What can I do to have a powerful portfolio?

​​Some programmes at Chalmers request you to submit a portfolio and, if you are like me, picking what to show can be... tricky.
It is application time at Chalmers and for master's degrees in Architecture and Urban Design, Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability and Industrial Design Engineering it’s mandatory to submit a portfolio. But what is a portfolio? What should we have in it? A portfolio is a presentation of our previous projects, a way for us to showcase our spatial knowledge and synthesis ability. It is also the easiest form to communicate how we communicate our interpretation and problem-solving skills to someone who wants to understand our method of reasoning.

The main information about what is required, the format, how to label your portfolio and how to submit it properly can be found at the Chalmers webpage. In the portfolio, you should also include a motivation letter and your cv. If you have doubts about how to write a motivation letter you can check Raihan's experience also on his blog. 

When I was applying, I had trouble choosing what was more relevant to have in my portfolio, but I finally ended up with 4 of my dearest bachelor’s projects. They represented my experiences and interests, however, I had to translate everything to English and rearrange all the information to make sense for an external reader, that has never been to my country or got in touch with those projects before. I also added sketches of the project development and photos of the models I built, they did not have a perfect finishing but through them, I could explain how I reached the final result. 

When I finally assembled the portfolio with my cv and motivation letter everything started to make much more sense. I took some time to think about what those assignments were truly about and to gather all the information together. This process made me reflect on what were my deepest goals in going to Sweden and how my background, accomplishments and that specific programme at Chalmers could help me to achieve them. 

The portfolio should be delivered as a pdf, in landscape format and have a maximum of 5MB. So, you have to choose wisely what you want to present. I know it seems a little overwhelming, but I am pretty sure this exercise will help you as much as it helped me to deliver a concise and conscious application. 

Author: Ligia T​apia

Page manager Published: Tue 08 Feb 2022.