Mapping your experience

Documentation of your Placement Experience is key to reflecting and making sense of the learning opportunity. When you identify and gather details on the activities, places, persons, ideas, situations, skills that you experience, you can develop a multi-faceted understanding that can be applied to future opportunities and referenced in your portfolio and résumé.


Start by describing yourself:

A person with creative skills: What do you make? What techniques and processes do you know? What can you make? What materials and styles do you enjoy experimenting with?

A person as a part of cultural community and/or industry: What is your style? Who is the audience you want to connect with through your creative work? What is your work about: the stories, themes, or issues behind your work?

A person as a part of society and the environment: Where do you come from and who are your people? How do you want to spend your time and energy? Who do you want to work with? What communities or industries, issues or causes do you want to contribute to?


Who and what are you interested in? This includes organizations, companies, individuals, creative practises, and ideas / themes /concepts.

Who is part of your network? This could include: OCAD U faculty, OCAD U staff, students, alumni, peers, friends, family, mentors, employers, and colleagues.

These questions can ground your experience and help identify moments that are important to your personal and professional development.

For practical tips on identifying opportunities, download Your Creative Career


Take visual documentation: 

  • Photo or video documentation
  • Sketchbook
  • Process images
  • Mood boards
  • Renderings / Drawings
  • Mind Map / Network Diagram

Make written documentation:

  • Write lists: of places/organizations and people that interest you or inspire you
  • Journal: record details of your day-to-day activities based on what you thought, how you felt, what you did
  • Process Notes: take note of tips and learnings, and questions related to Placement activities for your employer or colleagues or faculty supervisor

Connect your mapped experiences to the learning outcomes you set out at the beginning of the Placement. Refer to Setting Benchmarks and Tips for Reflection to make the most out of these experiences.

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