Doing an in-progress critique can help the artist see their work in a new light that they previously hadn't seen. This can help them continue on in their original path in a positive way, or it can steer them in a totally new direction than they had originally planned. I also think that the critique will make the work stronger with the feedback from peers.
I felt really great about the feedback I received from my in-progress critique. Larger scale things such as my aspect ratio of my various videos needed to match up, which is a pretty important thing. I most likely wouldn't have noticed it on my own. Smaller scale things such as slowing segments down were also pointed out. The combination of all the things can make the piece as a whole so much stronger.
Any chance an artist can get to have their piece critiqued can be beneficial. Even if the comments are negative it can help the artist build emotionally. Critique can be hard to handle, especially that first project of the first studio class freshmen year. Overall it is vital to the arts and to learning in school. We are here to be the best and take the most out of our experience.