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Career Tip: Preparing for an Interview

How to Prepare for an Interview

Bring Your Portfolio To The Interview

Bring Your Portfolio!

After sending out resumes, cover letters, and emails, you finally got one– the elusive interview! Read some of our quick tips about how to prepare for an interview below:

1) Craft your story. This is essential. Figure out the main points you want to make about how you are uniquely suited for the position based on what you’ve done. A little hint: creating a portfolio is a helpful way to get to know yourself, your strengths, and your accomplishments so that when you’re in your interview you can easily summarize and show what you know! If you need some ideas of what you can capture in your portfolio, check out our “What You Can Do Here” section for some examples.

2) Come prepared. Do a little research on the company. When I’ve asked previous candidates “What do you know about us?” and I’m met with a blank stare it’s a sign that this isn’t going to be a great fit. Dig in to the types of products or services that the company is offering. Start a conversation about how you could add value to the work they’re already doing. For more on this, see Seelio CEO Moses Lee’s recent interview with the New York Times, “Before the Job Interview, Do Your Homework“.

3) Show what makes you unique. This goes back to point number one, but what is something that sets you apart? A passion for long-distance running (indicative of your persistance and commitment)? An interest in community building (evidence of your persuasive skills and how you are self-driven)? Find the story that will help the interviewer connect with you. Sometimes it helps to show what you’ve done, so if you have a portfolio, bring a tablet or iPad with you and scroll through some of your projects. You can pretty much guarantee a memorable interview!

Have other tips to share about how to prepare for an interview? Let us know at students@seelio.com.

MIT’s Justin Lai: Why Engineering Portfolios are Important

Engineering Portfolios

Why engineering portfolios are important, from MIT’s Justin Lai

If you’re an engineer, you better start thinking about your engineering portfolio

We recently sat down with Justin Lai, Invention Education Associate with the Lemelson-MIT program, to talk about the need for engineering portfolios. Previously, Justin was a researcher in the MIT Ideation Lab.

As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Justin’s research looked at how people design through process and in practice, how to teach students to design products for people. Two significant teaching projects Justin helped create are 2.97 Designing for People (two week short course) and Discover Product Design (one week pre-orientation program).

How did you become such an advocate for student portfolios at MIT?

At the MIT Ideation Lab, under Prof. Maria Yang, I co-led new efforts to bring the product design process to students, especially earlier in their time at MIT.

With my colleague, Geoff Tsai, we interacted with many students who were interested in getting product design work experience. As portfolios are a must have for the application process, we realized there were no resources tailored for our Department of Mechanical Engineering students that would help them in the portfolio creation process.

Then, with the guidance of our advisor, along with Prof. David Wallace and Writing Across the Curriculum lecturers, Jane Connor and Jane Kokernak, Geoff and I developed a basic lecture workshop that outlined the beginning steps of making a engineering portfolio.

From your experience, what benefits do students get from creating an engineering portfolio?

Overall, the students are able to communicate about their past experiences more clearly, regardless of whether the actual portfolio is needed in a given application process. Also, once they’ve created their engineering portfolio they are able to respond to unexpected opportunities of displaying their work (there’s no replacement for being ready now). For any sort of creative work, the portfolio is an example of how they can creatively communicate. Finally, going through the portfolio process once will give them motivation to better document future projects.

What are your top tips for student on how to build an engineering portfolio?

  • Consider your audience. One version of your portfolio will not suit the needs of all your users.
  • Document now. Filter and sort later. Try to capture everything you can and don’t assume you’ll be able to go back to re-document; you often won’t have time.
  • Develop a workflow to archive and retrieve the raw materials of each project.
  • Design on paper first.
  • Get feedback often. It’s the easiest way to discover what isn’t clear

What excites you most about Seelio?

Our main message to our students has been about the process of making a portfolio—that the process is more important than getting bogged down in how to use specific design tools. We were excited to see this platform that isn’t focused on a particular industry, like ones that typically ask for portfolios (graphic design, architecture, industrial design), and allows you to get your projects displayed quickly.

Take a look at some engineering portfolios from current MIT Students:

Most Popular Portfolios on Seelio This Week

by Moses 0 Comments

People are always uploading awesome works on Seelio.

We wanted to highlight some of the most popular portfolios this week!

We broke it down by category:


Technology

Master Chefmates | Stephanie Yeung, Carnegie Mellon University
A social cooking app where users could find, save, and share recipes based on the ingredients they stored in their pantry.

Entrepreneurship

 

 Beertending | Ash Egan, Princeton University
Audience Award winner in the 2012 Princeton Pitch Competition.

Social Impact

 Silent Night, Silent Auction | Madeline Swain, University of Notre Dame
Annual philanthropy event sponsored by Pasquerilla East Hall of the University of Notre Dame.

Engineering

Astrodash | Cole Houston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Toy product developed in MIT”s Toy Product Design Class.

Film & Digital Media


*Rent the Runway & Diet Pepsi Fashion Show | Daniel Agar, University of Michigan
A viral video showcasing a fashion show at the University of Michigan.

Expression

B-Boys Anonymous | Kendrick Wang & David Khim, University of California, Irvine
BBoys Anonymous is an open club that strives to promote the love and knowledge of B-Boying, Popping, Locking, and all other funkstyle dances throughout the UCI community.

*Rent The Runway is also on Seelio, check out their opportunities here

We are always looking for ways to feature work on Seelio. If you have a project you would like us to display, e-mail chelsea@seelio.com and let us know what you want to show.