Everyone always talks about being a college campus representative for different companies, such as Pink, Amazon, Red Bull and so on. But, you never really hear about what the benefits are to you. There's a lot that goes into being a campus rep, and I should know, I've worked for five companies to publicize their product. It's not all free gear and a few Instagram posts about the company, it's about using your skills to make the company look its best. Since the summer of 2015, I've worked for Serengetee, Chloe + Isabel, WayUp, PuraVida and now currently am affiliated with Stitch Fix. It's not as easy at looks, despite how it seems on Insta or Facebook. Here I am, to set the record straight.

There are some companies, as you'd expect, that will give you free gear. Serengetee, my first company to be affiliated with, gave me a $35 voucher to buy the rep package and a T-shirt, enough to cover the costs except the shipping (which was only $6, so no harm done). I received items such as bracelets, a bottle opener, business cards and a guide on how to sell the product. Serengetee worked differently from other companies, as I've now seen. The great thing about Serengetee is that they work so closely with their reps. I got an email every week about competitions to earn more points (I'll explain that), ways to market the product and fun activities we could do with other reps in our area. They were friendly and sweet and everything you expect in your first rep job. The point system made it fun. Every item I sold earned me points that could go towards getting my own products from them. So yes, no pay, but free clothes? Even free shipping? Yes, please. I ended up with tank tops, a sweatshirt, a backpack, a hat, a flag, koozies and stickers, the list was endless. And the perfect summer job.

The next job(s) I took on were Chloe + Isabel and Pura Vida, both jewelry companies. But this is where I explain to you that rep jobs aren't always what they seem. Chloe + Isabel is a high-end jewelry store, which is a super unrealistic job for a college student unless they have lots of money and all of their friends have lots of money and everyone has lots of money. To start things off, they talked about their program with such enthusiasm, I thought I was OK going into this job. But, their rep package, which consisted of five pieces of jewelry, receipts and some marketing tools cost me $93. Who has $93 to spare as a college student?! Sure, the jewelry was nice, and I could use my past marketing skills, but I was $93 poorer. I did manage to make a sale, which, when making a sale for C+I you get commission, which earned me back about $74. After that sale, I ended my affiliation with C+I. It was then that I realized you always have to look at the fine print before you decide to take the rep job. A job may seem prime, but it could just be pretty on the outside. Remember, when having an interview with a company you're going to rep, ask how much it's going to cost you. Some companies will make you buy a rep package, and if that's the case, you could just be putting money into a company that you don't even know is worth selling.

Pura Vida was a much better version of C+I. Their bracelets cost somewhere between $2 and $25, which is a much easier amount to convince students is a good price. The best thing about Pura Vida was probably their campus rep related things. They sent emails every week, had an Instagram account to follow to let us know about certain sales to expose to students and so on. Their rep package consisted of a few bracelets (I had to pay exactly zero dollars) and some advice of making the product more known. But, they were already a pretty well-known company. I didn't have to do a lot to sell except give students a discount code (which makes the product even more likable) and it worked. The best thing about Pura Vida, was that they sent pictures for us to use on our social media accounts, so in order to sell we only have to repost instead of go out and take our own high-def pictures. I unfortunately ended my affiliation due to my studies, but I would take them back in a heartbeat if it came down to it. Plus, once a rep always a rep, so I still have a discount code to buy bracelets for 20 percent off.

Way Up was similar to Pura Vida, so I won't go into too much detail with them. I had to talk to students and see if I could get interesting in signing up, just like any job. Similar to many rep jobs, this one only lasted as long as you wanted it to. There are some that are only semester long, but there are some that will go on until you disaffiliate. Think about your schedule—if you can't handle the job next semester, end it. It's fine. The company will just be happy you helped get the word out for a few months.

The thing is, a campus rep job is great. There are plenty of great ones—I know because I've worked at four so far and just started a new one. They're a great tool for Business and Marketing majors, a great tool to be more sociable, a great tool in general. But you have to be careful. Some companies say what they mean and other companies won't tell you what they mean until you're too far in. The important thing to remember is: A rep job could be great, but take precaution. Free stuff is nice, but not if it kills your bank account.