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Students - Be Prepared! Design Portfolio Review

Thursday, March 16, 12 noon - 5:00 pm
Rhode Island Convention Center, 5th floor, Ballroom
Open to RISD Juniors, Seniors and Graduate Students


The Design Portfolio Review offers RISD juniors, seniors and graduate students the chance to meet with companies for individual 15 minute portfolio reviews. Reviewers are prepared to comment on portfolios in process or near completion. Review the list from 2016 - Participating Companies.

The Career Center strongly advises students to sign-up for reviews with companies that are a good match for them based on their RISD major, portfolio work and interests.


IMPORTANT: If you have class at the time of the event/s you’d like to attend, you must speak with your faculty member and request time away from class to participate. Speak with your faculty in advance to avoid any difficulty and an unexcused absence from class.



Sign-Up Process for Portfolio Reviews

Students will be able to sign-up on-line through ArtWorks for portfolio reviews on a first-come, first served basis.


To sign-up for portfolio reviews you MUST be registered in ArtWorks, have a profile, and upload a resume with a link to your portfolio online.


Prepare now, follow these instructions:

  1. For new users, click here to register.

  2. If you need to update your profile and resume, login here and then click on the 'My Account' tab and then 'My Profile' (be sure your 'Year in School' is accurate).

  3. Finally, click on 'My Documents' to upload your resume.


Sign-ups will happen over the course of two days:


  • TBD at 6:00 pm: You may sign up for 4 portfolio reviews

  • TBD at 12 noon: You may sign-up for 5 additional portfolio reviews


Portfolio Review time slots fill very quickly! Be sure you review all companies attending the Design Portfolio Review and prioritize those you want to meet with first and foremost.


Prioritize a list of 10-15 companies for your reference when the sign-ups open.


Read these instructions in advance so you know what to do.

These screen shots will also help you understand the sign-up process.



Resume Drop

If you wanted to meet with a company whose schedule filled before you could sign-up, you can submit your resume electronically through the Resume Drop in ArtWorks.


This will ensure the company receives your resume and knows that you were interested in meeting with them. To make the most of the Resume Drop, you can email the company after the Design Portfolio Review to express your interest in them and ask about the best way to proceed for their consideration.


Review these instructions about using the Resume Drop.

Resume Drop screen shots are on pages 20-24.



IMPORTANT: Cancelling a Portfolio Review after March 13

If you have to cancel a portfolio review after March 13, you are required to contact the RISD Career Center immediately by emailing or calling 401-454-6614.


It is critical that you update the Career Center and send a note of apology to the  reviewer in order to participate in future reviews.



What to Bring


  • RISD ID – required

  • Your complete portfolio and/or sketch books, actual samples and formats

  • Business cards or promotional cards (optional)

  • Portfolio sample (optional)


Dress for Success

It is better to err on the side of formality than informality for this event. Professionalism in personal appearance is a strong complement to the quality of your work.



Leave Behinds
Student Waiting Area
Prepare to Attend!


  • Know Your Audience: Student attending are expected to do research on the companies or organizations they will be meeting with. Review their websites prior to your portfolio reviews; make notes as you go and develop questions you would like to ask them.

  • Introduce Yourself: Greet the reviewer by stating your name, RISD major and your year in school. Shake hands and thank them for meeting with you. Open your portfolio to the place you want the reviewer to begin and ask them how they would like to look at your work - do they prefer to get a quick overview and then ask you about your projects, or would they prefer for you to tell them some details about each piece as they’re reviewing.

  • Present Your Portfolio:
    Portfolio, sketch books, actual samples and formats
    - Your portfolio can be actual pieces, digital printouts or displayed on your laptop or iPad. It can be complete or in-process, but should be well organized and may include sketchbooks and journals. If you are using a laptop or iPad, be sure the screen is clean and free of smudges. It is a good idea to save your portfolio to your device so you do not have to rely on wi-fi to present your portfolio at the event.

    We highly encourage you to create a profile at RISD Portfolios in order to establish a web presence. We’ll also be directing reviewers there to see more RISD talent.

    By the end of the review, you may recognize patterns in the feedback you received –pieces that several reviewers liked and others that didn’t garner much interest. This feedback may seem contradictory at times, but keep in mind that this perspective may reflect necessary preparation for your career.

  • Show Respect & Say Thank You: Please respect the reviewers; they’re here to help you and many have taken a day from their busy work schedules to attend this program. They’re reviewing for 4 to 5 hours, which can be intense, and they need your patience throughout the afternoon.

    A significant number of the reviewers are also alumni and understand the RISD experience. Respect and gratitude goes a long way and makes an excellent professional impression. Also, follow up with a thank you note to the reviewers who made an impact on you – written is ideal, email works, too!

    Read more Follow-Up Tips and Advice

  • Leave Behinds:
    Resume, business cards, post cards and/or portfolio samples
    - Be prepared with enough copies of your resume to hand out to reviewers you meet with. You may also want to create business cards, postcards or printouts that you can leave behind as a reminder of your meeting.  Be sure to include a link to your website on all your materials.

    Check out these Examples of Leave Behinds


What to Expect at the Event

Upon arriving, stop at the Student Check-in table and show your RISD ID to enter the event, receive last minute updates and receive an event brochure that will guide you to the locations of the companies/organizations in the ballroom.


  • You may arrive any time after 11am to check-in, hang up your coat and get settled.

  • Arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled reviews. DON’T BE LATE!

  • If you have reviews that are scheduled back to back, be sure you finish on time to so you can make it to your next meeting without running behind or you may lose your chance for a review.


  • Volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions, direct you to waiting lines to enter the Design Review at your scheduled time and direct you to the designated Student Waiting Area.

  • Water and light snacks will be available throughout the event.


  • Electrical power is limited. Make sure your devices are fully charged!


Student Waiting Area
  • The Student Waiting Area will have tables and chairs available for your use and is in close proximity to the ballroom where the Design Review is in progress. You are welcome to wait here between your scheduled portfolio reviews.

  • If reviewers have an opening in their schedule they will come to the Student Waiting Area and invite anyone waiting to join them for a portfolio review. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity if you have time and it doesn’t conflict a previously scheduled appointment.

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