Is my Portfolio Internship worthy?

Hey all, I’ve been lurking around for a few years and this is my first post! so Hi! I’m just starting my third year of Industrial Design and I’m looking for an internship for this upcoming Spring. I’ve been staring at it for hours and now I need a second (or third or fourth) pair of eyes to help me improve my portfolio. What’s good? What’s bad? What’s excellent? What’s awful? And what could I do better? (Depth of projects, layout, ideation, sketching, etc. ) If you could give it a look and let me know your thoughts that’d be awesome.

Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

*Ps, I’ll try to keep the older links live as long as I can so people reading this later can still learn from it

hi chad,

regarding internships, what kind of position are you looking for ? i mean, are you looking at corporate positions ? model maker at a consultancy ? the main strength i see in your portfolio is your prototyping skills, rock solid. the main areas for development i would suggest are more research and problem identification, storyboarding and particularly sketching. in order to get an internship, you need to exhibit more of your sketching process, particularly in the early stages by showing a lot more loose ideas followed by a progression of tighter digital sketches. following are some suggestions i think would help you develop your portfolio towards getting an internship :

  • your sketching needs to improve a lot, especially if you’re looking for an internship at a design consultancy. as the saying goes, your as good as the weakest work in your portfolio which i think are the sketches for adrift : highlight more problems identified (go deeper in your research), fix/remove the guy drinking out of the bottle, loosen up the sketching such that problem identification, fluidity and speed are exhibited in your drawing technique. fill up the page with more ideas and re-proportion/highlight some of the stronger ones so that viewers eyes progress and ‘read’ the visual story.

  • change page #2, the design challenge page, it looks like an intro for a toy design or a kids story, make it look more professional. review the statement made at the end of the project - treat it like an abstract so that this statement ultimately addresses the most critical problem(s) identified through the design process.

  • pump some 3d cad, show some photoreal renderings of final designs too. as much as i love to see the variety of prototyping techniques which is the current key strength exhibited in your portfolio, you need to demonstrate 3d cad proficiency by way of exploded views, control drawings, organic surface modeling etc. i would redo the manufacturing page for adrift as a 3d cad exploded view showing wall thickness, thread detail and so on.

  • the final photo for adrift is not showing enough of the design. take a larger in situ picture showing the full design.

  • the beats rendering looks good, show some more of the process drawing and rendering stages between.

  • show more inspiration and sketches for the candy tray, maybe experiment with different colour and textured sheets…

  • you could use some more lifestyle photography and inspiration/mood boards for some of the projects showing more
    of the influences and demographics of the users.

  • the helmet is one of your best projects. expand and develop it by identifying more problems and opportunities for
    design development. show a storyboard of these problems in real life photographs and sketches. scan in all of those sketches and present them as part of your process.

  • the thermostat housing project looks great. show more of the process that got you there, the sketches, the physical
    prototypes, any press brake photos or sheet metal equipment that you used (a valuable process skill).

  • the nacho try is a nice looking design but the final photo does not do it justice. maybe take a picture of it in an
    environment where people are having a party, a place with bent plywood furniture, a studio… you know someplace that
    accentuates the design and shows it in use. it would also be nice to see more process sketches for this project.

in a nutshell, keep looking for more design problems and opportunities, present them and work those sketches.
good luck with it.

^ The previous feedback was really helpful, for myself as well! I’m glad people are so helpful at core77. I agree, leave out all the poor sketches, keep the best ones in, or better yet, redo them.

I was a bit confused when I clicked the link, as it wasn’t obvious that clicking the cover page downloads your your portfolio! Maybe add something to the cover like a “download portfolio!” text.

The separation between the thermostat project and the nacho project isn’t very clear and I almost thought it was a continuation / related project. I think it has to do with the size of the headings, since the “Design Challenge” is a smaller size. (The headings are all a bit big, distracting in a way.)

A big shout out to Pojo and bulletproof for the feedback, I really appreciate it and I tried to address some of the issues that were raised. :smiley:

I went back and made some revisions, here’s version 2.0. (It’s a 4 mb pdf)
If I could have some more feedback that would be awesome, what needs to be improved or changed? Feel free to be harsh, I can take it.

Thanks for looking!

Hey Skoshbox

Definitely a nice improvement over the original for sure! Feels a lot more professional and mature. Really nice process and photography as well.

The reverse engineering of the RC car housing is awesome. If it’s not that much work to make it all a solid body I think it could be a great project to 3d print through Shapeways or some other 3D printing outfit and mount it back on the chassis to reinforce the fact that it was built to scale, and screw bosses line up , etc. Looks like most of your mockups are hand built right now so it could be a great way to show that you have started exploring CAD>CAM process

I like the thinking for the SimSa project (branding is cool as well). The process, mock ups are really great the weak spot right now is the sketch pages. I think you need to add the next level up of sketching, basically the sort of sketch fidelity that would be used in a client presentation, right now your sketching level only goes up to where I think would be acceptable for internal review (which is great to show but most internships will want you to demonstrate the next level of fidelity)

Doesn’t have to be a crazy photo real render but you definitely must have solid construction (most of your ellipses are skewed right now, do some underlays if you need to), tighter marker render or some light photoshopping. Here are a couple examples, notice they are not that much tighter or rendered than what you have, but the perspective is locked in and the rendering is still loose yet descriptive.

Mike DiTullo’s sketch:

Spencer Nugent’s sketch:

Good luck with the search!

I agree with Mr Choto’s responses. I want to add that you have to remember that a sketch is a communication tool. At the moment I am not sure I get what you are trying to communicate.

Your stove project seems fairly strong, but I would like to see you step the communication of your solution. What is it about this stove that makes it safer? Why is this stove better than the Coleman one shown in your first slide. This could be as simple as call outs or a blurb explaining your design.

The water bottle project, I think you need to bring this up to the same level as your first project. I don’t really understand this project. You need to do a better job explaining your problem and you solution. Do you have numbers on the amount of bottles that fall off of boats? What make your bottle better? Is this disposable bottles or reusable bottles? You might want to add some usability sketches or drawings to show how your design is better and works.

Pay attention to you layout. The appearance model page reads right to left instead of left to right. Little things like this confuse the viewer and can cause them to ignore your portfolio.

Thermostat cover, Not sure what you did here. Seems pretty weak. What is the skill that you would like to communicate here? Think about how you do that visually.

RC Car, I agree with Choto here. If you can show som CAD/CAM then that would be great. Right now it is just showing rendering skills, which are good for you experience.

AI renderings, look great. Do you have more? I don’t need to see the behind the scenes. I know how it work. What I would like to see is more examples. 2-3 just to show that you have the skills.

Helmet, this one is in between your first and second project for me. I feel like the title page should be “Rock climbing helmet for women”. I like process pictures. Your sketch pages could be a bit better (much like choto has described). I would also like to see a live picture of a user. At the moment you have a Photoshopped user picture and it is not working. It still looks staged.

All in all it is a pretty decent portfolio for your experience. I think with a few tweaks you should be able to land an internship.

Good Luck!!


My hat’s off to Choto and PackageID for taking the time to look over my stuff! It’s been super valuable.

I spent the day tweaking and making some changes, specifically: Added a features page explaining the water bottle, added benefits of my SimSa stove over the coleman stove, created a design goals page for the water bottle project, added an exploded view of the RC Car project, and added the 3D printing and laser cutting to the SimSa Building it page.

It would be greatly appreciated for more feedback if anyone wants to take a stab at it.
Ps, I’m going to really work on those sketching skills these coming weeks, it’s definitely my weakest point in my portfolio and thanks for pointing that out.

Version 2.1 (4mb)

Thanks again!

I still think you need to bring more to your water bottle project. I’m still not really understanding the need.


Redid a form development page for the Adrift water bottle project.

Wow, blast from the past! That sketch was probably from 2002 when I was a designer at Evo Design in Connecticut. Hard to believe that was 11 years ago.