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.

profiles of student brand ambassadors

 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.

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

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

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

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. Keep cover letters short

Keep cover letters 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. Set up informational interviews

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…

Calvin Klein is no stranger to stirring up controversy. With their history of overtly sexual advertisements – mainly during the ’90s, the brand truly takes “sex sells” to heart when it comes to promoting their image. Given their recent surge in popularity, primarily among Millennial consumers, it seems like their controversial tactics may be working.

One of the keys to Calvin Klein’s success is directing their advertising efforts towards Millennial consumers through collaborations with pop culture icons such as Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, and Nick Jonas. However, the brand is currently under fire for their newest ads, that many argue are overly explicit and provocative.

Calvin Klein 2In one photo, 23-year-old Danish actress Klara Kristin is seated on a couch, legs open, and the copy reads, “I seduce in #mycalvins.” Probably the most controversial of the campaign is the up-skirt shot of Kristin, accompanied by the copy that reads, “I flash in #mycalvins.” Outraged by these racy advertisements, people are turning to social media to express their concerns: do the ads promote and perpetuate misogyny, peeping toms, pornography, sexual harassment and rape culture? Many would agree that they do.

However, some Millennial consumers argue that the ads express a unique empowerment through the first person point of view. The line, “I ___ in #mycalvins,” conveys a sense of autonomy that gives the subject a voice and the power of decision. Kristin actually defended the photo in an Instagram post with the caption, “I love this photo @harleyweir took of me… all this discussion about it makes me think about how alienated and scared some people are to the female human body. Be and love yourself and your sexuality #girlpower.” Kendall Jenner has also voiced her opinion on the campaign. In behind-the-scenes footage that Calvin Klein posted on their Instagram, Jenner answers how she would define a strong woman: “I think a strong woman is independent, don’t need no man, can like walk into a room by herself and not be bothered and can go anywhere by herself and not need a million people around her–I think that’s a really strong woman.”

Calvin Klein 3Amidst the heated debate, people cannot seem to agree on whether these ads are positive or negative. However, I believe that they’re neither one nor the other, but instead more complex in nature. On one hand, they can certainly serve as statements of empowerment and bodily ownership. Calvin Klein may be trying to make the statement that society should not be afraid to openly express sexuality. However, we cannot disregard in our analysis the historical objectification and hypersexualization of women in the media and its effect on society today. There’s the running critique that some women take their objectification upon themselves and mistake it for empowerment. I agree with this opinion to some extent, but I think the key here is balance. Yes, women can certainly feel powerful and confident by expressing their sexuality and celebrating their bodies. However, we should also feel empowered by the many other facets of our identities, because we are more than just sexual beings.