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Ford’s College Ambassador Challenge Offers Students Real-World Experience for a Competitive Employment Landscape

DEARBORN, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

Fifteen internships in four years sounds like a pretty demanding exercise. Yet Lauren Berger did just that while at the University of Central Florida, and learned how to be a leader and a successful entrepreneur in the process. And now Berger, founder of Intern Queen Inc., is offering students a similar opportunity through the 2013 Ford College Ambassador Challenge.

“Recruiters at companies like Ford are looking for college graduates who have a certain set of skills, and internships are the best source for gaining these skills,” said Lee Jelenic, Ford Great Lakes Region Sales and Marketing manager. “Lauren Berger is proof that showing initiative and leadership skills pays off after graduation.”

Ford and Berger have created three challenges for five teams of up to four members each at universities in the Midwest region. These interactive, social media-driven challenges are designed to empower students with tools for success on the job. Teams from the University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan and University of Louisville will compete in these exercises in the Ford College Ambassador Challenge:

The team with the highest total composite score will win cash, the opportunity to drive one of Ford’s super segment vehicles for a month in the summer and an additional marketing experience with Ford. This experience will include one final marketing challenge and an all-expenses-paid trip to Ford’s marketing offices in Chicago to review their results and gain valuable experience and career advice while interacting with Ford management.

“Ford understands the ever-changing landscape of the workforce,” said Jelenic. “Our College Ambassador Challenge is dedicated to creating a substantial, hands-on marketing experience for students that will improve their résumés, and the winning college team has the opportunity for another marketing assignment and direct interaction with the Ford Chicago management team.”

In today’s job market, graduates need more than what the classroom has to offer to obtain employment. And experiences like the Ford College Ambassador Challenge are essential.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), while recruiting and hiring is on the upswing for graduates, it remains very slow. NACE’s Job Outlook 2013 survey shows employers anticipate hiring 13 percent more recent college grads this year than last year. This means students need to equip themselves with as many tools as possible to land a job.

According to NACE, eight out of 10 employers who review the résumés of potential college hires are seeking evidence of leadership skills. And 75 percent of employers are looking for problem-solving skills. The College Ambassador Challenge aims to provide experience specific to those employers’ needs.

“We are looking for teams who can learn our products and engage potential customers with innovative marketing, leadership and problem-solving skills,’ said Jelenic. “They’ll gain valuable real-world professional experience that they can use upon graduation while showcasing their talents to us.”

The challenges began mid-March and will run through April 25, 2013. will tabulate the points and choose the winning team on April 29, 2013.

For more information on the Ford College Ambassador Challenge, visit

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit