Grade twelve graduate Adam Oliphant had an edge over the thousands competing for acceptance into Ryerson University’s Architectural Science Program. He won the PortPrep Art Portfolio Scholarship for 2013. Despite a bad case of fear driven procrastination, Adam got accepted in the top five percent in an early acceptance offer.
Not only did Adam beat his fear and the 30:1 odds but he pulled his winning portfolio together in just two weeks! What did this young man do that enabled him to turn out such great work in such a short time span?
As Ryerson’s application deadline loomed closer; Adam’s fear of failure paralyzed him. “I’m scared," he said. "It's so hard to do it because I can't seem to talk myself into doing it. I'm just too scared to start.”
Adam was stressed; he could feel his childhood dream of becoming an architect slipping away. He had left the compiling of his art portfolio too late like too many students do.
He needed guidance to put the book of images together saying, “I had no idea how to put a portfolio together. All I knew was that it had to be art. I had to put them in some kind of a book. And the architecture people needed to like it.”
But Adam struck oil by chancing to meet me, the specialized portfolio coach at PortPrep in a figure drawing course at the Guelph School of Art I was teaching. He was selected to be the scholarship winner this year, like graphics student Katie was the previous year.
Despite coming with a scant selection of images and a sketch book, I saw talent and ideas in his work and guided him on what the portfolio reviewers would be looking for. I showed him how to optimize what he had. He came up with a remarkable solution to make these small sketches look impressive and gain him his top ranking at Ryerson.
He cleverlygrouped a variety of concepts, finished sketches and artworks to show he was an ideas man and then bound it in a hard cover glossy paged printed book that made him look stellar. I counseled him to highlight that he had studied at a summer architecture camp at Pennsylvania State University to show his passion and commitment to architecture. They loved it.
Adam was so surprised that he got in the early acceptance group and that he beat out the top art student in his high school!
Adam said, “If you can take no clue, to accepted in the top 5% in a month and a half---that’s pretty impressive...I am so glad that you were there... As long as I can draw something on paper and then walk through it in real life; I think I’ll be happy.”
It feels so fulfilling to help young people achieve their goals. Adam is heading off to Toronto this week to embark on his dream to become an architect. To see more of his story click here or get a Free Portfolio Assessment.