As a new semester begins, students flock to surrounding bookstores to buy the required texts that are needed for each class. To combat this rush to get books, many students have chosen an easier way to receive their books: online bookstores.
Many online stores like Amazon and Ebay offer discounts that may not be applied to a normal bookstore, which allows students to save on any required texts they may need. Starting in 2010, Amazon Prime created a new way for students to save money called Amazon Prime Student.
Amazon Prime Student is an application through Amazon that allows students to apply for an Amazon Prime account for free for six months. Much like Amazon Prime, Amazon Student Prime allows for free, two-day shipping on many different items, and it can stream items such as television shows.
To help run Amazon Prime Student, Amazon created the Amazon Prime Student Brand Ambassadors. These Ambassadors are paid to help promote and maintain the Amazon Prime Student program at their designated school. Typically students of the school, Amazon Prime Student Ambassadors act as liaisons between the school body and Amazon.com.
The current Amazon Prime Student Ambassadors of WKU are sophomore Josh Rickert and junior Elijah Thomas. Rickert and Thomas work together as Amazon Brand Ambassadors to create promotional events around campus and to run the Amazon Prime Student WKU Twitter account.
Along with the promotional events, the ambassadors are provided with promotional gear that can be distributed throughout their events, which includes coupons, lanyards and much more. Each event consists of tabling a certain area or the ambassadors walking around while handing out their Amazon swag.
“Our goal is to interact with as many students as possible so that we may share Prime Student with them while also gathering valuable market information to report back to Amazon,” Rickert said. “We are constantly on the lookout for possible events to attend/sponsor on campus. We are always happy to attend with free Amazon Swag to distribute!”
To apply for the ambassador position, Rickert and Thomas had to apply through Amazon and were quickly given training for their positions. Through a series of competitive online Skype interviews, both were accepted into the program.
Due to the difference of when they applied, Amazon flew Thomas to Amazon headquarters in Seattle for training while Rickert was trained online. Thomas and Rickert report to an online application called Brandscopic, which allows their supervisors in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle to review their reports. Additionally, Thomas and Rickert have monthly conference calls with other ambassadors from the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Louisville and Appalachian State University.
“I chose to be a brand ambassador because it allowed me to apply skills I learned in my classes here at WKU,” Thomas said. “I am passionate about the Amazon brand. The service they are offering is beneficial for students who could be saving money on their shipments. The experience has been very valuable, and I like working with my fellow Hilltoppers.”
Reporter Elisabeth Moore can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @emoore938.