How I Became an Aerie Ambassador

Written By

Kim Chwalek

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I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi, I'm Kim


For most undergraduate students, locating an internship requires you to browse through Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn, and submit a preliminary online application to capture a hiring manager’s attention. However, my partnership with Aerie began with a simple direct message on Instagram.


How Aerie Contacted Me

While most DMs scream “unprofessional” because they utilize poor grammar, attempt to re-route you to a link, or incentive you to become an ambassador for only a % off their merchandise, the message I received from Youth Marketing on May 11, 2018 appeared to be legitimate:

“Hey Kim! YMC & @aerie are teaming up in search of confident, authentic, and genuine women to represent the brand on your campus as a REAL ambassador this fall! You would bring the #AerieReal message to life through on-campus events & social media, all while getting paid & receiving lots of free Aerie products! Are you interested?”

Obviously, I was interested at the time and proceeded to ask about the process of becoming an ambassador, the time commitment, and an Aerie ambassador’s responsibilities.

Featured: Jazmin Diebler, Kim Chwalek, and Cameron Washington

Featured: Jazmin Diebler, Kim Chwalek, and Cameron Washington


#AerieReal Ambassador Application

After researching the roles of past ambassadors, skimming Glassdoor reviews of Youth Marketing Connection, and reading articles about the success of the #AerieReal movement, I was hooked. Not only did Aerie offer great loungewear and intimate apparel, but the company also had a tangible mission to boost the self-esteem of its customers.

I was attracted to Aerie’s authentic, positive, and uplifting media campaign in an era where magazine advertisements, television programs, and social media platforms showcase airbrushed, photoshopped women with perfectly curated lives.

I decided to fill out the Aerie REAL Ambassador Program application for 2018-2019 through Youth Marketing Connection. When I submitted my Aerie application, I didn’t anticipate being chosen. I also wasn’t scared of the potential for rejection – I had nothing to lose! Submitting my Aerie application was a spur-of-the-moment decision that happened to work out.

I’m not sure if any of you have experienced this, but I find that I rarely secure a position when I arrive over-prepared, nervous, or overeager to impress. On the other hand, when I’m relaxed and confident and adopt a “what’s the worst that could happen” outlook, I secure great opportunities.


Aerie Interview Process With YMC

After submitting my application to Youth Marketing Connection, I had a phone interview with YMC’s Program Strategist. I was required to submit a creative assignment to showcase my personality and style.

This assignment encouraged me to tell my #AerieREAL story and create a sample #AerieReal Instagram post! On July 9th, I received a phone call that I had been accepted to the program! I was so happy to hear the news and filled out all the paperwork to secure my position. I was also so excited to advance the #AerieREAL mission at UC Berkeley and to generate awareness for body positivity and self-love!



Flying to Aerie HQ in Pittsburgh

On August 8th, I flew to Pittsburgh to Aerie’s HQ for all-expenses-paid, in-house training on succeeding as an Aerie Ambassador! Although the flight was a mess because I nearly missed my connecting flight in Vegas, I made it in time!

When I first arrived in Pittsburgh and loaded into the suburban, our driver told great stories of the city’s history, including Carnegie’s Steel Company, Henry Flick’s rift with Carnegie, the mass influx of German, Scottish, Irish, and Polish immigrants in the late 19th century, and the emergence of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1933.

Quick fact: Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice! The chauffeur company dropped us off at the Indigo Hotel, which was located right by the Monongahela River. Aerie’s in-house training was beneficial because it taught each ambassador how to lead on-campus events, create on-brand social media content for Aerie, and effectively promote Aerie’s gifted looks on-campus and in our social media posts!



#AerieReal Trip Takeaways

Visiting Aerie’s Corporate Campus was such a unique experience! I got to know so many amazing women, participated in an 8 am yoga class, toured Aerie’s office, got a sneak peek at Aerie’s Fall apparel, and attended a training session led by Aerie’s creative team!

Luckily, Aerie’s HQ was only a short walk from the Indigo Hotel. On our last night, we crossed the Hot Metal Bridge to Hofbräuhaus, a German brewery with plenty of beer and Bavarian fare. After eating, a few of us stayed behind to listen to the live band on the patio. It was a bittersweet night because our amazing trip was coming to a close.

Meeting 40+ Aerie ambassadors from 20 college campuses across the United States was an experience I’ll never forget. As the only Californian in attendance, it was amazing to see a diverse crowd of strong, passionate, and driven women come together to advance a great brand! I’m thankful to Aerie for the opportunity and Youth Marketing Connection for ensuring the trip was a success!

Featured: Jazmin Diebler (@jazmindiebler) and Cameron Washington (@_camrenee_)

Featured: Jazmin Diebler (@jazmindiebler) and Cameron Washington (@_camrenee_)


My Experience as an Aerie Ambassador at UC Berkeley

Today, I am continuing to promote Aerie’s mission at UC Berkeley! Aerie gives me a monthly stipend, $100 in store credit, and 30% off all products to sponsor their clothing! In return, I promote the brand by posting regular content on Instagram and Snapchat, occasional updates on Facebook or Twitter, and by leading on-campus events and tactics!

In these two photos, I featured a few of my favorite items! Right now, I love Aerie’s bras, bralettes, and underwear! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on Instagram (@kimchwlek) and I’ll give you more recommendations!



Future of the #AerieReal Ambassador Program

I admire and respect the #AerieREAL Ambassador Program’s role in searching for women who embodied Aerie’s core identity: “Real. Empowering. Honest. Fun. Smart. Inspiring. Sexy. Kind. Diverse. Game Changer. Strong.”

Since Aerie committed itself to a “no-retouching” policy in 2014, its sales have soared. In fact, Aerie’s sales rose 32% in the fist quarter of fiscal 2016. If you are interested in learning more about the impact of Aerie’s REAL marketing campaign, check out this article.

I believe that the success of Aerie’s no-retouching policy is a testament to the importance of making women feel confident and empowered. According to Aerie’s Global Brand President, Jennifer Foyle, “The purpose of ‘Aerie Real’ is to communicate there is no need to retouch beauty, and to give young women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover amazing styles that work best for them.”


Featured: Jackie Liu (@jackiejliu)

Featured: Jackie Liu (@jackiejliu)

If you’d like to stay up to date on my Aerie events at UC Berkeley, follow me on Instagram (@kimchwalek) and check out my Aerie highlight! My Aerie team and I (shout out to @chanelshum and @jackiejliu) are always post regular updates on our Aerie campaigns! If you want to get involved in the REAL movement, feel free to post a photo with the hashtag #AerieReal!

As always, if you have any questions about upcoming #AerieReal events at UC Berkeley or my experience as an ambassador, please leave them in the comments section!

XO, Kim

Comments +

  1. Lyzelle says:

    hey girl!! Loved this post so much!! What was the phone interview like??

  2. Martin's karo says:

    How can I apply

  3. Kim Chwalek says:

    Hey everyone! First and foremost, thank you SO MUCH for visiting my website! I’ve loved answering your DMs and hearing each of your stories. I never expected this article to become so popular when I wrote it, but I’m so grateful that I’ve grown connected to 1000s of girls all across America because of it. Please keep reaching out–I love to hear from you!

    Common questions I get are "How can I apply?" and "Do you have any tips on how to get involved?" My recommendation is to contact Youth Marketing Connection, which connect brands to students at different universities. You can either visit their website or email them inquiring about new opportunities!

    As of now, I’m not sure if Aerie is directly reaching out to hire new ambassadors. I was contacted directly so my experience may be a bit different than your application process. Your best bet is 1) cultivating a strong social media presence, 2) contacting YMC, and 3) DM or email Aerie directly!

    Again, THANK YOU for your support and make sure to follow me on IG (@kimchwalek), subscribe to my Youtube channel (Kim Chwalek), or follow Kim Collective directly on IG (@kim.collective) to never miss a new post!

  4. Jess says:

    Thank you so much for writing about this! YMC reached out to me, so I was looking into the guidelines. I love the no-retouching policy, does this also pertain to editing the exposure and contrast of posts as well? I’ve seen some ambassadors using filters to maintain a consistent feed, so I was just curious about that!

    • Kim Chwalek says:

      Hey Jess! Editing the exposure or contrast of your photos is totally fine! The no-retouching policy is in regards to photoshop or body-editing applications. When I submitted my application, I enhanced the brightness and colors in my photos.

  5. Melissa says:

    Hi Kim!
    I love this article and I’m so glad I found your page! I actually was contacted like that by youthmarketing for AerieREAL and was wondering if they call or just email if you for the position of ambassador? I try to be careful giving out personal information but I really do want to be a part of the program. So far everything you said about the creative project has all happened, but on the hub got YMC I saw my application hasn’t been reviewed yet. Did that happen to you although you were accepted or they called only? Thank you so much for your time!

    • Kim Chwalek says:

      Hey Melissa, thanks for checking out KC! When I was accepted, I was contacted via email and then with a follow-up phone call. If you are accepted, your YMC hub will also be updated. If you have waited for longer than a month, I would reach back out to your original contact. Hope this helps!

  6. Wow, what an inspiring story! I’m so glad you shared your journey to becoming an Aerie Ambassador. It’s amazing how much passion and dedication can pay off. I’m definitely considering applying for the program after reading your post. Thank you for being open and honest about your experience!

  7. ohtranslate says:

    Wow, what an incredible journey! I love how you shared your personal experience of becoming an Aerie Ambassador. It’s so inspiring to see someone turn their passion into a career. I’m definitely going to check out Aerie’s products now. Thanks for sharing! 💕

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