Interning at Cog

Middlesex University student, Mila Stokingerova, spent time with us and quickly got stuck-in to some big creative projects. She tells us what it’s like to be an intern here.

Mila cake

When I first walked into Cog I was greeted by smiles.

Within hours, there were health and safety tours, and an induction into the recycling routines.

I’d been interning at other places all summer. I was getting a bit jaded by my previous experiences. But after my morning’s introduction my excitement grew. The creative, friendly environment of the studio shone through.

I am a naturally shy person, especially when everyone and everything is completely new to me, but I didn’t feel like that here.

Anna was introduced as my mentor and she looked after me, wonderfully, throughout my time at Cog.

Part of my tutorial on fire safety

On my first day I was tasked to do some brainstorming for a campaign project, I was so surprised to be included in a major project that my brain didn’t really do a lot of storming but it was great to get into a creative piece of work straight away.

I didn’t realise how extreme the tea consumption would be at Cog.

Every Cog project is approached in such a deep and open way, you are encouraged to really get every idea out, no thought is dismissed. When working on big projects they get the whole team involved at the start and stick everything they have on the walls to help think.

The Cog team think about communictions from an audience perspective. They do research with clients, through fun workshops and discussions. I enjoyed learning about this process. I have always been as interested in the process of design as much as the outcome itself.In my first few days I got so into the zone of these projects that I ended up staying overtime which, as an intern, I would never have imagined I would do. I just lost track of time.

In Cog’s indoor garden with my mentor Anna and designer Dan, and Danni the Dalmatian (who sometimes visits on a Friday).

Now onto a serious matter… Tea.

Yes, they told me about their tea rounds and of course, every place drinks tea/coffee, but I didn’t realise how extreme the tea consumption would be at Cog.

On my first day I was asked if I wanted a tea maybe 5 times before lunch!

Two weeks later, I was drinking more tea than I ever have in my life.

Whilst here, I was lucky enough to observe a brand identity presentation. I have not previously witnessed a formal presentation to the client and it was very interesting. Michael (Cog’s Director) made it very clear that everything is up for discussion, this meant that the response of each person to the certain routes proposed was completely different. It was amazing how you can tell what type of personalities each person had by their preferences and feedback.

Unfortunately, I had to return to university so I ran out of time and couldn’t stay long enough to see any of the projects through to their finish. But I think I got to be involved in the most fun part of the process: the beginning.

The team have been amazingly helpful, making sure that I get the most out of my internship, happy to answer my questions and explain their work to me.The only thing I would change would be to have contacted them and started earlier so I could have stayed for longer. But even in such a short time I learnt so much and experienced a design studio that treated me as if I was a normal employee.

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