Ben has been a professor at UW Stout for over 20 years. Teaching is what he loves, and he turned down a job at Frog Design to do it.
It is my pleasure to highly recommend Jeffrey (Clay) Simonson for an industrial design position.
I have been teaching industrial design for close to 25 years, and Clay is a standout for a number of reasons.
First, he has a fantastic personality. He is very personable, and a pleasure to be around. He is honest when giving feedback, without making it a personal issue. He has a high energy level, with a magnetic personality, and brings the best out of the other people he works with.
Second, he is extremely talented. Not only is his skill level very high, but he is constantly learning, improving, and taking on new skills.
Third, and most notably, he is very, very smart and has an exceptionally creative mind. If you want someone who can solve problems, or create innovative solutions, he is amongst the best you can find. Certainly, in the top few of the hundreds and hundreds of people I’ve taught.
I wholeheartedly recommend Clay and would stake my reputation on him. You should seriously consider snatching him up before someone else does.
Benjamin G. Pratt
Professor, Industrial Design
Fred has been managing designers for over 20 years working for clients like Nike, Gillette, 3M, and many more. I designed point of purchasing products for Fred at Great Northern Corporation.
Not only did he absorb everything we threw at him, he brought his style of enthusiastic exuberance to every project everyday.
I have had the pleasure of working with Clay when he spent 8 months as a paid coop intern in my design department. I first met Clay when he was a sophomore at UW-Stout when he requested an interview for our internship. Although we were looking for Seniors or recent graduates, Clay demonstrated both an enthusiasm and professionalism for design that was unique and great to see. Encouraged to return again for another interview, we hired him at the end of his sophomore year.
Clay is a confident excellent designer who likes to have fun at work and in general in life.
Currently I am again given the opportunity to work with him now as his professor leading him in his Senior Industrial Design class at Stout. His designing is so much more matured than a year or so ago when he was interning.
As he enters the work force of design professionally I know for sure he will both continue to grow and create wonderful designs... if you have a chance to work with Clay, I am sure you won’t be disappointed!
Partner & Director, Design Experience
Laporta Design Group
Cole oversees design and product development to sell outdoor furniture to Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Wallmart, and more. Cole .
Clay is one of the most curious and driven designers I know. He has shown the ability to not
only pick up new skills but to do it quickly and do it well, very well.
His visual aids such as sketching, product rendering and visually focused boards are simple,
concise and direct. He seems to reinvent his talents consistently to grow his overall skillsets.
Every sketch is not the same, every render is put in a different light and every product board has
His drive to really put in time on a project and take it as a challenge is noticeably something he
values. Research is more than a piece of the picture to Clay, it’s a challenge to really
understand how to make a finished product that makes sense, matters and holds real world
value, no matter how big or small.
On a personal level Clay has no ego whatsoever. He thrives in positions not everyone would
feel comfortable and this affords him a wider range in seeing what value is and can be from
different perspectives in an unbiased light. Clay is a joy to work and is always up for an
adventure in and outside the office.
Director of Design and Product Development
Sea Point Outdoors
5 INTERNSHIPS COMPLETED
20 MONTHS OF INTERNING COMPLETED
Duration: four months of contractual work. Duties included working as an industrial designer to create a variety of products for three main clients. I worked for a former Major League Baseball player to develop a professional sporting goods product to be sold to two of the MLB's biggest brands. I worked for Montezuma Tools specifically tasked to innovate what the future of tool storage could mean in an IOT connected world, as well as in analogue innovation. I worked for Fuzion Scooters to develop photo-realistic renderings to be put on Amazon to sell a new professional line of scooters.
GREAT NORTHERN CORPORATION
Duration: eight months of full time work. Duties included working as an Industrial Design team member to solve problems with product and product display oriented solutions. Responsibilities included rapid ideation (sketching and Solidworks modeling), designing within brand languages (3M, Fastenal, Office Depot, Ring, Meijer,...), creating new brand languages, and travel for vendor quality control.
ZALK JOSEPH'S FABRICATORS (X2)
Duration (each): four months of full time work. Two internships completed. Duties included working in a team of three to determine estimate cost of structural steel of large-scale buildings predominately in Chicago. Later responsibilities included working as an individual estimator.
But not at the beach.