Your Foot in the Door: Campus Ambassador Programs

   With the economy in the dumps, big companies, generally clothing brands or websites, are starting to look for new ways to advertise their products to a younger market. That’s where college students come in.

Campus ambassador programs are popping up all around the country, where students can apply to help promote a company to his or her campus. And, with the job market not doing so well, these ambassador programs are a great way to boost your resume and potentially open up job opportunities in the future within the company you’re helping to promote. U.S. News & World Report even states that, “a position as a Brand Ambassador is one of the top 10 Resume-Boosting College Jobs.”

These programs are generally volunteer positions with semester-long contracts and require a few hours a week time commitment. Depending on the company, they usually require an application or resume, and are open to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students.

 College ambassador programs are especially popular at UVa, where companies such as Rent the Runway, Stylitics, Madewell, Country Club Prep, Southern Tide, and Emma Graham have started to utilize college students. Even Wikipedia has a campus ambassadors program! Working with these companies helps to provide first-hand experience and real-world practice in areas such as marketing, public relations, event planning, social media, and networking. I interviewed Julia Winn, a design consultant for the clothing brand Emma Graham, about her experience working with the label.

How long have you been working with the company?
I've been working for the brand since the beginning of this semester; they do semester long contracts.

How did you come across the position?
I got an email from my sorority list serve about applying to be a design consultant for Emma Graham back in August, and I decided to go for it! There was an application and an online interview.

What do you do for the company?
My job is basically to promote the brand through social media and on campus and also to sell the clothes by hosting trunk shows!

What is the time commitment?
The time commitment depends on whether you're hosting a trunk show that week or not. Those weeks it's about the same time commitment as a regular part-time job, but other weeks it may be only a 2-3 hour a week commitment.

Why did you decide to start working for the brand?
I decided to start working for the brand for a few different reasons. I really like the clothes and the concept behind the brand, which is super important. I also wanted more work experience without having a job that would be a huge time commitment. I also really like how it's self-directed; you get out what you put in. The discount is great too!

How do you think the position will help you in the future?
I think the position has been great in teaching me better time management skills and some of the basics of the retail and marketing industries. I also love what a personal feel the company has; you get to work directly with the sales director and even the co-owners of the brand. I think these skills will help me in future jobs!

 So next time you’re browsing one of your favorite online stores or style website, check if they have a college ambassador program – it might just be your foot in the door once you’re out of college and in the real world.

Sara Neel is a second year studying architecture at the University of Virginia. She is a Contributing Writer and a Chapter Advisor for Her Campus. Apart from Her Campus, she is a writer and layout designer for her school's fashion magazine, V Magazine at UVa, and an Ambassador for When she's not busy writing or doing work, you can probably find her shopping, reading, playing tennis, or at Starbucks.