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Adai

Portfolio For A Recent Grad / Mechanical Engineer?

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Hello,

 

I graduated ~ one year ago w/ a BS from UMassAmherst. I did my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, but most of my out of classroom experience was w/ IT.

 

My goal is to gain an internship or apprenticeship / entry level position w/ a design firm. I have a portfolio here: http://www.coroflot.com/aaimua

 

I am currently working at a startup in a design and project managing capacity, and I perform testing on part samples as well. But I want to do more along the lines of large scale design work.

 

What are some of the things that I can do to boost and organize my portfolio? Is it acceptable to post extracurricular projects, or updates to senior capstone work?

 

I didn't do a lot of design work when I was in IT, and now I have some very limited mechanical mounting work that I do. How can I gain more experience on the side?

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What is your degree in? For an engineer, I think it's fine. But if you want to do any type of design work, you need to improve both your process, and your sketching. Your sketching is basically chicken scratches, unorganized (you just scanned the paper, no layout whatsoever), etc. Try learning about lineweight, layouts, and contrast. That will help immensely. Also, design is not just "here's a sketch, and here's the prototype". It is a process. You need to start with rough smaller sketches, and move on to more detailed sketches, then go into CAD. Speaking of which, do not just take screenshots of your model @ screen resolution. Render them using photoworks or keyshot. And from now on, FOREVER, TURN ON PERSPECTIVE. Nothing turns me off more from someone's portfolio than looking at a CAD file in isometric.

 

Good luck! The physical prototypes are great, and you should probably try to get better photos of them. :)

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Thanks for your input!

 

My degree is in mechanical engineering, and I am looking for the opportunity to do more with consumer electronics (so electromechanical knowledge and integrated software), as well as with industrial design. I have talked to some senior engineers who recommend that I get an internship or junior position at a design firm. These job ads and interviews vary greatly from what I am used to - technical questions / competencies, and I am looking to expand my portfolio for interview purposes as well.

 

Thank you very much for your advice. Those CAD images are just screenshots from the PC that I was using.

 

I have a question - if I have done more research / work with a capstone design project, is it appropriate to add that to a portfolio without contacting my former teammates?

 

Thank you for the advice on sketching technique. I have been spending some time here: http://www.designsketching.com/ and am going to purchase their introductory books. Are there any online resources that I could use to improve my design / sketching as well?

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I think it's appropriate to show team projects... however, I would only show the work you did for the project. Whenever I was on a team project, I seemed to get stuck doing everything anyway. If it was a well balanced team, however, I would suggest stating it was a team project.

 

I also think you'd have a hard time getting an industrial design internship with your sketching abilities. I do think you'd be an excellent fit for a consultancy that offered full product development, from design to engineering to production. Consultancies are always looking for multi-disciplinary people, and I think an engineer that understood and respected ID would be very valuable.

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I think it's appropriate to show team projects... however, I would only show the work you did for the project. Whenever I was on a team project, I seemed to get stuck doing everything anyway. If it was a well balanced team, however, I would suggest stating it was a team project.

 

I also think you'd have a hard time getting an industrial design internship with your sketching abilities. I do think you'd be an excellent fit for a consultancy that offered full product development, from design to engineering to production. Consultancies are always looking for multi-disciplinary people, and I think an engineer that understood and respected ID would be very valuable.

 

Ha ha ha, well I understand how to lay things out visually and a little about sketching. All my sketching just comes from personal brainstorming / visualizing and is completely self taught. On my project team the SODIS device was my idea, so we did designs and calculations around the concept.

 

I am working on improving my CAD, programming and test data abilities, because those are the areas that I work on in my current placement. Thanks for the advice.

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No problem man. Just keep working, refining, reworking, etc!

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Do I even need a portfolio if I am not applying to ID positions? I was having a hard time finding ways to get work at design firms in the past. Looking back as an undergraduate I just don't have enough design experience. If I am only applying to mechanical engineering jobs, is it essential to have a portfolio? I can't find work now in these areas, and I am thinking of going back to school for something that does not require design work since I can't find any positions as-is.

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