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How do I prepare a portfolio for applying in Master of Design?

Hello! I am a Bachelor of Technology student majoring in Mechanical Engineering. After completing almost 3 years, I wish to pursue a less technical field of Automotive Designing and I am planning on doing Masters in Design. The problem is, all these years I didn't do any projects and I don't have any pre-requisite knowledge of the field I wish to go into. I do have some Vector Art I made in my leisure time and also some Machine Parts I made when I learned Siemen's NX. How do I prepare a portfolio in a year and what exactly do I have to include in it? Any help is appreciated! :) #design #engineering #mechanical-engineering #automotive-design

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Nick’s Answer

There are a couple of things that people interested in design including mechanical design need to add to their portfolio.

The first is that they need to be knowledgeable in how things are made. In many cases such as plastic molded parts, as an object is designed, you are actually designing the tooling that will produce it. You need to know how raw materials are processed to be shaped into the object you are designing. You should have an insatiable hunger to understand how things are made and be ready to discuss it. Perhaps a way to include this in your portfolio is to have pictures or video of yourself taking things apart and re-assembling them.

A second thing you need to do is demonstrate knowledge of how design data is created and and shared with suppliers. Knowledge of what is sufficient and industry standard information is critical to a successful design. You should be able to demonstrate skills in the use of design software and the ability to learn new software which is likely when you are employed.

Entry level designers will be likely joining team of more senior designers who will assign work within the capabilities of the junior designer. Success depends on your ability and interest to learn and collaborate. It's entirely possible that a junior designer can provide fresh ideas once they understand the design process. That's why junior people are hired.

Thank you comment icon Hello! Thank you for the answer :) The points you listed are really helpful and I am surely going to look into the things you mentioned and develop my skillset accordingly. Apart from being helpful, this answer has also been encouraging for me to learn more. Thanks a lot again! :) Kalyani
Thank you comment icon Watch every "How It's Made" on YouTube you can find. ;-) Nick D
Thank you comment icon Okay, sure! :D Thanks a lot xx Kalyani
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Ayanna’s Answer

Hi, I would suggest creating your portfolio with all the great work you've completed in your program thus far, in addition to your leisure art. Showing potential employers your capabilities is key, even if it isn't their exact specifications. The goal is to show them what you are capable of -- once an employer sees your potential, the possibilities become endless.
Thank you comment icon Hello! Thank you for the response. I was actually thinking of doing the same thing you suggested and now it's pretty clear, all thanks to you :) Kalyani
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Brent’s Answer

Find a copy of Harold Linton’s “Portfolio Design”. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393732533/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_SBFJKKCNT9J2F61CZTDW
Thank you comment icon Hey! Thanks for the recommendation :) Will definitely check it out! Kalyani
Thank you comment icon Hey Brent, could you go into detail as to why you recommend this book? How would it be helpful? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
Thank you comment icon Nothing is more important than the portfolio. Mr. Linton discusses what makes a good portfolio and how to make one. More importantly, perhaps, he features many examples of particularly creative portfolios. I have not seen the most recent edition (I own the third edition that predates the popularity of digital portfolios), but I assure you that you will get some good ideas, or at least you will feel more comfortable pushing the envelope in terms of what a design portfolio can be. Brent Stuntzner
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Erin’s Answer

Hello! Automotive Design is a highly competitive field to get into. That's not to put you off of the challenge and following your passion and interest. As you build a portfolio that is visually engaging, think of ways that you can infuse it with your unique point of view. What would *you* bring to the study and practice of automotive design? Think of ways that you can show off your curiosity and motivation. That could be in technical and creative design, but also in how you think and look at the world. What trends do you see now in culture, design, media, politics, the environment, etc? How do you think things will change and take shape? What role do *you* want to play in that future? If you are applying for a Masters Program the application committee will be looking at both your design skills and how you communicate and present your ideas and thoughts.

There are a lot of great resources, some previously mentioned. Core77.com isa. great design hub and has forums where you could likely chat with people who are in, or who have graduated from the programs in which you are interested.

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Hey! Thank you for the answer :) I really liked the website and I took note of the points you've mentioned here! Kalyani
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