Owned and Operated: A Survey of StudentRun Advertising and Public Relations Agencies at ACEJMC Accredited Institutions


  • Allison Busch University of Nebraska—Lincoln
  • Amy Struthers University of Nebraska—Lincoln


A student-run agency is a valuable opportunity for advertising, marketing, and communication students to build experience, add to resumes, and apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations. The opportunity to work with clients outside of the classroom helps students to develop skills that will set them apart later in their career search.
A student-run advertising agency essentially functions as a true advertising or PR agency does, with a few primary differences. Associated with a particular university, and usually under the guidance of one or more faculty advisors, the agency is owned and operated by students.
Depending on the size and specific specializations of the agency, students provide clients with strategies and creative direction for specific projects, campaigns, or with branding as whole. Typical clients may include other entities on the university campus, small businesses, or local non-profits.