Recent advertising and PR grad grows social media agency

Emmanuel Aneke got used to juggling classes and running his start-up business, Spark Studio. Building on the experience he gained from his integrated advertising and public relations major at MSUM, Emmanuel successfully opened his social media agency during his senior year. Now, as a recent graduate, he can focus on growing his business.

As an international student from Guinea-Bissau, Emmanuel was originally interested in technology and science. He had the opportunity to complete C++, a coding course, before enrolling at MSUM. Emmanuel explored a few majors before finding his home in integrated advertising and public relations.

“The easiest part for me during school was transitioning into a major that has the values I’ve believed in my whole life,” Emmanuel explains.

Flypaper is a student-run ad and PR agency course that inspired Emmanual to start Spark Studio. The Flypaper experience helped take his newly acquired skills to the next level, gave him introductory knowledge about starting a business, and enticed him to strike out on his own. Spark Studio’s goals are to help small businesses garner awareness and create a brand in an artistic form.

“Most people want to create businesses to make money, but I want to give businesses an audience that resonates and sticks with them,” says Emmanuel.

Building his agency from scratch was a tedious process, Emmanuel explains. After researching various business models, he incorporated an LLC. He credits much of his motivation to his former professor, advisor, and mentor, Kay Beckermann, whose guidance led to an advertising and public relations major and instilled in him the fundamentals of the field.

“Emmanuel hustles more than any person I know. He is incredibly organized, has amazing energy, is full of curiosity, and was so well-liked by his peers,” Kay Beckermann shares.

As a seasoned traveler before starting college, Emmanuel connected with many people from different countries, learning to converse comfortable and build a solid professional network.

“As an international student, advertising and public relations seemed like the right fit because I can connect with anyone and find common ground. It’s an environment I flourish in,” says Emmanuel.

Advertising and Public Relations

Going door-to-door to meet with potential clients in person has been the most effective way for Emmanuel to grow his clientele. By understanding his clients' goals, putting himself in their consumer shoes, and utilizing his unique perspective, Emmanuel successfully assists in developing well-rounded branding plans.

“I show clients how to look outside the box, and I am outside the box,” Emmanuel says.

Since graduating from MSUM in December 2023, Emmanuel continues to expand his business by attending StartupBREW Fargo, staying connected with professors and former classmates, broadening his network, and, of course, persisting with door-to-door efforts.

Integrated Advertising and Public Relations

Explore public relations creatively with real-world clients and hands-on learning inside and outside the classroom.

Learn more about Integrated Advertising and Public Relations

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