Hey all!

Im going to try to make this as quick as possible! I am a Mechanical Engineering student that is interested in ID… that’s a first, LOL… but seriously, I am HIGHLY interested in Product Design and would LOVE to work along with a Product Design company or anyone else that will pay me once I graduate to contribute my talents to design work. I have pretty good “raw sketching skills”, just no real experience in product design. How can I find an intership with a Product Design Company without a portfolio?! I have no idea how to construct one, as of yet, but I am willing to learn. It amazes me at how easily the internship offers major engineering companies are rolling in, yet, I cant seem to get a Product Design company to hire me! What should i do? Mind you, I do plan on going to grad school and obtaining my Master in ID or Product design.

Also, for someone in my position, what should a portfolio consist of? Ideation sketchhes?

Well you really need a portfolio to apply to Design job to be taken seriously. Showing that you care enough about getting a job and career to properly put something together.

I recommend you start by cruising the portfolio section of this forum and check out the following:

  1. How people are showing/telling the story of their projects (showing a lot of process? just final renders etc.?)

  2. How they are visually communicating those projects (style of graphics, layout, is it clean? what format?)

As well post up those sketches that you have in the sketches section of this forum to get feedback. That might help begin to see how people might react to your work and what you need to work on.

Putting together a portfolio can be a hard project to begin- but I think that might be a good place to start. Other’s I am sure will have many other great suggestions too.

Good luck!

How can I find an intership with a Product Design Company without a portfolio?!

The short answer is, you can’t. (unless you have personal connections)
If I understand you correctly, you want to work as a design, not an engineer alongside designers, right?
This was a little confusing.

I am with Rachel here and would also suggest that you have a look at portfolios you like and then identify what it is exactly that intrigues you, then make a plan for how to set up you own portfolio highlighting your skillset.

I would warn though to not just focus on sketches. You are not applying for an illustration job. To communicate your thought process and problem solving ability is important. Sketches are just a tool to do so but there are many more such as model making, film making, research documentation to name a few.

Since you are an engineer, there is no doubt that you are skilled when it comes to the computer aided approach. I could believe that it would be quite impressive if you can show your hands on model making skills in your portfolio.
So maybe set yourself challenges, to design an object and illustrate your process as well as possible with a final presentation model you have built.
If you have a couple of those kind of projects, suddenly you have something to be proud of in your portfolio and something to talk about with the potential employer.