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.

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 @UofL_Heather or email her at [email protected].

 

Meet a Past YMC Rep – Danielle Wellborn

Youth Marketing Connection Q&A

meet Danielle Wellborn, Regional Sales Rep & former YMC brand ambassador

What college did you attend? When did you graduate?

I graduated from the glorious Auburn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Apparel Merchandising in May of 2013.

 

When were you a Brand Ambassador? What brand did you work with?

I was a Brand Ambassador from August of 2011 through May of 2013 – my entire junior and senior year of college! I was an Ambassador for the Vince Camuto brand.

 

What was your favorite part of serving as a Brand Ambassador?

It is so hard to choose which aspect of the program was my favorite! Overall, I just loved being able to work for such an amazing brand! More specifically, I really loved hosting events. For example, the first year I served as a Brand Ambassador, I was able to plan and execute two Vince Camuto Fashion Shows. At these on-campus events, student models wore apparel and accessories from the brand’s recent collections. The functions were glamorous and super fashionable; my peers enjoyed attending, and I LOVED coordinating the opportunity!

 

How did you earn an internship at Vince Camuto through your Brand Ambassadorship?

Because I completed all required activities and exceeded expectations as a Brand Ambassador, I interviewed and was selected as a Marketing Intern for Camuto Group during Summer 2012. I was SO passionate about the brand – so I was over the moon when I earned the internship. I gave every ounce of myself to Vince Camuto that summer!

experience as a brand ambassador led to marketing internship

What is your favorite memory from serving as a Brand Ambassador?

The Brand Ambassadorship allowed me to spend a summer in NYC as an intern for Vince Camuto, and this was far and above the most influential aspect of my experience with YMC and VC. During my internship, I learned so much and developed lasting friendships and knowledge that I cherish every day.

 

Did serving as a Brand Ambassador help shape your career goals? If so, how?

I would definitely say the experience and knowledge I learned about the industry while serving as a Brand Ambassador shaped my professional aspirations. The Brand Ambassador opportunity inspired my passion and interest for the wholesale and selling side of the fashion industry. Further, YMC offered extensive marketing guidance and branding strategies when training and motivating me as a Brand Ambassador. Their understanding of the fashion, marketing, and millennial space taught me a lot and expanded my perspective on brand promotion.

 

Discuss your professional journey since graduating from college.

After I graduated college I enjoyed an opportunity as an Assistant Buyer for a major retailer, Dillard’s. However, I soon realized that I was more passionate about the selling and wholesale side of the business than I was about buying. For this reason, I decided to pursue sales as my ultimate career post college! I am now happily a Regional Sales Representative for an upscale showroom in the Atlanta Mart.

 

What are your day-to-day duties and responsibilities in your current job?

As a Regional Sales Representative, I travel majority of the time. Each month, I spend about a week scheduling appointments with active and target accounts. After my trip is planned, I set out for a few weeks and travel around the Southeastern US. My sales territory includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. I represent five lines in the showroom I work for and I travel with all of the lines I’m selling.

 

How did you use your experience as a Brand Ambassador when applying for and interviewing for post-graduate career opportunities? Did you discuss your experience in your resume and during job interviews?

My experience as a Brand Ambassador absolutely helped me succeed when embarking upon a career in the fashion industry. I learned so many versatile skills essential to fashion success when working as a Vince Camuto Brand Ambassador! I was able to discuss my Brand Ambassador experiences during job interviews. I feel my opportunities with YMC and VC allowed me to secure dream jobs directly out of college!

experience as brand ambassador in fashion industry

What do you enjoy most about your current job in the fashion industry?

I love people. I’d much rather be interacting with other style mavens than stationed behind a desk! My current job allows me to meet SO many new people and develop relationships with all of them! I get to travel and visit so many different places! Thanks to YMC for helping me define my passions and guide me to professional success.

Calling All Dog Lovers; The Truth About Fostering

Here at YMC, we are all huge animals lovers (don’t believe me? Check out our Instagram @youthmarketing.) Some of us are lucky enough to own our own four legged friend, while others look forward to seeing their beloved family pets during visits home. My family has a crazy Carin Terrier, and one of the hardest parts about moving to my apartment in the city was leaving my furry friend behind. My roommate was in a similar situation, having to say goodbye to her darling Dachshund, and during the first few weeks of living in our new place we spent hours chatting about how much we missed having a bundle of fluffy energy running around.

 

Leaving behind a pet when moving out for the first time or going to college is hard, especially if you’re living in a new place and just want to see a friendly face at the end of the day. My roommate and I discussed getting involved in the DC community when we finally had an epiphany; we loved animals and wanted to fill the void of not having one, so volunteering at the local animal shelter would be a perfect fit. Before we knew it, we had filled out an application to become dog fosters and were standing in the Washington Humane Society (WHS) ready to undergo foster training.

 

Part of the training dog fostered by Youth Marketing Connection staffincluded a tour of the facilities, which was filled with cats, dogs, and even a cage full of guinea pigs. Walking through the hallways I was overcome with emotion, there were so many dogs, some cages even had 3 dogs in one small space due to overcrowding. In only 30 minutes, we saw 3 dogs come into the shelter and learned that WHS has an average of 33 dogs surrendered or turned in from animal control every day. When we walked in the doors of the shelter we weren’t 100% sure if we wanted to open our apartment to a pet, but after seeing how much help the shelter needed, we knew we weren’t going home without a dog. Soon enough we were loading 2 Pit Bull mix puppies, crates, and baby gates into my car and oh boy, were we in for an adventure.

 

To make a long story short, 2 puppies was one dog too many for our tiny, 800 square foot apartment, so we had to return the boy pup to the shelter, but he was adopted 2 weeks later! We ended up falling in love with West, as did everyone in the YMC DC office, because we have a wonderful pet-friendly policy and I often brought her to work. When West got adopted, my roommate and I were beside ourselves because she had become part of our little family. She’s still the background on both of our phones! However, we knew that she would be an amazing companion to the family that gave her a forever home and be happier in the suburbs than the city (we continue to solicit her new owners for pictures.) The answer to filling the emptiness of our apartment? Foster another dog in need of a place to stay! We’ve fostered 4 dogs to date, including a sweet spaniel mix with a broken pelvis and our current 8 month old puppy, Meko, who just recovered from a puppy disease and is ready to be adopted.

 

People often tell us how thoughtful it is that we foster and how lucky the dogs are that we take such good care of them, but I think that my roommate and I both know that we’re truly the lucky ones. Nothing brightens your day like the welcome home dance a dog performs for you when you walk in the door, and the fact that we get unconditional puppy kisses while helping the community makes it even better.

 

our foster dog Meko

 

Want to learn more about becoming a foster? Click here for some frequently asked questions!

Meet our Managing Director – Ben Detofsky

Q&A with Youth Marketing Connection

meet Ben Detofsky, Managing Director of Youth Marketing Connection

Where’s your alma mater? How did your college career lead you to your profession?

The George Washington University, class of 2007. As no slight against GW, my college career was more about exposing myself to the idea of opportunity and how to maximize it. The material being taught in the classroom was interesting, educational, and well presented by established instructors (both academic and corporate), but I’ve always learned best through strategic and focused actions and experiences. DC provided me with an amazing opportunity to gain a lot of this relevant experience— from internships with Marriott International and Destination DC to waiting and bartending at Nathans restaurant in Georgetown. Thanks to these experiences, it became very clear to me the types of career opportunities that would excite me and the kinds of environments that I would thrive in.

 

What was your first post-college job? Tell us more about your journey to YMC.

I’ve traveled a fairly unconventional path to get where I am today. While working at Destination DC, two men from Phoenix cold-called my boss to pitch a handheld mobile GPS device that served as a personal tour guide for visitors to Washington, DC. This was before the iPhone came out, so to me, it was revolutionary. I had seen the direct effects of technology on my life and the world and was excited to be a part of a new application of technology to an everyday problem. I sat in on the meeting, introduced myself to the team, and told them they needed to hire me to launch DC and other venues. This was in February. Over the next few months I kept in touch, continued to sell myself as a solution to their problem, turned down a couple of job offers, and eventually got hired by their company, FUNfinder. Long story short, DC never worked out, but I got to live in Vail, Colorado, for two winters to launch a ski version of the product and in Orlando, Florida, for two summers to work directly with SeaWorld and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At the time I was 22 and 23. Then the iPhone came out, changed everything, and we couldn’t pivot our product fast enough to offset our burn rate. I cashed out, traveled for almost a year, spent all my money, and came back broke and directionless. After six months of marketing/operations freelancing, I met YMC founder Paul Himmelfarb through a mutual friend. We started working together on a few small projects, which eventually turned into full-time employment with YMC leading business development.

 

What’s your title at YMC? Discuss your job and daily responsibilities.

I’m the Managing Director of YMC, which means I keep things running. At a high level, I lead the management, strategy, marketing, business development, communications, and client relations efforts at YMC, leveraging a team of amazing marketers and even better people. At a lower level, I do everything that needs to be done to make sure our clients smile ear-to-ear, our team members develop personally and professionally, and the company runs efficiently, executes effectively, and grows.

 

If you could pin your success on one instance, what, when, or where would that be?

Something I remind myself of every morning is that timing is everything. I’m not talking about an alarm to get me out of bed (although proverbially speaking, the early bird DOES get the worm), but rather understanding what your goals and passions are in life, what opportunities currently exist and will exist in the not-to-distant future to realize those goals and capitalize on those passions, and then acting on them. I don’t discount luck, but I do believe that luck is largely a by-product of hard work. I hope, and believe, that the instance people pin their success on is the moment they realize that they’re in control of their own lives and that it’s entirely possible they only live once.

quote from Ben Detofsky on realizing you're in control of your own life

How did you learn the ins-and-outs of digital marketing? What types of education or training would you recommend to aspiring marketers?

If you’re familiar with this thing we call the “internet,” you’ll know that it’s an incredible tool if harnessed correctly. The amount of information (some good, some bad) that’s available on-demand at our fingertips is astounding. A lot of what I know is self-taught with the help of respected thought-leaders and free resources. I also try to surround myself with the right people and put myself in situations so that I’ll constantly be exposed to new ideas and learning opportunities. General Assembly has done an incredible job of bringing tech, creative, and marketing skills learning to the general public through the instruction of practicing industry experts. Universities are catching up, but right now there are a lot of ways to learn. If you’re an aspiring marketer, start with self-learning, incorporate free or cheap online or in-person classes, get experience wherever you can (if you’re a student, look for brand ambassador positions with reputable companies like YMC!), and constantly focus on improvement.

How important is networking in your career? What events do you attend in DC?

Networking is extremely important in my life and my career. I view networking very simply as an opportunity to interact with new people. One of my greatest joys in life is meeting new people, engaging them, having substantial and meaningful discussions, and leveraging my skills, abilities, passions, and connections to help them. I’m very connected to the DC tech, start-up, and marketing scene, but I also love community events, neighborhood gatherings, and random street conversations.

quote from Ben Detofsky on meeting and helping people

How do you stay on top of new marketing trends and technologies?

I read constantly and surround myself with smart people. Leveraging social platforms to follow the right people and companies is insanely easy and valuable. Good content tools like Feedly and Instapaper are indispensable.

Do you have a role model or mentor? How have they played a role in your career?

I don’t have a direct mentor; I’ve built most of my life and career through trial and error combined with hard work. I have a lot of role models. Everyone from my mom, who taught me my work ethic and compassion for helping people, to business leaders like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Tony Hsieh, who have demonstrated that anything is possible.

What do you love most about DC?

DC has changed dramatically in the decade since I came to GW. Young, talented, community-minded students are starting to stay in DC post-graduation, and young people from all across the country are moving here, which means the emergence of new, vibrant neighborhoods (or the revitalization of old, historic neighborhoods). There are more small businesses, including shops, restaurants, and bars, and a general energy that hasn’t been felt in a while. DC is also extremely livable: There are a plethora of good public transportation options, the city is very walkable, and the lack of skyscrapers or tall buildings makes every day a bit more pleasant.