Yulisa Mendez, a junior Marketing and Analytics major, is taking on the current media culture with zeal as a brand ambassador for The Coca-Cola Company, HBO and Canon.
Mendez first got into digital creation through the popular app TikTok. During the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, she began watching videos of other content creators and became interested in testing out free products. Mendez signed up for an app called “Influenster” and quickly got her first campaign with Bliss Skin Care.
For Mendez, content creation with Bliss started out as an activity to do in her free time. She enjoyed posting pictures to her Instagram and coming up with ideas about product placement. When she received positive feedback on her posts, her brand started gaining momentum. More companies reached out through Instagram, and by the beginning of her sophomore year, her role as a campus ambassador started to amplify. Mendez then began working with Coca-Cola, HBO, Canon and other brands, like Express.
Mendez said her personal favorite brand to work with is Coca-Cola, as she loves both the company and its values. As an ambassador and content creator for the company, she is responsible for five monthly posts across all society media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Mendez works with a bottler who provides products for advertisements and sampling events. On Villanova’s campus, Mendez sets up events with organizations, like the Community Activities Team, to provide samples to students.
As an ambassador, Mendez also works with company representatives, a personal mentor and fellow ambassadors in the Philadelphia area. By networking with Coke employees and learning from their experiences, Mendez hopes this will help land a marketing internship with the company next summer and a full position after graduation.
“I love working with Coke,” Mendez said. “I get to talk to their digital marketing specialist and network with her which has been super helpful.”
Mendez said she did some graphic design in high school, but mostly focused on the analytical side of marketing until she got to college. While she did not see herself as a creative person initially, becoming a campus ambassador has since redefined her marketing interests and personal brand.
“Once I got to Villanova, I realized analytics was something I wanted to do, but more as a bonus,” Mendez said. “I became more passionate about the creative side of marketing and it’s more on the forefront for me now.”
However, Mendez does still continue with data analytics through her personal website, where she posts company product engagement, such as likes, comments, shares and saves from her social media postings.
As for the meaning of these opportunities, Mendez spoke on what being a brand ambassador and content creator means for her life.
“For marketing in general, it is about presenting yourself and your own personal brand,” Mendez said. “For me, starting off with Instagram and showcasing who I am through photos is important career-wise. Professionals can look through my Instagram and see who I am, how I have this experience creating content, and how I can help their company.”
Mendez said working with multiple brands can be time-consuming and tedious, but that keeping spreadsheets and preparing rough drafts helps her meet publishing deadlines. She also noted that close friends have been a huge support for her throughout the process. They help her take the photos she uses for social media advertisements, and Mendez enjoys being able to give them any extra products.
Mendez is originally from Burlington, Wyoming, a small town with a population of only 300 people. Mendez said that in her town, everyone knows each other, and in her graduating class of 16, everyone was close. Moving to Villanova was a big jump, and though she thought about staying in state at the University of Wyoming where she was comfortable, she had a mentor who encouraged her to apply to other schools. When she learned about Villanova, she was attracted to its close community feel and decided to take a chance.
“I thought there was not another time to stay and live on the East Coast,” Mendez said. “I wanted to expand my experiences and push myself to build my personal brand.”
Beyond her responsibilities in the classroom and as an ambassador, Mendez is widely involved on campus. The Villanova Marketing group, the Women in Business Society and the Business Entertainment Society are just some organizations of which she is a member. Others include the Latin American Student Organization, the Hispanic Society and editing for the Campus Ministry section of the Belle Aire Yearbook. Mendez is also the President of Habitat for Humanity on campus, which she said is one of her most important campus commitments and her way of giving back to the community.
If you are interested in following and supporting Mendez, you can check out her Instagram and website here: