This years NPD was hosted by FIT this past November at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Since I’m a student tour guide it was one of the events I had to work this semester. For those of you who have no idea what NPD stands for (neither did I, remember business major here) it is National Portfolio Day an event specifically for visual artists and designers. It is an opportunity for people (mostly high school students from what I gathered) who want to pursue an education in one of the above mentioned fields to meet with college representatives from schools accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. These representatives are assigned a table and they are waiting to review your artwork, discuss their specific programs and answer any questions about careers in art that you might have. This event is designed mainly to enhance the artistic development of young artists by providing feedback and preparing them for enrollment in their dream college.
It was my first time hearing about all of this and honestly it was quite shocking to see so many talented students with such passion about their future. The set hours for the event were from 12pm to 4pm but when we got there to set up at 8am there were people already lining up (now that’s what I call determination). After observing how the event developed I can give you a few tips I gathered up:
- Register online, saves times (and honestly scribbling through to fill in the card to get in faster does not look professional).
- This year we had over 50 different colleges, so beforehand look at who’s coming and prepare a list of your top 3 (dream schools), top 5 and top 10 colleges.
- Even if you get there at 8am or 10am there is going to be a line so don’t rush, everyone is let in at the same time (obviously camping out could have its advantages but I don’t recommend it) and the line flows pretty smoothly (even I was surprised how fast it dissolved we had over a 1,000 people).
- While waiting on line, look through the map and familiarize yourself with it. This way you will see where the booths are located and once you get in you can visit each one without wasting time.
- Bring snacks and a bottle of water, if it’s at the Javits center the cafeteria is all the way on the other side (this place is HUGE).
- Have fun! Take that constructive criticism and transform your work into something more amazing that it even was before. Do not get discouraged, this event was created to help you achieve your dreams.
PS: We had an officer from the Javits Center congratulate us (no joke) because it had been the best organized NPD to this date and the flow of people was coordinated amazingly (props to me, making sure everyone was in line properly).