hate to be the dissension in this discussion but time and time again, a good compositional render with environment win over pure industrial design. thats not all bad - its really pushing me into presentation, but i wonder if we are talking about two different kinds of industrial design
there is of course the ID used to produce, and market real items, for instance the x4000 m battle wagon by undead industries where you would have a product page and the like, and than lonely concept art, used for the game industry, only seen by the 3d modelers and art director, which is only there to convey a working design that will eventually be seen, used or shot at by the main character.
since its the latter form of concept art i am lusting over getting a job for its what i want these activities to focus me to a sharp edge on, but i still really don't know what will be expected of me - and ultimately need to get better at environments anyway
in my opinion - in regards to the clock and time table - i have the fortune of getting massive amounts of time to do this project, i budget myself time-wise and only have a finite amount of time before i graduate and want to stock my portfolio with as much quality stuff as i can. personally i would really thrive with a deadline that is to the day with a +/- 2-3 hour deadline because for instance on this last topic i had basically 2 days where i was 'done' and really really wanted to keep the wheels spun up so i could hit the ground moving, instead i had to fill my time with other things, while not bad, was kinda irksome in regards to my desired order!