The Fall School of Business (FSB) started this spring semester off with an innovative new addition: the Dunkin Digital Media Lab (DDML). The lab has been carefully designed to encourage collaboration, provide a professional environment and enhance the experience of marketing students at AU.
With the experience and knowledge of two marketing professors, the marketing department at AU is beginning to evolve their program through classroom and technological advancements to better match the growing marketing industry. This new lab is the first step in elevating this program within the FSB.
With the help of assistant professors of marketing and sport marketing Victoria Shaw and James Newton, the idea of a space like DDML has come to fruition. Both professors contributed to the process by ensuring the lab had functionality, a professional aesthetic and technology that would improve the experience of classes and projects.
The idea finally started coming to life late in the spring of 2021 and continued to grow throughout the summer. Construction began in the fall of 2021.
Newton and Shaw saw the lab as an opportunity to elevate the marketing program by meeting industry needs and giving students in the program their own space to grow in a constantly-changing industry. The lab allows the FSB to meet these new demands of the industry.
“Social and digital marketing comprises a majority of the marketing budgets today versus just a few short years ago,” said Newton. “The importance of having such a facility will only benefit AU and the FSB in general. It’s also important to have a lab that will expose the students to the latest technologies and digital software that are in today’s Fortune 500 companies,” he continued.
Each aspect of the lab’s design is meant to provide an environment that a student would experience in the workplace. Aspects such as the three bluetooth monitors and partner-style tables allow for students to easily use their own devices, look at various things all at once and inspire collaboration with their peers. These parts of the lab make the space “not only academic but practical,” said Shaw.
Senior FSB student Taylor Johnson has seen the benefits of the lab in her topics in business and economics (digital marketing) class.
“The lab creates a realistic environment for a future job,” Johnson said. “It gives a realistic group work environment and the lab’s technology has made it easier to give presentations from our own computers.”
The lab not only impacts the education of the students, but it boosts morale for the students, professors and prospective students in the program. Both Newton and Shaw recognized the power that having their own space would have on the marketing department.
Shaw explained, “The FSB has a lab for finance majors. We wanted a space that felt like the marketing and media majors’ own space.”