The Backstage Pass Internship, as Told by the Interns

Backstage Pass is one of the largest advertising internships in the Northwest. Competition for a seat at the table is fierce. Hundreds of resumes are submitted, and only four interns are selected to become Drake Cooper-ites for an entire summer. We can teach them art, copy, and code. They bring the ambition. We couldn’t be more excited for the 2016 group of Backstage Passers, eager to get to work and start mixing up their magical batch of superlative awesomeness. Here is, in their own words, how they describe the internship:

At the beginning of every week, we are given a creative brief and thrown into the deep end, challenged to get our hands dirty and to develop campaigns for real clients — with a little help of course. Throughout the summer, we attend and listen to weekly workshops, and learn from some of Idaho’s most incredible advertising mentors. We learn everything from ideation to interaction design. In August, we get to take a field trip to the Seattle office with John Drake, the Chief Strategy Officer.

A typical week for Backstage Pass is filled with creative brainstorming, prototyping, and constant refining. At the end of the week, we pitch our hard work and ideas to the entire agency for feedback. It’s nerve-racking, but we love the challenge!

Our team is made up of problem solvers. We each have our own proficiencies and abilities.

Meet the Backstage Pass Team

McKenna Lowe

McKenna graduated from Boise State University with her BA in Marketing in May of 2016. When she’s not at the office, you can find her blogging at coffee shops downtown, grabbing a mojito with friends, or writing songs about ex-boyfriends (in the classic Taylor Swift fashion).

Q: Everyone has a spirit animal. But what’s your spirit vegetable?

A: I would say that my spirit vegetable is an artichoke. I’ve got some outside layers that are pretty great, but my heart is the best part.

Q: Skip to chapter seventeen of your biography, what’s happening?

A: Born to perform. You’ll see me at age 30. I’m managing promotions and events for some of the biggest musicians (including myself) from LA, New York City, and Nashville. You’ll read about my friendships with Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Taylor Swift (because who doesn’t want to be part of her squad?). I’m always on the move, but I still make time to come home to Boise and catch up with my family.

Q: Why did you apply to Backstage Pass?

Backstage Pass is a truly unique opportunity for people who are passionate about their craft and eager to learn from some of the best in the industry. I wanted my first experience at an “adult” job to be challenging and inspiring. I wanted to be surrounded by people who love what they do and are driven to create great work.

Josh Werley

Josh is a proud father of three who hangs his hat in the city of Eagle. After six years of service in the United States Navy, the desire for a new challenge sent Josh to Boise State where he graduated Cum Laude with a BBA in Marketing. After hours, Josh can be found playing board games or sampling microbrews around Boise with his friends — the darker the beer, the better.

Q: You can shoot lightning bolts from your toes, how do you use this power for the good of humanity?

A: I would create cool lightning shows at EDM concerts. But to power my “Lightning Toe Shows” party goers would have to bring me drinks because I would have to be laying down relaxing to keep my toes pointed up.

Q: What’s your life motto?

A: Don’t be afraid to fail — failure is just another step on the road to success.

Q: What do you want to learn from Backstage Pass this Summer?

A: I want to learn how every department in an ad agency comes together to bring an idea to life and where my strengths put me in that process.

Ben Ohashi

Ben is a marketing major at Boise State University and will graduate in 2017. Outside of working and going to school, he enjoys cooking, chilling with friends, and staying up-to-date with the latest technology, sports, and social topics.

Q: Stranded! Desert Island! Three things! Go!

A: A volleyball. Chuck Taylors. Hoverboard — to start a fire

Q: Where can we find you in your free time?

A: On the grill or in the kitchen mastering the craft of cooking something besides ramen on a college budget.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing about Backstage Pass so far?

A: Aside from the free coffee every morning, I would say the support. Everyone at Drake Cooper treats you like you have been working here for years. The support comes in many forms including honest and constructive feedback, technical workshops, and informative job shadows. We learn from, embrace, encourage and engage the best of our team’s personalities; the stranger the better.

Alex Aldecoa

Alex is a greyhound-drinking, golden retriever-loving, CrossFitter with a passion for design. She graduated from Boise State two years ago with a BFA in Graphic Design and worked as a UX Designer until joining the 2016 Backstage Pass.

Q: Why is there a shark in your living room?

A: Have you ever had a shark swim behind you? It motivates you real quickly. Now imagine living with one.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Lots of things, taking risks, nature, and my dog, Timber. With risks, it’s the rush you get when starting something new where you could fail. That feeling helps jump-start me. I’m also inspired by nature all of the time, especially when I can unplug from all of my gadgets and be behind the oars of a raft. When my pup greets me every day with his wiggly, happy personality, it inspires me to love the simple things and to be grateful for life.

Q: What’s been your favorite thing about working for Drake Cooper?

A: Being in a creative environment where everyone is excited about what they do and are willing to help whoever. And I guess the free beer isn’t a bad perk.

Selina Duangkaew

Selina is a self-proclaimed desert dweller, cat whisperer, and curator of odd things. Selina graduated from Boise State this year, with a BFA in Graphic Design.

Q: Walk us through your day, except you are also a dinosaur for that day.

A: There’s a drought. Resources are diminishing. Others are getting hangry. It’s intense. But, there is one last livable place on earth — The Great Valley. It’s full of lush land (great for me because I’m a vegetarian). Crazy things happen. I’m an orphan now. And I meet four baby dinos on a journey where we experience hardships together amidst our way to this Great Valley. And yes, that is the plot to The Land Before Time.

Q: If you could do anything, what would you do (besides be a dinosaur)?

A: Right now? First, get all the cats in my Neko Atsume game to complete my cat book. Second, go to Iceland as my first stop and venture around the world while still accumulating wealth.

Q: Describe what it’s like to be a part of Backstage Pass.

A: It’s awesome and collaborative, and the office has a swing! Literally, there are two swings in the basement.

Danny Rosas

Danny was born and raised in Idaho Falls by two amazing parents. He lives an incredible life in Boise with his wonderfully supportive wife, amazing and rambunctious sons, Ian and Dominic, and his little princess Tahlia. He graduated from Boise State University with a BFA in Graphic Design and enjoys playing basketball, coaching the various sports his kids participate in and spending quality family time. Danny also has an impressive collection of sneakers.

Q: This summer’s biggest blockbuster is a movie about your life, what’s it called and who is starring as you?

A: It’s called Hustle. Grind. Create. George Lopez would star.

Q: What do you believe in?

A: I believe in hard work, dedication and ambition. I’m ambitious and competitive, with a passion for creativity. I live for a challenge, and setting goals. Staying positive and doing what you love. I feel that you have to stay hungry. Don’t settle. You can’t wait for perfection; you have to go out and find it.

Q: What’s one thing that has surprised you about Backstage Pass?

A: The amount of knowledge that I have gained in such a short time is incredible.

If you would like to learn more about Backstage Pass, visit the Each year, we get the incredible opportunity to bring in a new team to Backstage Pass. We would love for you to apply. Applications will be reopening early 2017.

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