you’ll apply to advertising contests, and do a lot more work than your teachers assign you (because it’s actually fun), and you’ll become an Adobe master.

But more importantly, you’ll learn how to pitch ideas, build a campaign out of nothing and how to fudge your way through anything. These are real life skills that college just doesn’t seem to teach you. Through this short program, you’ll become a scrappy, business savvy “professional.” And by professional we mean a hack disguised as someone who knows what they’re doing (AKA EVERYONE WITH A JOB OOPS WE GAVE IT AWAY)


2. You get to experiment

Portfolio school is the only time you’ll get to do whatever you want without a client defecating all over it, so take advantage of it and go completely berserk. Seriously.

Get into body painting if it floats your boat, curse as much as you can and make stupid videos that question your sanity.

And by the end of two years, you’ll hopefully be a crazier, happier and freer version of who you were before.


3. You make connections

This is what will get you hired. But even if you don’t want that, these portfolio school connections are vital to whatever you do. Portfolio school classes are taught by industry professionals, and many of your peers will be interesting specimen who ran away from their lives to come up with weird ideas. So whether you start a business, change careers completely or join a cult on a remote island, chances are these contacts will come in handy one day.

For instance, I know a girl who graduated and then to joined a traveling circus in Mexico. She’s still in the circus, and I still keep in touch with her. Because you just never know.


4. You don’t need to graduate to get a job

This is the best part. Unlike an undergrad degree that you apparently “need” to get a boring sales job (and drown in a sea of debt), the advertising industry could care less. Of course, this is both good and bad because now I feel like an idiot who wasted four years throwing money into a pit filled with smelly freshman and cheap beer.

Aside from that, though, you can freelance while you’re in school to make extra cash. Or quit school early if a company deems you worthy of a job. Or quit again and start your own business. It’s a great feeling to not be tied down to a degree, despite what your parents might tell you. (For the last time ma, I never got a master’s).

However, there are portfolio schools (like VCU and a specific Miami Ad School degree), that will give you a master’s. But let’s be honest, you only want that to shut your parents up.


5. Portfolio School is actually fun

Portfolio school is a lot of work sometimes. But the good thing is it’s really, really fun.

If you go to Miami Ad School, you get to travel around the world doing internships. A couple of our writers did internships in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Australia, Miami, New York, LA, and Hong Kong. It’s insane.

But whatever portfolio school you go to, you’ll have a hell of a time. You’ll make connections that will last a lifetime, you’ll travel and work in places you never knew existed, and you’ll never be able to fully explain to your mom what exactly it is you do.