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Jordan Lambrecht

jacht student ad agency

Discover a Student Ad Agency Feeding the Pipeline for Creative Talent in Nebraska

February 2020

In many majors, classroom learning is the primary training students need to enter the real world. But in other majors, like advertising and public relations, there’s no replacement for real, hands-on experience. How can a student expect to impress at an advertising agency after graduation when they’ve never worked in one? You can’t teach that with textbooks.

So Amy Struthers, interim dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, came up with an idea. Why not create a student-run ad agency that serves real clients—for real money?

students discussing at Yacht
Jacht students work in the agency's Haymarket office space.

Since its founding in 2010, has seen more than 400 talented students pass through its doors from all areas of study: journalism, finance, economics, marketing, film, and graphic design.

Jordan Lambrecht was one of them. Today, he’s a managing partner and creative director of Lincoln’s Pixel Bakery Design Studio, which offers services in animation, web design, video, motion graphics, 4K aerial videography and photography, and graphic design. He co-founded the business with his fellow Jacht alums Tony Bertino and Karley Johnson after seeing an untapped market for it in the city.

Lambrecht credits Jacht with helping him to envision all the possibilities for his art degree. Jacht gives students a taste of what it’s like to run a business. It takes on real clients from across Nebraska, and the revenue from their campaigns covers rent and utilities at their office space in Lincoln’s Haymarket.

“Our college is all about hands-on experience and experiential learning.”

“One of my main goals was to make sure that this was a small business,” Struthers said. “Our college is all about hands-on experience and experiential learning.”

These days, Lambrecht and his business partners are passing on Jacht’s ability to create connections for students as adjunct professors in their former college.

“What we’ll do is pick the best out of our classes and hire them,” he said. “Where else in the United States would we be able to hand-select freshly graduated students like that?”

Out-of-the-box ideas like a student-run ad agency aren’t possible without support from the University of Nebraska. With the essentials for students covered, schools like the College of Journalism and Mass Communications can focus on going the extra mile in giving students more opportunities. In return, their students go further in their careers, bringing the next generation along for the ride—and strengthening our state as a whole. Good idea.

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