Preparing for the Next Step

By: Sydney Yarbrough, Student ASID

Starting a portfolio begins with deciding which projects to include. Review all your past projects and compile a list of potential candidates. This list may include more projects than you’ll ultimately feature, but it’s a good starting point. Next, evaluate what needs to be done to prepare each project for the portfolio. This could mean rendering, photographing non-digital projects, or fixing minor imperfections. This process will give you an idea of how much work is required and how long it might take.

There are several common methods for creating your portfolio: through a website, Canva or InDesign. All three are relatively easy to learn with the help of a few YouTube tutorials or guidance from another interior design student. A website, created through platforms like Squarespace or Wix, allows customization in both appearance and navigation. Canva is user-friendly and automatically saves to your account, eliminating the need for downloads and storage. InDesign, similar to Photoshop and Illustrator, is excellent for those familiar with Adobe products. It allows for easy background removal and specific font or image editing. InDesign’s page format also gives a clear idea of how your portfolio would look when printed.

Creating a portfolio can be challenging but, once the main components are in place, it becomes an exciting process of blending past projects and exercising creativity to create a unique portfolio.

In parallel with building your portfolio, it’s essential to consider your future career path, specifically your preferred locations for summer internships and jobs after graduation. While this can be a daunting prospect, it can be made much more manageable with some careful organization. Start by making a list of potential locations, cities, states or even specific workplaces. Once you have this list, find potential employers in those areas and add them to a spreadsheet. Include the city and state, a website link for easy access, a status column for the application process and contact information making the application process simpler. Keeping track of all this information may seem difficult, but referring to a spreadsheet or document can help you stay on top of the process.

About the Author

Sydney Yarbrough is a Senior Interior Design student at The University of Alabama with an appreciation for all aspects of design. She utilizes her creative and logical skills in her design process and loves learning. As she continues her journey as an interior design professional, she looks forward to making significant contributions by designing impactful spaces.