Richmond, Va. (Nov. 11, 2013) – Bilal Khan, a second-year student at the VCU Brandcenter, is the 2013 recipient of a $5,000 annual scholarship from Spurrier Media Group (SMG), a creative media shop with offices in the Richmond and Metro DC markets. Since 2008, SMG has presented a total of $30,000 to deserving Brandcenter students who intend to pursue a career in the advertising field, which includes media planning, buying and placement of ad messages.
A native of Pakistan with an undergraduate degree in economics and politics, Khan was a successful singer/songwriter who achieved notoriety in his country for his original songs recorded for a prestigious music program, Coke Studio. He performed on tour in Pakistan, appearing in ads and on billboards. His fan page on Facebook has about 800,000 followers.
However, his passion for creative pursuits included a strong interest in marketing and advertising. Prior to his rise to fame as a musician, he worked for six months at a multinational advertising firm, which fueled his desire for more knowledge about a career in this industry. Ultimately, a Google search of top advertising schools in the U.S. led him to Richmond and the VCU Brandcenter for a master’s degree.
“I always want to keep improving myself and I love branding,” he said. “The decision to continue my education in the U.S. at the Brandcenter was the best decision I ever made. As a foreign student, I’m not eligible for any loans, so winning the Spurrier Media Group scholarship enables me to meet my financial obligations. I’m so thankful for this opportunity. It helps so much and really means a lot to me.”
He praised the Brandcenter faculty for challenging students to dig deep into the research that provides the foundation for every project. “There’s a strong emphasis on attention to detail,” said Khan. “Another skill that I’m learning is how to take something complicated and simplify it into a ten-minute presentation that everyone can understand. Whether I work for a company or decide to be entrepreneurial, I’ll be well-prepared, thanks to the Brandcenter.”
“We established this scholarship to support the rising stars in our industry,” said Donna Spurrier, president of Spurrier Media Group and a guest speaker in some Brandcenter classes. “It’s so rewarding to help talented students like Bilal get a world-class education at the VCU Brandcenter. He’s part of the next generation of advertising professionals and we know that he is destined for success.”
“The annual $5,000 scholarship from Spurrier Media Group demonstrates a level of support that is unprecedented for a small business in the advertising and media industry,” said Caley Cantrell, a professor at the VCU Brandcenter.
Helayne Spivak, director of the VCU Brandcenter, added, “Donna Spurrier takes a personal interest in the scholarship winners and she hosts a reception in their honor at her company. These students know that she will be following their careers in the advertising profession.”
Khan’s Visa will allow him to work in the USA for a year following graduation. “I’ll be able to get valuable work experience for my resume before returning to Pakistan,” he said. And who knows—perhaps he’ll compose an award-winning song about his experiences in RVA at the VCU Brandcenter!
About Spurrier Media Group:
Spurrier Media Group is a strategic media planning and buying agency that collaborates with global, national and regional clients to research, create and launch customized media campaigns that capture audiences and achieve exceptional results. SMG is skilled at developing a strategic business approach to its clients’ marketing needs and then formulating recommendations on what to communicate, where to communicate and how to communicate with target audiences in order to garner maximum visibility, awareness, consideration and response.
Managing multi-million dollar campaigns from its headquarters in Richmond, Va., Spurrier Media Group has extensive experience planning and buying all forms of online and offline media – including television, cable, radio, newsprint, magazine, business-to-business publications, social media, outdoor, cinema, environmentally-targeted media, digital and mobile. For more information, visit www.spurriermediagroup.com.