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Photo by Jacey Hanley

Meet the Girl Behind the Coke Floats: Jacey Hanley

You may have seen her toting her wagon of Coca Cola around campus or giving out Coke floats on Landis, but did you know she gets paid to do it? Jacey Hanley is the Florida State University student ambassador for Coca Cola. She helps promote products on campus, works on the marketing strategy for Florida State, gives out free samples and gets to sit in on meetings at Coca Cola headquarters. 

[bf_image id="j5mtvh2qqfxm2g2gx3555qm6"] Her Campus (HC): How would you describe your job as Coca Cola Student ambassador? 

Jacey Hanley (JH): I am basically an extension of Coca Cola’s campus marketing team. I help promote coke to FSU. I get paid to post about Coca Cola. Coca Cola is a 500+ brand portfolio and I play a role on the team by marketing the events. Their philosophy is “Who is better to promote to students than students?” Sometimes my job just looks like I’m making coke floats on Landis because people do not see the professional development side of my job.

The student ambassador position is only one student at FSU. However, I built a family out of it. I know Coca Cola ambassadors from across the nation. If I decide to go to Arizona I have someone to stay with. You make great friends through the program. I met one of my best friends that way. You meet people who are in completely the same situations as you all the way on the other side of the country. 

HC: How did you get started being the Coca Cola student ambassador?

JH: The Coca Cola rep has always been in Chi Omega. The old ambassador wrote in a group chat asking if someone would help make Coke floats at a Chi Omega event. I volunteered. She was graduating that year. She recommended me for the position and guided me through the interview process. 

Now, I think it is so cool that I get to play an integral part in how coke is marketed at FSU. They ask me what I think. There are a lot of times that the Coke team has seen something in me when I couldn’t see it in myself. They value my opinion and lift me up. 

[bf_image id="6mw484wgt5sk53rrmxchhrz"] HC: What are the biggest challenges of being the Coca Cola student ambassador?

JH: The hardest thing would probably be knowing that it is not a conventional 9-5 job, where I can walk in, punch my time card and leave. If I am not going to put in the work, then there is no one to tell me to do the work. I had to learn time management.

I also forced myself to learn how to network a lot. Who wants to sit at the integration statue alone and hand out cokes? I have partnered with Amplify a lot and now I sit on their board. 

Another thing I’ve learned is marketing. I’m not a marketing major but I’ve learned from my bosses. They took me under their wing and built my confidence by showing me how to do my job better. There were a lot of skills I should have had when I got hired that I did not have. My bosses fostered those skills in me. At Coca Cola, I’ve never been a resume or a number. I am Jacey Hanley, who works for coke. 

HC: What are your favorite parts about being the Coca Cola student ambassador?

JH: My favorite part is just getting to be a part of this family. I love Coca Cola so much. I love the company but I don’t just see it as just another soft drink on the shelf. I see it as the hundreds of people who work to make this company what it is. I love the entire culture there. People see companies in this size and expect everyone to be machines to do work, but it is not. It has been able to show me how important connection is. The connections I have made from people I met while doing Coca Cola work are some of the best connections I have ever made. 

HC: Do you have any tips for people interested in becoming a brand ambassador?

JH: My best tip, no matter who you are, is what you write online is written in ink. Always be very cognizant of what you are putting into the world. The connections you are making with people are important to think about. The way you make someone feel is the lasting impression you make on them. Have fun with it. Always be so authentically yourself. Be who you are. Apply for literally everything. Even if an application looks like, “what the heck is this?” Apply for it. Take advantage of it! You will never get this time back. 

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I am a senior at Florida State University. I am studying media communication studies, hospitality management, and recreation/tourism/events.
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