Effects of Experiential Learning Via Student-Run Marketing Agencies on Student Soft Skills Through the Experiences of Current Students, Recent Alumni, And Hiring Managers

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Michelle Geiman

Committee Member

Eric Hutchison

Committee Member

John Nadalin


This paper aims to understand the marketing workplace soft skills gap and address the possibility of closing that gap through the implementation of a student-run marketing agency at institutions of higher learning. A 2016 report from Payscale.com suggests that employers feel like new graduates lack the ability to think critically, to work in teams, to communicate effectively, and to persevere through challenging times (also known as grit) and more. This soft skills gap is being addressed at institutions through various means, but one of the ways is through experiential learning where students practice the skills they would use in their given field through the completion of projects that parallel the workplace experience. One way to implement experiential learning in the marketing world is through a student-run marketing agency. These agencies put students in control of their own business that can take on clients. Students in these agencies learn critical thinking, teamwork, communication, and more through these experiences while helping local businesses. These agencies could be a solution to solving the workplace soft skills gap and serve as a winning solution for employers, students, and higher education.