How Two Days at Clean Design’s Intern Bootcamp can Change your Life


This past Thursday and Friday, I did not make my daily walk over to Winston Hall to review theories of public relations or to master writing the perfect press release headline in my classes. Instead, for those two days, I woke up to a 6:00 a.m. alarm clock, threw on my favorite blazer and headed 15 minutes down the road from NC State to the beautiful Clean Design office where I got to put my communication, PR and business education to the test in their 2nd annual Intern Bootcamp.

Clean Design is a fully-integrated branding and advertising agency serving a diverse set of clients such as the NC State Alumni Association, the Carolina Ballet, Lenovo, Durham Distillery, Builders Mutual and Red Hat, to name a few. The intelligent, incredibly creative and out-of-the-box thinkers of this agency assist their clients to the full extent in their branding while offering identity, collateral, public relations, digital, advertising and media services.

Surrounded by students coming from UNC Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University, Clemson University, NC State and more, we were divided up into three groups where we would compete against each other on a real client assignment. The challenge: to create an out-of-the-box concept for the client’s upcoming trade show booth that thoroughly reflected the organization’s brand and values.

The two days consisted of overview sessions of the agency’s five key disciplines – strategy, account management, creative, media and public relations – which were presented by some of the agency’s best employees. When my team went back to collaborate, we each assigned ourselves to a discipline in which we would lead throughout the assignment. Easy to say, I was quick to take on the role of handling my team’s public relations piece.

At Clean Design, they offer public relations services such as media relations, social media, thought leadership, community relations, events and crisis management. Therefore, for this assignment, my other PR teammate and I thought we’d write an original press release for the event as well as create a separate event after the tradeshow which would be based off of thought leadership.

With great assistance from the agency’s Director of Public Relations, we were able to put our heads together and create a press release in under 45 minutes. In this short amount of time, I was exposed to what a chaotic and frantic day would look and feel like for a PR practitioner. Though I was pushed to a level of responsibility, pressure and stress I have never been pushed to before, I gained a whole new love and respect for the field of public relations.

Two long days, three delicious breakfast pastries, four cups of strong coffee, 28 pages of notes, five new mentors and seven new best friends later, I have to say: I am sad that  I didn’t wake up at 6 a.m. again this morning to head over to the amazing agency of Clean Design.

This was by far one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I truly recommend this opportunity to anyone who is interested in experiencing what real agency life looks, sounds and feels like. Clean Design is also very eager to get more NC State students for their bootcamps and internships. So, let’s put a little more red into this agency! Even though you just might find yourself befriending a Tar Heel or two 🙂

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