Senior to start “Hotdogger” position in June

Riley Flanagan will drive the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile through the United States after graduation.

Starting in June, Senior advertising major Riley Flanagan will take on a “Hotdogger” position at Oscar Mayer. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Riley Flanagan felt stumped when contemplating her future in February. She was racking her brain for careers that blended her passions for food, media production and public relations when she was presented with the perfect, yet unique, option in the form of a hot dog on wheels.

Allison Silibovsky, a 2022 advertising and media studies and production alumna, presented to one of Flanagan’s classes, looking to recruit students to be Oscar Mayer Wienermobile drivers. Flanagan was instantly interested in the chance to travel the country while using her passion for communications to host events and decided to follow up with Silibovsky after the class.

Silibovsky invited her to the Wienermobile, and the pair sat and got to talking about the unique career option.

“So I walked out with her and then we just sat in the Wienermobile for another 30 minutes and realized that we are very similar people,” said Flanagan, a senior advertising major.

Flanagan decided to pursue the position, and after two months of a rigorous application process, she was selected from 7,500 candidates to be one of 12 “hotdoggers.” Starting in June, Flanagan will drive the Wienermobile around the country, which is part of Oscar Mayer’s advertising campaign. She will host events and document her work on social media along the way.

Flanagan discovered a love for food and media production while at Temple through her work on “Feel Good Cooking,” a cooking show she hosted and started at TUTV. She developed a passion for connecting with others through her work at the Klein College of Media and Communication as she guided prospective students on tours and helped others find jobs and internships that were right for them.

Some students from her tour groups have gone on to seek her advice during her time working in Klein’s Career Services, which has been especially rewarding for Flanagan.

“Since I work in the Career Services office, they’ll come to me in the Career Services office and be like, ‘Hey, Riley, can you help me achieve my dreams?’’’ Flanagan said. “I’m the one that convinced them that their dreams are possible here [at Temple] and now I get to help them make those dreams happen.”

Lu Ann Cahn has worked with Flanagan in the Career Services office for the past three years and noted her ability to connect with students who need it most. 

Cahn especially recalls the positive attitude that Flanagan brought to work each day.

“She’s just an amazing ambassador, cheerleader and positive force,” said Cahn, former Klein Career Services director. “In Career Services, it kind of takes a special student to be empathetic to other students who are coming in for help and being able to sit and work with them on a resume or whatever it is, and talk to them and explain things or show them what you could do on Klein Connect.”

Flanagan also participated in the National Student Advertising Competition this semester, a contest for advertising students across the country in which participants developed a complete advertising campaign for Tide laundry detergent. Flanagan maintained her positive attitude and stayed steadfast in her work throughout the grueling preparation for the event, which included all-nighters and countless hours of work, said Quinn Botkin, who worked with Flanagan on the project.

Beyond their work in NSAC, Botkin is consistently impressed with Flanagan’s strong work ethic.

“Riley does everything,” said Botkin, a senior advertising major. “She gets her foot in the door for every possible opportunity. She can and takes advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. She is always looking to pick up more, I am always astounded by how much she’s able to get done.”

Flanagan’s gig with Oscar Mayer only lasts a year, and she hopes to find another position that fits the professional niche she’s developed. But for now, the senior looks forward to taking the time to travel and see the country in this unique position.

“I’m really just kind of excited to just see the United States in a way that I’ve never seen before and go to places that I would have never gone there regardless,” Flanagan said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.