Campus representatives and brand ambassadors do more than just receive free items from the brand they represent. They are responsible for carrying out a brand's message, advertising and creating social media content.
“We have these people from PINK HQ, like actually relying on us and counting on us to embody their brand,” Elise Heydet, a third-year visual communications student and PINK campus representative, said.
Heydet got involved with PINK her first semester of college when she joined the PINK campus team, which works closely with PINK’s campus representatives to help with event planning. Heydet eventually became a PINK campus representative and is now in her second year of representing the brand.
A part of what Heydet does as a PINK campus representative is co-run the official PINK account of USC. She said anyone can choose to empower and lift up other females, but having a platform to be able to do that on is different because the messages will go out to more people.
“They could easily just follow Victoria’s Secret Pink and just call it a day but the fact that they’re taking the time to follow our campus page just means that they either really enjoy our content, they want to be a part of it, they want to go to our events, they just want to see what’s going on,” third-year broadcast journalism student and PINK campus representative Amber Lipscomb said.
Lipscomb finds it important to advertise for what she calls an ethical brand that is all about self-care and women's empowerment.
“It just really speaks to me that there are good corporations in the world, and there is good people that work for those big corporations that are trying to make a difference, and being a help in that difference just means a lot to me," said Lipscomb.
Lipscomb said she and other campus representatives have been in a room with the CEO of PINK as they were told the company’s brand message, which includes "being comfortable in your own skin," and were asked for input on how PINK should progress and become more inclusive as a corporation.
“So it's not like we're just sitting there saying, 'Hi, these are cute sweatpants,'” Lipscomb said.
Lipscomb said if you do not have the same goals and aspirations of a brand, it is likely that you won’t enjoy representing their product. For example, Lipscomb said she is passionate about certain political issues, so she enjoyed receiving voting shirts from PINK and promoting voter registration.
Similarly, Mya Graham, a second-year fashion merchandising student believes research should be done before becoming a brand ambassador to ensure you will enjoy the job.
“You don't want to ever be confused on who you're promoting and what the things that they want you to promote,” Graham said.
Graham is a brand ambassador for Fashion Fundamentals, where she represents not only their merchandise but also their digital fashion course. According to its website, the course helps students "learn necessary tools to help them launch their fashion career and land their dream internship and job."
Graham said the course also pairs people with a mentor that gives tips on how to succeed in the fashion industry and offers opportunities to talk with different stylists, designers and fashion editors in the industry.
Graham said representing Fashion Fundamentals merchandise gives her an opportunity to style and express herself through fashion.
“[Styling] is just another way that I can differentiate myself from everyone else,” Graham said.
Becoming a brand ambassador has allowed Graham to form connections with others in the fashion industry, and it has also helped her increase her social media following, which she hopes will benefit her own thrifting account, @mya.k.closet on Instagram.
Through campus representatives and brand ambassador programs, students on campus are given a voice and a platform to speak out about topics that matter to them, and the brands they love.
“Our age demographic is the most qualified to make a difference in the world,” Lipscomb said.