So we had open house recently which made me think about this time last year when I was working on my portfolio and application materials. The handful of portfolios which made their way to the archinect discussion boards I found quite helpful - both in terms of ideas to emulate and those to avoid. So here is the portfolio I sent in last year, maybe those of you going through the application process will find it helpful in either way.
Note: I deleted all of the text, partly because it was the weakest aspect of the portfolio, partly because I don't want to reference other people/firms/projects in this forum. It loses some continuity and balance in layout, but you get the picture. All of the land arch projects are professional work from my time with EDAW (Shenzhen office), except the highline competition board. The installation work is from my time in an MFA program that I never finished. My letters of reference were a professor from undergrad, a former boss (edaw), and a professor from my MFA program. GRE scores were solid but not spectacular. Essay was very personal about what I wanted out of the profession, what I thought it was capable of.
Other stuff to give you a quick snapshot of my class: I am in the MLA II program which is post-professional (my undergrad BSLA is from U. Wisconsin 2002). There are 9 of us this year. Two of us are licensed (although I hadn't passed my last LARE section by the time my application was submitted). Three of the group are straight out of school (Purdue, Berkely, Tshinghua though two of these are out of their 20s). Two are international (Korea, China) and the rest are domestic. 6 females, 3 males. A few in the 24/25 area, a few in the 30 area a couple older. Previous employers include EDAW (x2), Ken Smith, Mathews Nielson, Korean Gov't, .
Ill finish with a thought from my professional practice class with Paul Nakazawa about approach to marketing and work in general: "Its all about commitment, this business runs on intensity."