On a roll: 'Hotdogger' returns to campus for recruiting trip

February 07, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After eight months traveling to 16 states and covering more than 10,000 miles, Penn State alumna Cameron Callanan returned home to the University Park campus this week driving one of the most distinctive vehicles possible — the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Callanan, who earned her advertising/public relations degree in May 2019, serves as a brand ambassador for Oscar Mayer. Simply put, she’s a “hotdogger.”

“I couldn’t imagine a better job,” Callanan said. “We get the opportunity to travel the country and meet thousands of people every week.”

She and traveling partner Alex Hale, who graduated from Elon University last year, are at Penn State recruiting for their successors — or at least the next generation of people who might get behind the wheel of the 27-foot long hot dog-shaped vehicle and travel the country.

Dozens of Penn State alumni have served in that roll through the years.

“You certainly have to have an appetite for adventure for a job like this,” Callanan said. “We typically look for students with a communications degree, and accept resumes from students of all majors.”

People applying for the job must be outgoing because they talk to hundreds of people every day. The hotdoggers conduct their own media outreach, so having a background in pitching, public relations and social media is encouraged. Flexibility helps, too.

“You only know your schedule about a month in advance and sometimes things change very last minute,” Callanan said. “You have to be able to pack your bags and move without a second thought.”

Their yearlong assignment takes them to a variety of public events — things ranging from fairs to store openings and recruiting visits. They believe the positions provide wonderful preparation for the next steps in their careers.

What’s next for Callanan and Hale remains undetermined. Hale hopes to pursue a future with Kraft Heinz, while Callanan wants to continue along the path of experimental marketing.

Their assignments as hotdoggers continue until June 7.

They’ll be conducting an information session for Penn State students at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in 121 Thomas Building at University Park.

Last Updated February 12, 2020