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Real World Career Preparation

A Guide to Creating a University Student-Run Communications Agency

Douglas J. Swanson

University student-run communications agencies allow students to work with real clients and get real world experience before they graduate from college and enter the workforce. Student-run agencies are increasing in popularity, but building a successful agency is challenging.

With more than ten years of experience supervising a student-run agency, Swanson examines the three critical roles a student agency must fulfill in order to be successful. First, the agency must be an exceptional environment for learning. Second, it must be a successful business—without satisfied clients, the agency will not survive. Third, it must be a supportive partner in both on- and off-campus communities.

As the first book to address student-run agencies, Real World Career Preparation offers extensive ‘how to’ guidance, and is supported by 22 Agency Spotlight best practice examples from student-run agencies across the U.S. The book ends with a comprehensive directory of 158 university student-run agencies in operation all over the world.

Real World Career Preparation is essential reading for any faculty member or administrator who is involved with an agency, or who plans to launch one in the future. This book is also valuable for college students working in an agency who seek ‘the big picture’ view of how their work for clients has long-lasting impact on the campus and the community.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Swanson, Douglas J. Title: Real world career preparation: a guide to creating a university student-run communications agency / Douglas J. Swanson. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017009293 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3175-2 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3174-5 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1681-0 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-3749-5 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3750-1 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Public relations—Management—Study and teaching (Higher)—United States. | Communication—Study and teaching (Higher)—United States. Mass media—Study and teaching (Higher)—United States. | Education, Cooperative—United States. | College students—Employment—United States. Universities and colleges—Public relations—United States. Classification: LCC HD59.6.U6 R43 2017 | DDC 659.2071/173—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/978-1-4539-1681-0

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2017 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

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