Determination and Design: Ally Brooks’ Internship with CQL

I honestly felt like part of the family, so it was really exciting to hear the feedback from everyone about our progress.

In the Spring of 2021, Senior Design student Ally Brooks had the opportunity to intern with CQL. The User-Experience centered design firm is 25 years old and has worked with numerous well-known brands including Sperry, Chaco, PetSmart, and Herman Miller.

The Ferris State Design major requires its students to participate in an internship or study abroad experience after junior year, and landing such a prestigious role was possible because of Ferris connections. The Graphic Design Project Center has contacts within a large number of firms, including CQL. In fact, Ally’s immediate supervisor was Brandon Knap, a former Ferris grad from 2014.

Finding an internship also took determination and time. Ally applied to 48 different positions and was offered eight interviews before being offered four paid positions.

While working at CQL, Ally learned to share assets, communicate with a development team, and work with various timelines and skillsets. At the end of the internship, she had the opportunity to share what she had done and learned with the entire company. “I honestly felt like part of the family, so it was really exciting to hear the feedback from everyone about our progress,” she said of the experience.

I love the kind of work I did, and I loved the environment I was in.

Was it worth it? When asked if it helped her prepare for graduation, Ally gave a resounding yes. “I love the kind of work I did, and I loved the environment I was in. This company has set the standard for what I should expect that a workplace environment and workload should entail,” she explained.

After her experience, Ally stressed the importance of internships, saying that they give real-world experience in a safe space where you are free to make and learn from mistakes.

To those looking for an internship, she suggests applying even when you think you won’t get the position and asking employers for feedback if you don’t get the internship. “Don’t compare yourself to the person who has 5+ years in your field,” she encouraged. “Don’t sell yourself short.”

Program:

Design