What’s the Difference Between Interns and Campus Reps?

In celebration of National Intern Day, we’ve decided to tackle a common question among students: what’s the difference between interns and campus reps? If you’ve ever thought about becoming an intern chances are you’ve also stumbled upon postings for brand ambassadors. The two positions are similar yet different in a few ways.

 

Are are Interns?

According to The Balance Careers, interns are typically college students or recent graduates who works, sometimes without pay, to gain real work experience. Interns can work part-time or full-time and at any time of the year. Typically, internships last three to six months and are eligible to earn students academic credit.

 

What are Campus Reps?

On the other hand, campus reps (or brand ambassadors) are students that are responsible for spreading the word about a specific brand they represent. Unlike interns, the primary goal for campus reps is to assist the brand with marketing campaigns on campus that are often carried out by a variety of tasks. For instance, campus reps may host an event on campus where students can play games to engage with the brand and score free swag, or they may host a sampling event at Welcome Week where students can stop by to taste test a new product.

 

What’s In Common?

Although interns and campus reps are different, they also have a lot in common. Both offer students with real world experience that can translate to skills on their resume for future opportunities and campus reps and interns alike often receive compensation or discounts and free swag for their hard work. Lastly, students receive invaluable networking opportunities that can help jump start their post grad career.

Interested in learning more?

Insight from an Intern

Intern
Photo Credit: Juliette Elyse

Meet Juliette Elyse, a junior at Quinnipiac University.

Q: Where did you have your first internship opportunity and what were your responsibilities?

I had my first internship in marketing at Yale University. I basically organized social media and worked around the office.

Q: What was your least favorite part about your internship experience?

Balancing an internship with schoolwork and blogging definitely wasn’t easy.

Q: What are three key takeaways from your overall experience as an intern?

I think my first internship wasn’t all that exciting, lots of deskwork but this helped me realize I don’t want to work a 9-5 job once I graduate!

Q: What advice would you give to first-time applicants looking for an internship opportunity?

Internships aren’t going to fall into your lap. You need to work and prove to the company that you are the BEST candidate!

Insight from Campus Reps

Campus Reps
Photo Credit: Julia Ostrovsky

Meet Julia Ostrovsky, a senior at Temple University.

Q: Where did you have your first campus rep/brand ambassador opportunity and what were your responsibilities?

My first official brand ambassador opportunity was with Lyft. Myself, along with my BA partner, were in charge of implementing brand activations, events, and contests on campus to reach potential new Lyft customers. From curating demographic-relevant social media content, to hosting giveaways and promotions at big campus events, we were in charge of all things related to proving why Lyft is the best ridesharing app!

Q: What was the process like for landing the opportunity? Where did you hear about it and what steps did you have to take to be considered?

Lyft was working with an agency that was tasked with recruiting brand ambassadors to represent the company. An employee in charge of the program reached out to me via LinkedIn. From there, I was emailed more information about the program and application process, filled out a questionnaire, and landed a phone interview that sealed the deal! Goes to show how keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date can really land you some great professional opportunities!

Q: What was your favorite part about your campus rep/brand ambassador experience?

My favorite part about my brand ambassador experience was definitely the balance between how structured the program was and how much room I had for creativity when it came to promoting Lyft! I was able to take the initiative and decide which events, posts, and contests would work best for the college demographic, while still being able to set attainable goals and track my progress with weekly phone calls and check-ins with the people who oversaw the program. Oh, and getting a few Lyft discounts didn’t hurt either!

Q: What are three key takeaways from your overall experience as a campus rep/brand ambassador?
  1. Don’t be afraid to speak up about any creative ideas you may have. Campus Ambassadors are micro influencers that know the college demographic inside and out, because you’re a college student yourself – duh!
  2. My brand ambassador experiences have undoubtedly contributed to the other internship positions I’ve landed. Interviewers are always impressed knowing you were selected to promote a brand to hundreds of students on campus. Don’t be shy to talk about how your leadership, initiative, and creativity contributed to the success of the campaign.
  3. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that being a brand ambassador for different companies has presented to me. I’ve been featured in commercials and have been paid to essentially convince students about how great my favorite brands are. I’m even being flown to Columbus, Ohio, to receive brand training from the headquarters of Victoria’s Secret PINK.
Campus Rep
Photo Credit: Megan McSherry

Meet Megan McSherry, a senior at the University of Southern California.

 

Q: Where did you have your first campus rep/brand ambassador opportunity and what were your responsibilities?

I was a campus ambassador for SIX: 02. InternQueen is where I found the opportunity. I posted eight Instagram photos throughout the semester and eight times on my Instagram stories about the brand and wearing the brand’s clothing. Then, I hosted an activation at an on-campus event where we gave out SIX: 02 coupons and freebies, and my co-rep and I attended an in-store event as well. We were responsible for bringing a bunch of USC students to the in-store event.

Q: What was the process like for landing the opportunity? Where did you hear about it and what steps did you have to take to be considered?

I first heard about it on the InternQueen website and filled out a simple google form with my experience and what I am involved in on campus. I got an email to set up a phone call a few weeks later, had a short phone interview, and heard that I got accepted!

Q: What was your favorite part about your campus rep/brand ambassador experience?

I love connecting with companies on a deeper level. Being a brand ambassador means you have to get into the nitty gritty details about the mission, values and goals of a company. I love feeling like I truly become a part of a company, because then I also feel like the work that I do is actually useful for the company.

Q: What are three key takeaways from your overall experience as a campus rep/brand ambassador?
  1. Be excited about the brand! It will be a tough process if you don’t truly love the company you’re representing on campus.
  2. Ask QUESTIONS! Your job is to represent this brand and what they stand for, so make sure you fully understand the messaging that you are trying to get across.
  3. Be authentic. Wear/use the product for your social posts in a natural way. Don’t make it seem like you’re trying really hard. If you do, it won’t resonate with your followers. If you’re working with a coffee company, show yourself on your way to class with your coffee or sitting in the library with your coffee – places you would normally have coffee.

 

Final Thoughts on Interns and Campus Reps

Interested in exploring campus rep opportunities? If so, check out the Campus Commandos App to learn how you can become a campus rep for your favorite brands. Not ready for a campus rep position but want to build your resume and love writing? Email info@campuscommandos.com to learn how you can contribute to our blog!