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While in college I served as a brand ambassador for our local student living apartment community.  I’ve been asked several times, “How did you do what you do?”

During my time there I helped in achieving a 60 percent growth rate in leasing. I’d like to tell you it was easy and that it came naturally (and maybe some of it did), but I’ll be honest and tell you that I had some great people helping me along the way. I found the best help I received was the atmosphere I was working in and the people with whom I was working.

Here are my top tips on how you can transform your student worker or intern into a productive employee and branding champion for your business:

Make the working environment young, vibrant and free

I know what you’re thinking, “This is a professional business not a hang-out.” The culture of a workplace for a student is one of the most important aspects. If going to work means sitting in a quiet office, filing paperwork all day and answering the phone with the same boring greeting then they aren’t going to be enthused about selling the product to customers. Offering an environment where you can laugh, talk and brainstorm silly and crazy ideas is more uplifting and exciting. Even having a radio in the background is better than silence. The more fun it is to be at work the easier it is for your student to attract more prospects to your business. If you’re excited about something you’re more likely to share it with others. What happens in the office and the environment impacts more than you might think.

Communication is key

In order to inform the public about your brand, your student needs to know all the facts. Even the smallest detail is crucial. The more they know the better they will be able to assist someone with quality customer service. I personally found that when a parent asked me a question about our student living community they were more interested and more impressed with the product when I could rattle off the answer immediately rather than directing them towards someone else in the office.  An educated worker is a productive worker.

Acknowledge and recognize the efforts

This is so important. As a former student worker I found my performance would skyrocket when I was being acknowledged for my efforts. I strived each week to work harder than other ambassadors in the company to make sure my name was mentioned in the weekly calls. I did five times more work than needed just so I could hear that I was mentioned in the weekly office calls. Giving your student worker something to strive for will put them over the top. I started seeing my job as a competition against other ambassadors in different locations so I was going to do whatever I needed to do to get to the top and be recognized.

Give them the reigns on advertising

Micromanaging is the worst thing for your student worker. These are the years when students are growing and discovering their talents. Give him or her the reigns on social media advertising and move forward from there. The more responsibility you give them the better they will perform. Start with social media, then expand their responsibilities to attending community events and setting up promotional events with local businesses and schools.

Showing trust, loyalty and confidence in your intern or student ambassador will transform them into a branding machine for your business.