Portfolio for Grad School Application

Hello All!

Just a little background, I’m a mechanical engineer looking for a career change to industrial design. I graduated with a BSE in ME and minor in Fine Arts, so I do have some sketching experience. I took a couple product design classes while in school and loved them, but didn’t have the courage to pursue that road until now.

I have read through a whole bunch of threads, and it seems like the best thing for me is to go to grad school for ID. While researching school application requirements I see that they all require some semblance of a portfolio. Right now I have nothing that I could put into a portfolio so how do I go about putting one together? I know it’s a broad questions, but I’m a bit lost.

I have sent inquiry emails to the admissions departments of some school to try to get in contact with some current grad students, but have heard nothing back (perhaps because it is the summer). I’m also hoping to reach out to some designers in the industry to get their feedback as well. Another thought was to attempt to get an unpaid internship at a design studio, but I honestly don’t know how realistic that is because of my lack of experience.

Any feedback on my situation would be greatly appreciated!! :mrgreen:

Congratulations on your decision. Putting together a portfolio is pretty straight forward. Assign yourself a project, it could be as simple as redesigning a toothbrush, or as complex as rethinking all dental hygiene.

Then start researching, concepting, visualizing, mocking up. Document as you go. Repeat with 3-5 projects and bam, portfolio. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice! This is really helpful, I’m excited to get started.


I strongly recommend going to the “favorite portfolios” thread and using that to give you some idea of exceptional portfolios. These are something to strive for, not something expected just to get accepted.

Best of luck,