Hannah: Why You Should Take AdLab


It’s class registration season and you might feel stuck while choosing what classes to take this spring. If you are an advertising student with CM 217 (Intro to Ad) under your belt, I strongly encourage you to sign up for AdLab (CM 420). Yes, I might be biased as the current president of the agency, but hear me out! AdLab is an amazing opportunity at COM that you can’t miss. 

What exactly is AdLab? AdLab is the country’s largest student-run ad agency, operating out of BU COM. The agency functions as a class under the guidance of industry-expert faculty advisors and a student-run E-Board. Students in the class create real world work for real world clients. 

There are many reasons why I am madly in love with AdLab. Here are a few of the main ones: 

1. The work

Advertising is all about creating work designed to be seen by the public. But in most advertising classes, you are only creating work for your classmates’ and professor’s eyes. In AdLab, you get to see your work displayed in the real world on social media, billboards, web banners and more. It is thrilling to see the public respond to your work and a great preview of post-graduate work. Having your work out there is also a  fantastic portfolio builder. 

2. The internship aspect

COVID-19 has made the internship hunt extra difficult. AdLab is a fantastic substitute for an internship. You work with clients in the same way you would at an agency internship, and gain the same experience in the agency process. AdLab can also count for your CM CO 575 credit. COM CO 575 is a zero credit, undergrad professional experience required to be completed at least once by all students on the BU HUB. 

3. The roles

Students in AdLab are split up into teams with each individual having an ad agency role. These roles are assigned based on applications and interviews. The roles in AdLab include account executive, project manager, strategist, copywriter and art director. You can learn more about the specific duties of each role here. You are able to get a feel for what it’s like to work in a specific role before committing to the role in your job search! What better way to figure out what role you want than to test it out in AdLab? 

4. The clients

AdLab has CONNECTIONS. Students get to work with noteworthy clients including Hill Holliday, Aetna, Hasbro, Wayfair, Celebrity Cruises, Shriners Hospital for Children and many more. You get to produce work that creates an impact. You also get some pretty dope name drops. 

5. The students

AdLab students are the best of the best. You will get a chance to work alongside talented people and build your professional network. You also get practice working with a team, since almost all agency work is teamwork-based. 

6. The professors

AdLab is run by inspiring industry-expert faculty advisors Doug Gould and Michelle Sullivan. Gould’s career spans 30+ years as an art director and creative director. He spent 16 of those years at Hill Holliday where he helped create two Super Bowl commercials. Sullivan spent 17 years of her career at The Boston Beer Company where she oversaw multi-million dollar campaign initiatives, like the Samuel Adams Brewing campaigns and the American Dream philanthropic venture. Not only are they both widely successful, but they are welcoming and open. They take the time to work one-on-one with each student and provide meaningful mentorship.  

7. The opportunity for growth

By taking AdLab, you get the chance to move up to the student-run EBoard. This is a great leadership opportunity and a chance to get to know even more amazing AdLab peeps. Those on the EBoard can serve as directors, where they work one-on-one with students; or VPs, where they oversee a whole department. 

8. The guest speakers

The AdLab class functions as a weekly lecture. Often, inspiring leaders in the industry stop by to talk to us! We have had guest speakers from BBDO, Ogilvy, MullenLowe, Connelly Partners, Publicis, Martin Agency, Hill Holliday, Small Army, Droga5 and more. These speakers provide insider insights and are great networking connections.

So no duh! AdLab is an AMAZING opportunity! What are you waiting for? Seize the moment and take AdLab this spring. 

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The COM Ambassador program is available to current and prospective COM freshmen. We are here to answer questions and help you learn all the great things that BU, COM and Boston have to offer. Be bold. Be creative. Be COM. @BU

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