November 3, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

MAD Lab: VSU Announces Formation of Student-Run Advertising Agency

Students Can Earn Cooperative Education Credit, Cash, Career-Building Experience

VALDOSTA — The Spectator and the Office of Career Opportunities have partnered to offer Valdosta State University students the chance to earn cooperative education credit and a bit of cash by joining a brand new student-run advertising agency known as MAD Lab.

“Motivated self-starters from any major are the type of students we’re looking for,” said Dr. Pat Miller, faculty advisor for The Spectator and professor of English. “Students will be trained and then given the opportunity to apply their skills. That is, the MAD Lab provides training and then creates opportunity. That success trickles down to clients.”

MAD (Marketing, Advertising, and Design) Lab is the brainchild of Miller and Dr. Gerald A. Williams, director of Career Opportunities, and the pilot business for a potential Student Business Incubator at VSU — an initiative that would serve as the central hub of entrepreneurial activity on campus and support student entrepreneurs interested in bringing their business ideas to life.     

Although it will not be fully operational until spring, MAD Lab already has contracts with The Spectator, the university’s independent student newspaper, dedicated to being the unfiltered, uncensored voice of the students, and On Tap Magazine, a student-run, general-interest publication produced by and for university students. 

MAD Lab’s designers, advertising representatives, and marketers will also develop a marketing plan, including a series of advertisements, to support VSU’s retention efforts.   

Miller said that MAD Lab allows students to apply what they are learning in their classrooms to a professional employment setting. She and Williams hope that this will strengthen participating students’ marketability after graduation by helping them develop the necessary goals, skills, habits, and connections for a successful career.

“Students benefit from applying what they have learned in class,” Miller added. “It’s one thing to get the theory, say, of marketing. It’s another to apply it and make it work.”

Through MAD Lab, students will learn how to initiate, develop, and maintain client relations as they gain professional experience in marketing and advertising sales —analyze quickly changing markets, create marketing plans for local retailers, help the sales staff implement marketing plans, develop real-time digital marketing strategies, and hone sales skills. They will have the opportunity to earn commissions as advertising representatives and graphic designers, as well as highly coveted industry-based internship and/or cooperative education credit.

Contact the Office of Career Opportunities at (229) 333-5942 to learn more.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

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