To change the face and voice of the marketing
industry by introducing, guiding, and preparing
students for careers in marketing.


"We must continue to strengthen that bridge from the
classroom to careers and be fearless in our efforts to
build inclusive and equitable environments where
people of all backgrounds will thrive."

Christine Fruechte,
2014-2015 Board Chair

Ellen Walthor,
Executive Director


You can't seek out a job
that you don't know exists.

That’s why the first step in our work with students is exposure. Our classroom program uses an innovative, experiential curriculum with field trips to agencies and corporate marketing offices as well as classroom visits from industry professionals. We want students to feel the power of creative problem solving and see themselves pursuing a creative career.

During the 2014-2015 school year, we did a complete overhaul to our classroom curriculum. It is now even more relevant, hands-on, creative, and streamlined for our students to get the best marketing experience possible.


"The BrandLab has not only strengthened my confidence in my decision to pursue a career in marketing, but they have also given me the opportunity to experience the industry."

Linda Pham
The BrandLab Intern 2015
The BrandLab Intern 2014
Caribou Coffee
Read more about Linda >



Bloomington Kenedy High School
Como Park Senior High School
Edison High School
FAIR High School
Harding Senior High School

HighView Alternative Learning Center
Johnson Senior High School
MTS High School (Minnesota Transitions Charter)

North Community High School
Open World Learning Community (OWL)
Park Center High School
Richfield High School

Robbinsdale Armstrong High School
Robbinsdale Cooper High School Roosevelt High School
St. Paul College
South High School


This is a relationship-based industry.
We help rising stars build their professional networks.

When The BrandLab students graduate from college, they have the tools and relationships to enter the workforce immediately. In the summer of 2015, we hosted 50 interns — our largest class to date.

After the classroom experience, our kids are hungry for skill-building opportunities, which we provide through our workshops and internship program, as well as through college scholarships.



The BrandLab is one of the leading nonprofits in Minnesota providing college scholarships to students of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We collaborate with local colleges to help The BrandLab students navigate the admissions process, understand financial assistance, and identify career tracks related to marketing and advertising.

2015 Recipients
Sabrina Palacio, Dralandra Larkins, Nagma Garane, Abraham Robles-Quinto, Merideth Bomster, Fernanda Guaman, Sonia Jibicho, Christian Russel, Andrea Xiong, Alyssa Abilo, Emily Sullivan, Grant Skophammer, Neil Oxborough, Hamza Siddiqui, Zahra Abdullahi, Tavaris McIntrye, Chin Nou Khang, Erianna Jiles, Phillip VanDeWeghe, Melanie Lee, GaohLee Yang, Pa Xiong, Connie Xiong, Veeva Lee, Daniel Degollado



total scholarship funds
granted in 2014-2015


total scholarships since 2007


"Honestly, my bond with The
BrandLab has flourished
even after my time with the
program has ended. Being an
alumni has had a very deep
and meaningful impact on
my life."

Karis Pryor
The BrandLab Intern 2012
Read more about Karis >

The BrandLab students
continue to beat the odds.

The BrandLab works! Many former interns find additional internships outside The BrandLab. Our first class of interns have just graduated from college and are now pursuing jobs in the industry.

Twin Cities On-Time Graduation Rates

Fearless Conversations 2015

The BrandLab’s annual Fearless Conversation event brings together industry leaders to discuss the subject of race in the marketing and advertising industry. The goal is to have an honest conversation around diversity to eliminate unintentional bias and help foster healthy work environments that know how to support and retain a diverse talent pool.

2015 marked the completion of our fourth Fearless Conversation event. This series has grown each year, and to date, over 570 participants have attended, representing over 80 organizations. To expand the conversation even further, Minnesota Public Radio generously facilitates the conversation and archives it for future access at any time around the world. Click here to listen to the 2014 stream, and here for the 2015 stream.

Our conversation this past year focused on the difference between sponsorship and mentorship and the importance of augmenting your own networks when hiring and promoting talent within an organization. We are thankful to our 2015 panelists for guiding us, Mike Lescarbeau: CEO, Carmichael Lynch, Sonya Roberts: Managing Director, Cargill Kitchen Solutions, Kelly Baker: VP of human resources, General Mills and to MPR's Tom Weber for facilitating the conversation. 


Looking Ahead

Every year The BrandLab has
grown in size, quality, and passion.

We are more than a nonprofit. We are a movement that taps into the creative power of an entire city. Together, we can be fearless in creating more and more opportunities for young people and the creative industry to thrive.

2015 - 2016 Goals


total classroom students in program



"The BrandLab staff did not just focus on things that were going to be beneficial to their program, but what was going to be beneficial to the interns in the long run, long after our internship was over."

Dralandra Larkins
The BrandLab Intern 2015
Weber Shandwick
Read more about Dralandra >


Thank you.

Thanks to you, we are beating the odds and already seeing
young creative talent choose majors that will help propel
them toward careers in creative communications. Your
continued support will help us revolutionize the industry.

We welcome your continued financial support.