Is my portfolio not good enough to find an internship?


I've been looking for an internship position here in the United States (more specifically Texas) for about 8 months after graduation now and I'm starting to worry that there is no one willing to hire me. Is it my portfolio, my resume, my interview skills, what is it? Here is my portfolio so that you can review

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Feb 24, 20 11:18 am
Non Sequitur

The last few pages with the misc art is very distracting... ditto for that self-portait up front.  I could see it work in a folio had you included similar style for design progress work for the other projects tho.

Besides that, what type of jobs are you applying for?  Most entry level gigs don't really care much for polished renderings.  You need to show both creative design problem solving skills and some construction knowledge (with flair as a bonus) if you want to increase your chances that an office will find room for you.

pro-tip:  Drop the self-graded software chart.  It's never a good representation of skill in the work place and will just set up your employers for disappointment.  

Feb 24, 20 11:43 am
Chad Miller

I agree with NS. It could also be helpful to include some of your process sketches.


Non Sequitur Yes I am probalby going to either remove or replace some of the art that others have suggested seem to come off as juvenile with architectural renders and minimize that section to one or two pages.


I have noticed that the only small firms seem to have been interested in my rendering skills. Large firms seem to have dedicated 3d artists and mid sized firms seem to use 3rd party companies. I have applied to entry level intern and entry level designer positions, not any draftsman or Revit positions as my portfolio are not geared at all to those type.


I will take into account what you've said about showing creative design problem solving skills and some construction knowledge and will rework my projects to better reflect that. I've seen your comments on other posts Non Sequitur...and on behalf of all the less than prepared architectural novices thank you for your comments

Non Sequitur

Cheers. sometimes I like to wear a nice guy hat. Good luck


recommendations in no particular order:

Try and trim down your portfolio so that you can lose the ToC
you don't get to your resume until page 6... Nix everything before it and/or move the self-portrait to a section at the end for art
For the resume itself: put your education and work on the left, drop the language as its own section (though if you want to tell people you're bilingual, consider adding it at the bottom) Contact info and Online portfolio shouldn't get their own sections either, that's more heading/footer type info.  Also, expand your education section to call out what makes you special.  Remember, firms want to hire someone who will produce work as soon as possible.  Most hiring managers view a software skills point-buy system negatively, just put down all software you think the firm would like you to know, and most likely put down Revit first.

Now the projects, the point of the portfolio, and starting on page 8, the Austin STEAM highschool looks like a good project.  I'd hesitate to go full-bleed on pages that aren't renderings (think page 13).  You're skewing more technical, so either be able to really talk through your design decisions with why you went one direction over the other with your details (provide more detail sketches of different options you were exploring) or go back and show more conceptual overall sketches, masterplanning, etc, if you don't want to be hired as a CD production staff.  

Delete all of the parametric grasshopper images unless you're applying to a firm that you know uses parametric design.  If you are interested in that (very niche market) know that your grasshopper stuff looks very copy/paste and inefficient.  Also, there's no information (added in adobe products?) describing what the buttons are doing.  It just looks like messy "beauty" "parametric design" which at one time was novel enough to intrigue, but has now lost its wow-factor.  Also, Parametric is spelled wrong on page 32 (correct all spelling mistakes)

Your actual content is page 8-27.  The pedal pod is cool, but is more interior design, and your doghouse model looks interesting as a 2nd-year week-long project, but doesn't have enough iteration or info.  Your D-form sculpture is just that, a sculpture.  Then you give us page 36-59... include only 4-6 pieces/pages of artwork.

Final conclusion, you went to school but only seemed to produce one complete project.  Go back to your work and complete them and add more process.  I still think this portfolio would get some bites, but I'm imagining that during your interviews, your gaps in holistic architectural education start to shine through.  Try to be more of a complete package and less of a art student, if that makes sense.

Feb 24, 20 11:46 am

Yes all great points. I am going to follow all your advice and correct and cut down where I need too. I will try to put more of a focus on trying to better represent the concepts behind the projects instead of just being technical. Thank you for your feedback.


I am only in Year 2 (Sophomore in US, I think that's what u guys call it). So I am in not much position to comment, take my words with a pinch of salt. But, I think u need some decluttering, like it's very messy, very distracting. Colours everywhere, it's like a splatter of unicorn-ring cereals. Try to give some form to it, order and scale. :)

Also, just to add-on, nowadays competition is so damnnnnn high! Here in England, Year 3 or some Year 2 students are producing portfolio that is wayyyyy above the standards of what u shown us... So, nope, it's just competition got way higher, not that u ain't good, just that the competition is way over. :( 

I am struggling myself to keep up too! If you take a look at portfolios produced by students from countries like Singapore (National University of Singapore), u will be in for a big depression. I saw their Year 1 students producing Portfolio on ISSUU that is a standard of a typical Year 3 students here in England... :x

Feb 24, 20 1:25 pm

Yes I disagree with the part about the colors... as long as the color pallet is consistent and in the spirit of the concept of the project I see no real problem with the use of color. The decluttering part I will agree with you on and will work on that.


Yeah standards for competitions are way high but in terms of job markets,at latest here in the US, we seem to be pretty insular at the moment. That is to say that large to small firms still seem to prefer to hire domestically here within the US. But that may change if international policy changes (like if we allow for more Visas)or if indeed we are left in the dust by foreign architects.


I like the Lily Collins cut-outs though lol 

Feb 24, 20 2:08 pm

Yeah I do too but based on feedback from this thread that project may be getting nixed lol


Where did you find the celebrity cut outs from?


In just reading the text, it is clear that the grammar and writing needs some editing and review.  If you are having trouble, please have a professor or professional give you some feedback.  It is widely known that a lot of the text in most portfolios goes unread, but what is there needs to sound polished and professional.  

Feb 24, 20 2:28 pm

First: the typos are horrific.  At your level prospective employers will focus on basic skills they can use, like your ability to put together a readable floor plan, and your careful attention to detail.  When they run into something obviously-not-even-close-to-proofread, like "Adminstrive Person", it can be a deal breaker.   You are expected to perfect a professional portfolio and resume.  One little typo somewhere might be overlooked, but leaving out two entire syllables of a five-syllable word is glaring, and you've got at least 50 errors packed in there.

Second: your portfolio may be giving prospective employers doubts about your maturity level and professional judgement.  All of that artwork in the back screams "high school" - especially the hoodie, the scantily clad warrior woman, and the two self-portraits that make you look about 15, disheveled, and attitudey.  It's not that the work is inherently bad, it's just that it's not the type of work usually found in the portfolio of a college grad, and anyway that collection doesn't convey any particularly useful/employable skills.

Similarly the neon college letters and "GIG'EM AGGIES" both need to go.  You may very well make connections with employers who are fellow alums or who have particular respect for your school, but the way to convey that affiliation is through the Education section or your resume, not by using pages of your portfolio to revisit your student days.

The entourage in your petal pods project also comes across as juvenile and unprofessional - i.e. you should photoshop some more conservative outfits onto those women or replace them entirely.  You want the architecture to be the focus of the image - not the scale figure's legs!

Feb 24, 20 5:14 pm

Good points about the art. I'm not really sure what most of the art is or is trying to show. There is no text to even explain what the softwares used were, why it was produced, etc. But you're right that it does skew very young. I would advise the OP to focus on hand drawings and other artistic skills more applicable to the jobs he is applying for.

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