THE CAMPUS REP TAKEOVER
AS THE CAMPUS REP CULTURE GROWS AT CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY, THERE IS NOW AN ABUNDANCE OF COMPANIES BEING REPRESENTED ON CAMPUS.
By Kimaya Singh
Job Requirements: talking to friends, meeting new people, and making money while doing it.
In the 40 minutes he has between his two Tuesday lectures, Matt Martinez squeezes in a client. The client, one of his classmates, jokes around with Martinez before they design a pair of red and navy letters. Martinez helps her through the process, suggests colors combinations, explains pricing and delivery, and then laughs as he slips in a few questions about homework for the class they have together.
At the end of the appointment, Martinez walks away not only having designed a pair of letters and getting help on homework, but also having earned money and experience doing it.
“I’ve been involved in a lot in college,” Martinez shared. “But probably the single most rewarding thing has been being a campus rep.”
Martinez, a senior strategic and corporate communications major, is a campus representative for Show Your Spirit, a local company that provides embroidery and apparel screen-printing. He also boasts of representing The Fraternity Collection and having represented 5-HOUR Energy.
Campus representatives, usually referred to as campus reps, are students who are hired by companies to get word out about their brand on college campuses. They are responsible for not only acting as a face of the company, but also promoting their products.
Since many students find it difficult to make time for internships between classes, Greek life, clubs, and part time jobs, campus rep positions are often ideal jobs.
Kea Perkins, a junior strategic and corporate communications major, believes that being a campus rep “provides students with the opportunity to get something productive on their resume without putting in a 9 to 5 work commitment.”
Campus rep programs have many of the same benefits as an internship, but with much less of a time commitment. While you are still communicating with a managing team and working with other employees of the company, the workload and hours are flexible to both your schedule and the personality of the school you attend.
Boasting a campus rep repertoire that consists of Spotify, Just Chill, and Serengetee, Perkins believes that his year of experience as a campus rep has helped him fine-tune both his professional and personal skills.
While Perkins has worked with three very different companies- one dealing with music, one with energy drinks, and one with apparel- he believes that the one thing all three companies looked for from their campus reps was communication.
“Communication becomes everything,” Perkins shared. “I learnt how to talk to potential customers, how to relay information to my bosses, and how and what to post on social media to get our audience excited.”
Other than communication, campus rep positions also hone in on skills that pertain to event planning, public speaking, marketing, and social media. Furthermore, because of the nature of the job, campus reps are often talking to and selling the product they’re endorsing to students and professors from all the departments at Chapman.
“My clients became good friends of mine, gave me professional advice, helped me with homework, and still. That’s probably the biggest advantage,” Martinez shared. “That, and getting paid to do it.” Unlike internships that are usually only for college credit, campus rep positions provide both experience and money. While some companies choose to pay their reps a flat rate, most pay on a commission basis.
According to Perkins, this adds extra incentive.
“Obviously the fact that you’re getting paid to talk to and convince people to buy a product is a huge plus,” he shared. “We’re all broke college kids so anything helps.”
Other than the monetary benefits however, one of the most important advantages of being a campus rep is that it gives students the opportunity to take what they’ve learnt in the classroom and apply it to their work simultaneously.
Ben Ng, a junior at Chapman, thinks that his internship as a campus rep for Spotify gave him real world experience that tied in very closely to his program. Being double majored in graphic design and public relations and advertising, Ng explained how he believes being a campus rep integrates with education at Chapman:
“I wasn’t just reading about PR and advertising. Instead, not only was I was actually brainstorming ways to promote a brand, but I was also communicating with people both at Chapman and at the Spotify international headquarters to be able to better market it to college students. It was just cool to be studying about marketing techniques and actually be doing them for such a huge company at the same time.”