Brand ambassador work is some of the most fun and flexible work out there. You get to represent some amazing brands, attend cool festivals, and pick and choose the work you’re available for around your schedule. The ability to add my hours to my schedule when I needed it, and not work at all during busy school semesters made working through university manageable. Being a brand ambassador (BA) not only made juggling work and university doable, but it also gave me a unique skill set to bring to the table after graduation.
- Teamwork: No matter what career path you have in mind, you’ll have a hard time finding a job that doesn’t involve working with a team at one time or another. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a job interview that didn’t ask some form of the question: “Tell me about a time you worked well with a team”. Brand ambassador work often involves showing up on site and working with a brand new team each time. The ability to quickly adapt and work with others to meet a goal is a skill that any employer will value.
- Communication Skills: Whether you’re giving something away for free or signing people up for credit cards, strong communication skills are essential as a brand ambassador. Having the confidence to get someone’s attention and quickly pitch a product is a skill that few people have. Speaking to the public about a product and thinking on your feet is one of the best ways to develop sharp communication skills – some of the things I learned as a BA have come in handy countless times when I need to clearly convey information to coworkers and customers in the jobs I’ve had since.
- Problem Solving: When you show up at an event and things aren’t exactly as expected, you are expected to think quickly on your feet to make sure things go smoothly. No matter how organized the agency and team lead are, things are never planned down to the minute. Being able to assess a situation and problem solve quickly is a skill that can be sharpened working as a BA. It can give you the confidence to go into unknown situations at work and feel as though you’re able to make smart decisions on the fly.
- Leadership: Working as a BA is a great opportunity to gain leadership skills. Most activations need a designated Team Lead/Field Manager and if you’ve demonstrated to a company that you can handle the responsibility, there is a good chance they will be willing to assign you as such. Most jobs can take years to gain experience managing a team, but as a brand ambassador, you can gain this experience a lot faster. Being able to tell future employers that you’ve led a team is valuable and not easy to come by in young employees.
- Time Management: Making your own schedule by choosing when you take contracts and when you don’t is one of the best parts about being a brand ambassador. It also, however, requires a strong ability to manage your time. If you commit to work for a weekend and don’t look ahead to your school schedule or take on more than one contract at a time, you can end up over working yourself or missing deadlines. Time management is something that’s constantly needed in both a career and in one’s personal life—deadlines are a daily aspect of being an adult. Scheduling your time and managing projects around your commitments is an invaluable skill that you’ll be thankful for much beyond your time as a brand ambassador.
Whether you see brand ambassador work as a great part-time way to put yourself through school, or something you plan to stick with for the next ten years, it will teach you more skills than you realize. By being aware of what you’re learning when you’re in the field, you can seek out opportunities that will give you the most possible experience in these areas and make yourself stand out as a candidate to employers in the future.