6 Skills You’ll Master as a Student Brand Ambassador

Being a student brand ambassador isn’t always a simple task—especially when you’re going to class, studying for midterms, working a part time job, and trying to see your friends! Although it seems challenging, being a brand ambassador can be an incredibly rewarding experience that helps you develop the skills needed to enter the workforce. Here are six skills you’ll master:

1. Communicating remotely

Brands hire student brand ambassadors from all across the country, and because of this, you typically communicate with your supervisor via phone, text, email, and social media. A lot can be lost in translation when you’re unable to see someone face-to-face. As a result, you’ll be challenged to learn how to refine your remote communication skills, which is becoming an increasingly more important aspect of work in our digital age.

2. Working within teams

You don’t work in a vacuum, and in most careers, you never will. Typically, student brand ambassadors work in groups of two to four. The success of the program on your campus depends on your ability to collaborate effectively within your team. Learning how to work with others is a vital skill that you’ll develop and perfect over time. Because of this, the data shows us that student brand ambassadors have a leg up on the competition as they enter the workforce. After all, the key to being a successful student brand ambassador is clear and continuous teamwork.

3. Being responsible and deadline-focused

Being a student brand ambassador can be a really fun and rewarding opportunity, but at the end of the day, it is a job. The program’s completion and success is on you and your team. Brands invest a lot of time and money into selecting, training, and trusting student brand ambassadors to complete tactics when they themselves cannot be present. If an event doesn’t happen, the opportunity is lost, money is wasted, and the brand cannot meet their goals. As previously mentioned, your supervisor is typically not in your same city, so the responsibility is in your hands. Learning how to work on your own schedule and still meet deadlines is a critical skill.

4. Representing a brand or company

As a student brand ambassador, you become the face of your brand on-campus. Beyond having to know everything about their service and/or product offerings, you’ll be communicating their brand messaging everyday. What’s their story? What makes them unique? And why should students care? You’ll learn how to share key messages through both verbal and visual techniques—from talking about products and services, and demonstrating their value, to looking the part through what you wear and how you present yourself. For example, if you’re representing Apple but using a PC, people won’t believe that you’re a true advocate for the brand—they’ll assume you’re just doing it to get paid. Learning that sometimes it not what you say, but how you present it, is a valuable lesson.

5. Telling a brand’s story on social media

As a Millennial, you might already think you know everything there is to know about social media. You have 10,000 Facebook friends, 1,500 Instagram followers, 500 friends on Snapchat, and even 1,000 Twitter followers—that’s awesome! But do you know how to utilize these followers to build a brand? As a student brand ambassador, one of your weekly responsibilities is to create on-brand and engaging content. You’ll develop an understanding of which posts resonate with the followers and which posts fall short. If you do an exemplary job, you may even get featured on the brand’s social media channels! So, how do you shift from telling YOUR story on social media, to telling the unique story and sharing the unique voice of the brand you represent? As a student brand ambassador, you’ll learn what it truly means to use social media to represent a brand and their key messages.

6. Planning an event

Student brand ambassadors complete on-campus tactics. In other words, you’ll be helping plan and execute events. While it may not be your life’s ambition to be an event planner, you’ll learn how to work with vendors (ordering supplies) and negotiate deals (reserving a venue). Lastly, you’ll learn how to “read a room”—making sure event attendees are having a good time and engaging with the brand. This experience is an important one; teaching you how to approach and interact with new and diverse people.

Being a student brand ambassador is an incredible opportunity to gain valuable and applicable work experience, while allowing you the freedom and responsibility to develop your skillsets across multiple fields. Plus, you usually get paid and are given free product! Win-win!

Interested in becoming a student brand ambassador with YMC? We constantly have opportunities arising throughout the school year, to be considered, please create a profile on The Hub and check back often! Also, make sure to follow us on Instagram to see with what’s happening on-campus with our brands.

A Millennials Guide to Landing a Sweet Post-Grad Job

Job Post

 

As a Millennial currently on the job hunt, I feel like I’ve become an expert on all things related to getting hired post-graduation. I know things may be looking bleak, but fear not fellow seniors, you aren’t alone in this (which actually may be the problem, there are too many of us looking for jobs!).

For your benefit, I’ve compiled all the tips and tricks I’ve gathered from my internships and from attending almost every networking or alumni event at school. Hopefully it will help you land your dream job! Or really any job at all, we can’t be picky at this point.

 

  1. Sign up for job alerts on sites such as Indeed and Career Builder. You will receive daily emails from these sites with alerts for open jobs in the field and location you choose. Also, check out AngelList, which is basically the Indeed for start-ups.
  2. Make an online portfolio of your work. One of my professors who runs his own PR firm suggests this because a portfolio gives him a better feel for who you are and your personality. It also makes it easier for him to come up with questions to ask you in the interview based on your previous work.
  3. Use your network. Hit up your professors for advice and guidance on getting jobs. They’ve been around the block and are sure to have some tips for you. Additionally, most of them worked in their field before becoming a professor, so they will likely have some connections for you in the industry. Have them connect you (via LinkedIn or email) with any past students who have jobs that you are interested in learning more about.
  4. Complete your LinkedIn profile and connect with everyone. I spent three hours one day connecting with everyone I knew to get my number to 500+. After I had connected with so many people, more people kept connecting with me! To get you started on your LinkedIn journey, connect with me here. Special shout out to any companies who are reading this and looking to hire an enthusiastic, passionate, team player… your search is over, I am available!
  5. Perfect your elevator pitch. You want to let someone know that you’re an asset they should invest in. Showcase why a company would benefit from hiring you.
  6. Clean up your Facebook and use the “View As” tool to see what is public. It’s not worth missing out on your dream job because the company recruiter saw that photo of you on spring break and thinks your behavior speaks more to your character than the “dedicated, hard-working, motivated, go-getter” you describe in your cover letter.
  7. Speaking of cover letters, keep them short and to the point. Do not restate things that are on your resume. Instead, describe specific projects or tasks from past experience and how they transfer to this job. Focus on quantitative facts! Your goals are to highlight your interest in the company and position and to describe your background and how it pertains to the job itself.
  8. Don’t be afraid of start-ups! Yes, you will probably work longer hours and be paid less for it, but startups have a bunch of sweet perks too. Additionally, at a startup, you’re typically wearing a bunch of different hats and helping out wherever needed. This gives you far more experience than you would in a larger company where your job is more defined.
  9. STALK STALK STALK – we are Millennials, we know how to get the dirt on people. Don’t waste these stalking skills on that girl from your 8 AM lecture who you swore you saw at that party the other night talking to your boyfriend… use your stalking skills to get a sweet job! For any job or company you want to work for, check out their LinkedIn and see if you have any connections with other employees (especially your school’s alumni). Before an interview, research the person you’ll be interviewing with and see what you can learn about them. Check out their past experience and what their interests are. Anything you can bring up that you have in common is a bonus.
  10. At one of my past internships, my mentor talked about the importance and usefulness of informational interviews. To score an informational interview, find a junior level employee. Bonus points if they have something in common with you or a mutual friend/connection. Send them a message with something along the lines of, “Hey, I know you are busy, but can I take 15 minutes of your time to speak with you and learn more about your company and the work you do there?” As someone in a lower level position, they will usually be more willing to speak with you and flattered that you want to pick their brain and hear about their experience. After speaking, thank them and keep in touch. If a position opens up at their company, they may think of you first!
  11. Don’t give up! Look for ways to get in the back door of a company. Network. Be a little sneaky and stalk people. Suck up, but be genuine about it. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself.

And above all, don’t stress. Trust in yourself and your abilities. If you work hard, you will succeed. And if you don’t succeed, go live at home for a while with free food and free laundry and your dog and a working dishwasher and now that I think of it, that isn’t sounding so bad at all…

 

New York, the (Big) Apple of My Eye – by Ellie Williams

brand reps pose with Jessica Simpson in New York City

Without a doubt in my mind, my trip to New York City as a Jessica Simpson Campus Manager was the coolest experience I’ve ever had. Upon arriving in the concrete jungle, my co-manager and I met up with the other campus reps in the luxurious lobby of our hotel. When it was time to leave for Jessica Simpson’s exclusive 10th Anniversary Collection launch party, I raced into the first cab in sight. Together, all twenty of us marched into the party at the elegant Tavern on the Green, under a canopy of lights like stars in the brightest city in America.

Jessica Simpson and brand rep taking selfieWhile we were certainly some of the youngest attendees there, it was surprisingly easy to talk to people! I met so many genuine and down-to-earth ladies and gentlemen, and exchanged phone numbers with the current Jessica Simpson intern. I danced to the band playing “Don’t Stop Believing” and received fashion tips from one of Jessica’s close friends. But the highlight of the night was when Jessica took the time for a photo-op and to socialize with all of the Campus Managers. By the end of the party, no one wanted to leave. What we didn’t know at the time was that the next day would be just as eventful!

The following day we had lunch with the Jessica Simpson brand team from Sequential Brands Group, where we had the opportunity to pick the brains of successful individuals in the fashion, marketing, and PR industries. After lunch, the Director of PR for Jessica Simpson gave us a tour of the company’s showrooms. My co-manager and I were attached to her hip the entire time, and learned as much as we could.

The showrooms were beautiful; white, sleek, and clean, just as you’d imagine. We visited the apparel room first, which featured samples of all potential future lines. Across the hall, a sales rep was in a buying meeting, showing off the new children’s clothing. Interestingly, I found out that any apparel that doesn’t make it to the selling floor is sent to a fashion vault, where it is used for future inspiration or later seasons. No wasted creativity here! I also learned that by the time the product makes it to the stores, it’s fairly old news to the design team. They work months in advance to prepare the products that we can buy.

Jessica Simpson fashion displayAfter visiting the apparel showroom, we made our way a few blocks down to the accessory showroom where we walked into a handbag design meeting that Tina Simpson was leading. Women I met the night before at the party were gathered around a table bouncing around ideas on how to improve a certain piece. I didn’t realize the extent of planning and detail that goes into every item before it hits the shelves!

After that meeting, we made our way to our final stop, the jewelry room. Let me just say, I am SO excited for the future Jessica Simpson jewelry line to come out! At the end of the tour, the Jessica Simpson team thoughtfully gifted all of the Campus Managers a purse and a necklace from the upcoming collection. I was sad to part ways at the end of the week, but it was such an incredible and unforgettable couple of days.

If I were to write about all the fun things we did on our trip, it would be a 100 page novel. It was truly an incredible experience. I learned so much in such a short amount of time! This experience has inspired me to work in the PR/Marketing industry, move to New York, and embrace any opportunity I can. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to represent Jessica Simpson as a Campus Manager for Youth Marketing Connection.

Jessica Simpson's campus brand manager

The Perfect Beer for the Best Internship Ever

I’m Taylor Pinson and I’m a student at the University of South Carolina. I already drink Bud Light like it’s my job, so when I received an invitation from YMC to ACTUALLY work for the brand and their #UpForWhatever campaign, I jumped out of my seat at the opportunity.

 

Bud Light brand ambassador blows out candles on cake

 

As I eased into the role and my responsibilities, it became clear that this was going to be a semester full of professional experiences, good times, and plenty of #UpForWhatever moments. Over the course of the semester, I planned, promoted, and executed events including an Anti-Valentine’s Day party, a Sunday morning Kegs n’ Eggs, a #ThrowbackThursday party, and an #UpForWhatever Cruise on Lake Murray near Columbia, South Carolina. After the cruise, I was sure that my job couldn’t get any better. I had just experienced the best Sunday of my college career and was able to put smiles on the faces, and Bud Lights in the hands, of some of my best friends at South Carolina.

 

experiential marketing event for Bud Light

 

Then I got the call. The call came from my Program Strategist at YMC, Mike, informing me that I had been chosen as one of the top #UpForWhatever ambassadors and was therefore invited to Bud Light’s Whatever, USA! The semester that I thought couldn’t get any better was about to end with a bang.

 

The Weekend

brand ambassador with giant beer can

 

Bud Light had the entire weekend planned out perfectly. All I had to do was show up and have fun? Done and done.

 

After a flight to Los Angeles and a ferry ride to Catalina Island, I had finally arrived. I stepped off the ferry and saw the giant Whatever, USA arches. I had found my happy place.

 

The weekend started off with a giant parade, a performance from T-Pain, and an epic rave on the beach featuring Diplo to end the night. I didn’t think Saturday could possibly top the night before, but it did. We hiked for Bigfoot, got schooled on the beer industry by Bud Light’s master brewers, and played Beach Bingo. I began pinching myself making sure it wasn’t all a dream when Kip Moore showed up on stage and sang about “a beer sittin’ on ice” while Snoop Dogg passed out hot dogs. For our last night, we dined in style on the pier and hit the island casino for a party all while dressed in 1920’s attire that would have made Gatsby jealous. Sunday morning came too quickly, and I began my last day at Whatever, USA.

 

Bud Light brand ambassador meets celebrity

 

I began to grow sad and disappointed about leaving until Lil’ Jon showed up and ended the weekend with some words to live by. “Go forth, do great things, & keep drinking your Bud Light,” the great modern philosopher said, and with that we went on our way.

 

I remember my Bud Light #UpForWhatever ambassador interview with YMC shortly after Christmas and answering what I thought was my “most #UpForWhatever moment” so far in college. After a weekend at Whatever, USA, this question will no longer require much thought.

 

I can’t thank YMC enough for an amazing experience and the opportunity to go on the journey of a lifetime as an #UpForWhatever ambassador.

 

The Three Stripe Journey by Heather Luce

My name is Heather Luce and I am a proud alumna of the University of Louisville. Throughout my college career, I have held numerous positions and worked for some of the most talented people in sports. However, one opportunity completely changed the trajectory of my career: the adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program. As an adidas Student Brand Ambassador, I led a team of the most talented, dedicated, and innovative students at Louisville. Our mission was to #OwnTheCampus, and we did just that.

 

adidas brand ambassadors promote the brand on campus

 

During the past two years, our team has won the Best Social Media Team and the Best Overall Team back-to-back. Our tremendous success throughout the program simply would not have been possible without the Program Strategists at YMC. They are our coaches and our biggest motivation. During the first year of the program, my Strategist was Jose Colchao, who is now my mentor and great friend. Jose has always made time to coach me on interviews, provide feedback on my resume and cover letters, and give me career advice. I would not have experienced that level of success had it not been for Jose’s mentorship.

The adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program opened doors for me that I never could have imagined. My senior year, I earned a position as an adidas Marketing Assistant with the University of Louisville Athletic Department. I was able to do incredible things like travel to Portland to tour adidas village and meet the executives of adidas. In March, my dream came true when I was offered a position as an NBA Team Services Specialist with the adidas Sports Licensed Division.

 

college brand ambassadors hold the adidas flag

 

As I reflect on my college career and prepare for the future, I believe these are the three keys to success in sports.

 

Networking

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I believe that who you know gets you there and what you know gets you further. Shake as many hands as you can. Surround yourself with positive people who empower you. Remember names, send thank you notes, and make lasting first impressions. A recommendation letter from the right person can make all the difference in the world.

 

Experience

Millions of people want to work in sports. At the end of the day, the candidate with the best skills and experience is going to get the job. Internships are critical. Volunteer for everything you possibly can. Learn how to market yourself. Your resume and cover letters should make employers thrilled to meet you to learn more about how you can help their company.

 

Want it more than anyone. Work harder than everyone.

Your work ethic is one of the most important aspects of your personality. We see athletes all the time with all the potential in the world, but they lack the determination or work ethic to be the best. You have to outshine everyone else. Don’t just do what is expected of you. Go the extra mile. Exceed expectations and be the greatness that you want to achieve.

 

college brand ambassador wearing the adidas brand at graduation

 

Want to learn more about Heather and follow her journey? Follow her on Twitter or Instagram[email protected]_Heather or email her at [email protected].

 

Gift This, Not That – 2014 Edition

By now you’ve survived Thanksgiving doorbusters, Black Friday crowds, Small Business Saturday strolls, Cyber Monday distractions, and are putting your focus towards holiday gifting. The only thing more stressful than those four crazy “shopping holidays” is trying to figure out what the young 20-somethings in your life really want. But don’t panic just yet, because YMC has you covered.

 

Step into the mind of a millennial this holiday season and avoid any gifting pitfalls. The YMC team surveyed over 250 college students to find out their gift-related wants, needs, and preferences this holiday season. Here’s what we found out: As it turns out, millennials aren’t too different than past generations. They have their own fashion identity that closely aligns with their lifestyle and individual personality. They like having the freedom to choose, with 36% of respondents saying cash is their most needed gift. Millennials are also practical when it comes to selecting gifts for one another, preferring to shop at retailers that offer variety like Urban Outfitters and Amazon, and recommending gifts that are universally appreciated, like makeup.

 

Hopefully our findings will save you some time this holiday season, and put a smile on the face of your favorite gift-worthy millennial. Happy holidays!

 millennial holiday gift guide infographic

The Cost of Career Experience

Working an internship in college is about as essential as tailgating the homecoming football game, attending your first frat party, or your first experience in a lecture hall filled with hundreds of people. However, being a graduate from a fairly smaller city school these are 3 instances I have very limited experience in.  But what I lack in knowledge of the traditional college experience, I make up for in working internships. By the time I graduated, I had worked 8 internships, not to mention the internship I worked for a month after obtaining my Bachelor’s degree. While I look back on most of these internships very fondly, there’s always been one obstacle standing in the way of me recommending the internship experience: lack of pay.

comic about finding an unpaid internship after college

As a struggling college student, money is not something you take for granted. You convince yourself you can make a week’s worth of groceries last for 3 weeks, quiver at the mere thought of opening your bank account, and will attend any event with free in the name.  So why does someone with such little money work so many unpaid internships? They’re a necessity.

 

In the age of millennials, you simply can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job. That’s where the age of internships comes into play. Although internships are nothing new, the amount of students taking on 1 or more has grown exponentially. A 2010 article from The New York Times reports that, “In 2008, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 50 percent of graduating students had held internships, up from the 17 percent shown in a 1992 study by Northwestern University. “ Surely, the number is even higher now.

 

While paid (or even, for credit) internships are certainly a worthwhile experience, the unpaid internship is an institution that is not only illegal, but also immoral. Although some internships strictly require coffee runs and menial errands, many unpaid internships ask for real work that real employees are paid to do. Both are equally as frustrating. Interns who get coffee and run errands are wasting their time trying to get an experience in the industry they want to break into following graduation. How do you learn about the industry when you spend all your time ordering your boss a Venti  no-whip triple shot skim Mocha at Starbucks? On the other hand, in the internship experience in which you actually get to contribute, why are you doing the work of a salaried employee for free?