I would like to use my University CAD work to build a portfolio, however I only have an old version of Solidworks that can't open the files. Is there anyway of converting the files or simply exporting them into a view-able format for display?
You can try a step file. Then when loading it in the early version, activate the "attempt feature recognition" option. Like this says, it attempts to recognize the features, but it won't always be successful. Even if it does show the recognized features, they may not be 100% accurate.
Parasolid is the best format, but the feature tree will be lost.
SolidWorks is not able to export files as an earlier version.
Here is a help link to what I posted.
an earlier version arrange some problems while compare to new version