At the end of the academic year, CCAD faculty select one outstanding senior for each undergraduate major. Today, in part one of our nine-part series, meet Fashion Design Outstanding Senior Ashleigh Jones.
Q. Outstanding Senior is an honor that’s earned. How did you stay focused and motivated to excel academically at CCAD?
I think the thing that kept me most focused was why I came to school: to get a job and start my own clothing line. Every time that I felt unmotivated or unsure about whether I should be here, I had to remember why I came.
Q. Do you remember a single point when you realized that you were meant to be here doing what you were doing?
I had a weird, spiky mohawk when school started and everyone at CCAD loved it. I think if I would have gone to another school, I would’ve gotten the weirdest looks. Everyone here is so expressive. You feel very welcome and very at home.
Q. What was your favorite class at CCAD?
I think it’s a tie between my freshman year design class with Julie Abijanac and surface design with Irina Grebennik.
Julie taught me how to really use an X-Acto knife. Now I’m really good at cutting and measuring, which is really important when it comes to laying out patterns and cutting them out. Surface design with Irina allows me to do hands-on stuff, which I love. It’s very fun and free. Once you learn the method of how to do it you can completely go off on your own.
Q. What is your fondest CCAD memory?
My fondest memories all involve me sitting on the quad with my best friends. I recently went for a night run and it made me feel nostalgic as I ran through the campus. I saw all of the places where I used to sit with different people and it reminded me of all of those really fun moments.
Q. What will you miss most about CCAD?
I’ll miss all of the equipment and lab space. The laser cutter is awesome, and our fashion labs are amazing. I’ll also miss the people in those spaces. You meet a lot of interesting people in the classrooms and labs.
Q. What word or phrase sums up your feelings about graduation?
Ecstatic. There’s definitely some sadness in there but overall, I’m completely in love with the fact that I’m graduating. It’s been a long journey and I’m ready to start life after college.
Q. What are your plans after graduation?
I’m still looking for full-time employment. I’m also going to be participating in the CMH Fashion Week runway show in October with my sister (2013 Fashion Design alumna Danielle Jones). We are going to design this awesome patterned collection. Eventually we want to own a company together, so we figured this would be the best way to start out.
Q. What is your ultimate dream job or goal?
Owning my own company with my sister Danielle. I’ve never really wanted to work for anyone else but myself.
Q. As a soon-to-be alum, how do you hope to impact the next group of CCAD students?
I hope that I’m successful after I graduate so that I will inspire others and make them realize that life goes on after you graduate. I would also love to give back to the school. That’s how everything keeps moving along; you need people to give back.
Q. What is one thing you know now that you wish you would have known as a freshman?
I should have started networking professionally and fostering personal friendships a lot earlier.
Jones is from Westerville, OH, and attended Westerville Central High School.
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