We sat down with Ellie Hedlund, QBP’s Industrial Design Intern, to talk about her latest projects and how she’s taking steps to improve diversity on her own time.
Department: Industrial Design
School: University of Minnesota, Junior
Major: Product Design
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hobbies: Biking and art
What do you ride? Santa Cruz HighBall
Ellie, an artist, cyclist, and future bike designer, is diving headfirst into her summer tasks: documenting All-City bikes and an iSSi pedal rendering project.
“I take 3D models of iSSi pedals and create cutouts so the internal bearings are exposed. Then, they’re brought into another program where they’re rendered to look realistic. This project is for iSSi marketing so it’s easier to understand the difference between one pedal and another.”
When Ellie’s not working with her team, she can be found riding mountain bike trails and talking herself out of buying a new bike. As a cycling enthusiast and the current president of the University of Minnesota Cycling Club, Ellie has known she wanted to be a part of QBP for a while. “I picked this internship out as soon as I chose my major. I knew I wanted to work in the bicycling industry. In the future, I’d love to design bikes, so this internship ended up being perfect for me.”
“I love that everyone bikes into work and that it’s not a weird thing. I think the welcoming atmosphere and company culture is great here.”
As for company culture, Ellie feels as though she’s home. She enjoys the network of knowledge she’s surrounded by through fellow employee cyclists but also appreciates the ability to learn new things without being intimidated.
To be a part of QBP’s Equity and Diversity Internship program means more than just gaining real-world experience to Ellie, who’s most excited about working within a company whose values align with expanding and diversifying the industry. She relates to QBP’s mission on a personal level and with the collegiate cycling season on the horizon, Ellie’s already planning on how to improve diversity within her own team.
“We’re strong in racing but we want to build a more open community and with that comes building a more diverse network of riders. By focusing on women-only events, bonfires, and team bonding activities, we’re trying to make cycling a less-intimidating sport those who don’t fit the typical cyclist norm. I’m learning a lot about diversity initiatives and how to implement them by working here at QBP.”
“I’ve personally tried to get more women on bikes so joining a bigger group whose greater mission is to do that is really cool.”