Notable Alumni

Notable alumni of Parkland College.  We consider anyone who completed a degree, started an educational journey, or earned job skills through Parkland, a proud alumnus!

Kelli Mikhail

Graphic design

Associate in Applied Science

Graphic Design


Hometown: Naperville, IL
Year Graduated: 2015
Currently working at: Cubic, Inc.

How does it feel to be a professional designer? It feels incredible. Every day I am presented with new and exciting projects each filled with their own challenges and potential for success. I get to do what I love with the freedom to be creative while learning and developing my skills as a designer.

How do you like your job? Needless to say, I love my job. Our projects are all very exciting and our clients are thrilled to be working with us as well! The atmosphere at my office is very laid-back but when we know we need to be professional, we do it right and with style. It's the perfect environment for me to be creative with no stress.

How did you get this job? After I graduated from Parkland, I knew I needed to venture out elsewhere. My boyfriend lived in Tulsa, OK and I made plans to move out there with him once school was done. I took a trip down there to apply for jobs and sure enough landed myself a interview with Cubic, Inc. I was so drawn to work there. The studio space is beautiful and contemporary and their website was stunning as well. I loved their body of work and wanted to be a part of it! In the middle of June, I found out I was offered the job and without hesitation said yes and moved to Tulsa that week. 

What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation? Unfortunately, I can't talk about any of the stuff I'm working on now. But I had the opportunity to create a logo for a circus themed event called TYPro's 10. Along with that, I branded the event as well with applications to web, signage, posters, email newsletters, invitations, and social media. It was my first project when I started at Cubic and I had so much fun working on it!

What do you wish you would have done differently when you were at Parkland? I wish I would have paid more attention to Photoshop because I use that everyday at my job. Anytime I can't figure something I out, I turn to a coworker or Youtube!

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland? Illustrator, time management, presenting your concepts in front of the class or with a client, learning how to explain your design process, accepting feedback in a positive way (critiques are never meant to be a negative thing!!! — take full advantage of what others have to say — you will learn from them and your project will be better because of it!), always ask questions, and taking notes.

Who is your favorite designer and why? I've always been really into Stefan Sagmeister. I come from a fine arts background as well so I always loved that he often blended the two worlds together in his work. He knows how to get extremely creative and how to solve design problems in a unique way.

What is your favorite typeface and why? I honestly couldn't tell you. I feel like everyday I'm a fan of something new. What I can say is that House Industries has some stunning typefaces that will make you want to shed a tear or two :') Right now I really love Eames, Gotham, Proxima Nova, Deming EP, and Superclarendon.