With the rise of the creative industries combined with the "gig economy" it's never been more important to have your own portfolio. Seeing as there are a lot of jobs out there that do not require a university degree, a portfolio can now act as your resume. Sure, you might still have some experience as a store manager and an award from university that you'd like to proudly tout on paper - but honestly, none of that matters if you don't have any work to showcase.
A body of work proves that you aren't full of shit. It also proves that you have grit, or perseverance to build something… anything and continue building things in order to improve your skill set.
You could even say that all your posts here on 200 Words a Day are part of your portfolio. If you're a literature student then this is the perfect opportunity to showcase your short stories, news articles, or intimate posts and get immediate feedback.
Building a portfolio doesn't have to be complicated, it just has to exist. It will open up tons of new doors you never knew existed if people can see your work and contact you. My personal website isn't even that great but it is by far the number one generator of business for me as a freelancer.