Drive for a Difference with Penn State’s Ford College Ambassador Team

Brought to you by The Intern Queen, Lauren Berger, The Ford College Ambassador Challenge is a 3-part series of creative competitions designed to test the marketing abilities of college students while providing them with hands-on experience. The chosen participants, each representing a different university, act as brand ambassadors for Ford and are given the duty of assembling a team of innovative minds. The competition spans from late September to the end of November, as 9 schools battle for the grand-prize: $500 for each team member, a trip to the Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan for a break-out networking session with Ford executives, and dibs on exclusive interviews for full-time positions at the company.

After coming in at second place last year, Penn State was once again chosen to compete in the challenge. Team leader Rachael David, a senior majoring in Public Relations at Penn State, carefully assembled a group of three motivated classmates – seniors Jess Savarese, Miranda Kulp and Patrick Flaharty.

Their first challenge was to create a 15-second video depicting the lifestyle of a college student on a typical day, which is currently live on the Ford College Challenge website. Now, the task is to bring in the most votes. (So get to voting, Penn Staters.)

“Another challenge is to use the hashtag #FordChallenge, and our personal hashtag #WeAreFord, which is our team name,” David said, in reference to building their social media presence.

The next big challenge is coming up this weekend. Ford teamed up with Zipcar, a unique on-demand car rental service, to create “Drive for a Difference,” a test-driving event that each team is responsible for organizing at their university.

“Drive for a Difference” will take place at the Beaver Ave. Lot across from Panera Bread on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Attendees have the opportunity to test-drive three different Ford Zipcar vehicles for free. If that doesn’t sound like a sweet enough deal, volunteers get to enjoy free pokey sticks and a T-shirt. Did we mention FREE pokey sticks?

Each participant is required to fill out a waiver, and drivers will sign up for a free membership with Zipcar, which has cars available at several locations around State College.

“Each test drive benefits a charity of the team’s choice so obviously when they came to us, the first thing that came to mind was the Penn State Dance Marathon,” David said.

That’s right, in addition to refreshments and fun, Ford and Zipcar will donate $20 to THON per test-drive, capping the donation amount at $2,000.

“The challenge is going to be that once we get to that $2,000, the event is not over. We want to keep getting people to test-drive the cars because the final count is going to be based on how many test-drives there are total,” David said. “We want to get as many as possible.”
RSVP to the “Drive for a Difference” event by visiting the Facebook page created by the #WeAreFord team:

Be sure to click here to vote for the team’s video, and for general information about the competition, head to the Ford College Challenge website.

Support the #WeAreFord team by coming out to the event and take a spin in a new car to raise some money for THON while you’re at it!