“O” is for OCAD online

OCAD University has unveiled two new online services designed to help develop careers and entrepreneurship opportunities among its students and alumni: the 4ormat online portfolio solution and the OCAD U Talent Network.

Through an innovative industry partnership, OCAD U’s entire student body, as well as its faculty members, will have free access to the premium tools available in 4ormat (4ormat.com), a leading portfolio management platform used by creative professionals around the world. 4ormat offers simple drag-and-drop site customization, dynamic theme templates, and integrated tablet/mobile capabilities, among many other powerful features. The partnership has undergone a year-long pilot testing phase at the university, and plans are underway to integrate 4ormat directly into curriculum in the coming months. Students will continue to have free access to the platform for 6 months after graduation.

The OCAD U Talent Network (ocadu.ca/talentnetwork) helps students and alumni more effectively connect with potential employers and community-based opportunities. Tested over the summer, the Talent Network replaces OCAD U’s job board tool with a sophisticated, tailored platform that encourages users to upload comprehensive creative profiles and facilitates connections directly through the system. Users can upload professional documents, access customized content and resources, register to participate in events, share information via social media and access the latest information about related service offerings.

“At OCAD University, we aim to develop in our students the skills and entrepreneurial spirit that empower them to forge their own career path,” says Deanne Fisher, associate vice-president, Students at OCAD U. “Both 4ormat and the Talent Network represent major investments we’ve made towards preparing tomorrow’s leading artists and designers to apply their creative potential to any number of fields and industries.”

“It is very important to us to make sure our tools are available to the creative minds that will not only help shape our future, but define it,” says 4ormat CEO Lukas Dryja, who is a graduate of OCAD U’s Graphic Design program. “We are very excited to be working with OCAD U, and we look forward to what other possibilities the future will bring.”

“I have used multiple online portfolio services, and I found that 4ormat eclipses them all,” says third-year graphic design student Laura Livingston. “In terms of creativity alone, I can personalize so many different aspects of the site. Not to mention the professional quality of the results. On top of all that, it’s all free for us!”

“The OCAD U Talent Network proved to be a genuinely pleasant way for us to connect with student and alumni creativity,” says  Manyun Lucy Zhang of interior furnishings designer Moss and Lam. “We were able to easily and successfully facilitate our recent recruiting efforts.”

OCAD University (ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “university of imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.