Northwestern students use brand ambassadorships to expand social media presence


Illustration by Eliana Storkamp

Students are becoming brand ambassadors to make money and network.

Jocelyn Mintz, Reporter

Weinberg junior Alina Fernandez has always loved drinking Celsius, a fruit-flavored energy drink, before her workouts. So when the company asked her to apply for a brand ambassador role, the answer was easy.

“I drink (Celsius) literally every day — I genuinely enjoy the brand and the flavors,” Fernandez said. “So I figured, why not try and make some money off it?”

At campuses across the country, students like Fernandez partner with established brands to promote products and services on social media. Students say brand ambassadorships offer them opportunities to network, improve their social media presence and make extra cash.

Student ambassadors also receive compensation in the form of merchandise from the brands they represent. Fernandez said she receives cases of Celsius for her work, which she appreciates considering how much she enjoys the drink.

Celsius initially reached out to Fernandez after she posted several videos featuring the drink on her TikTok account. After a brief application process, she now produces one main feed post and two story posts a month on Instagram.

Communication sophomore Grace Petersen signed up for the Youth Marketing Connection email list, which sends out brand opportunities. Over the summer, a position opened up with Samsung, so she sent in samples of her social media posts.

The partnership, which Petersen started at the beginning of fall quarter, she said provides an enjoyable experience with low commitment. Petersen said she spreads brand awareness through social media posts and by engaging in conversations about Samsung with the student body.

“It’s such a unique job because this is something that’s pretty limited to being a college student or being famous,” Petersen said. “As a college student, you have the capital to reach a really wide number of people on campus. And so I think it’s really smart that these brands are (seeking out) students.”

Communication sophomore Zack Owens said he applied to be a Bumble ambassador after his friend at another university recommended the job as an easy way to start a career in social media.

Owens now works with Bumble and said the job’s flexibility is one of its key selling points. Instead of working traditional shifts, he completes a list of monthly tasks from Bumble, including content creation.

Recently, Bumble has campaigned with state legislators to legally prohibit unsolicited nude photos, a move which Owens supports. He said he appreciates seeing the company taking action and making an impact.

“They don’t just talk the talk,” Owens said. “They actually put in the work to achieve their goals.”

Several other students at Northwestern are brand ambassadors through Bumble’s “Honey” college campus ambassador program. Owens said he loves the community of ambassadors because they can come together and organize events.

Petersen said one of the best parts of her job at Samsung is being able to talk to other students on campus and meet new people.

“I’ve had a really good time so far,” Petersen said. “It’s pretty easy, and it’s social media, which I feel is something that’s really natural for everyone our age.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jocie_mintz

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