Student ambassadors represent big-name brands at UCF
They're smiling. They're peppy. They're shoving fliers or gift bags into your face. They're student brand ambassadors.
With college students becoming an even more important commercial market to conquer, companies, ranging from fashion front-runners to tech giants, have enlisted the help of college students to get their names — and their brands — out there.
Jacey Calle, a junior journalism major, is a brand ambassador for Marie Claire magazine, a prominent international monthly women's magazine. After hearing about it from a fellow sorority member, Calle filled out the application and has been a brand ambassador since August.
But what exactly is a brand ambassador responsible for?
"The main goal is to spread the name of the magazine and get subscriptions," Calle said.
And while her job is to get the foot of Marie Claire into the door of the college-age market, Calle said she saw her brand-ambassador role as a foot in the door to the fashion world as well.
As a journalism major, Calle said her "ultimate dream job" would be to work at a women's magazine such as Marie Claire.
But it's not all work and no play.
As a brand ambassador, Calle handles all the swag that she hands out to students, and she said the gifts Marie Claire sends her to give out are her favorite part of the job. Of all the gifts she hands out, Calle said the makeup is the best.
While Calle may be the only brand ambassador at UCF, she said Marie Claire is looking to expand. Applications are available on the magazine's website.
Big-name fashion companies aren't the only ones trying to appeal to the collegiate market, however.
The popular video-game developing company Ubisoft has enlisted Lindsay Gonshak, a junior marketing major, to get the word out about the newest games the company rolls out.
Roughly nine months ago, Gonshak beat out a handful of other applicants after an online application and questionnaire, and now handles Ubisoft's UCF needs.
Her duties, Gonshak said, are essentially promotion, whether that's getting the word out about new games, planning events with other student organizations to let students test out the games or posting on social media.
As a brand ambassador, Gonshak has to be well-versed in the gaming world to be able to serve Ubisoft the best, said Kimberly Weigend, program manager for the Ubisoft College Rep Program.
"[Our brand ambassadors need to have] a passion and a love for gaming in general," Weigend said. "Because our products are video games, and even though they're becoming more of a mass-market entertainment medium, there are still people who don't quite know what video games are about [or] understand that even if they play casually they can be considered a gamer, so we want our ambassadors to be aware of that [and] able to understand games, play games and know games so that [when] they talk to people about our video games they're well knowledgeable about our product and gaming in general."
While she may be the only Ubisoft ambassador, Gonshak said she sometimes recruits friends to help her table or pass out pamphlets.
To make sure she's on track and everything's going smoothly, she has a conference call every other week with Weigend to see how their current campaigns are going.
But like Calle, Gonshak said there are some personal perks to the job.
"So far the most rewarding experience has been the confidence I've gained," Gonshak said. "I'm pretty shy, but to be a brand ambassador, you have to be outgoing and talk to a lot of people and build hype for your brand, so it helped me to break out of my shell."
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