Kristofferson Nunes officially launched University and College Ambassadors Youth Marketing in January

Economics turns student into marketing, entrepreneurship pro

TWENTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD Kristofferson Nunes started his brand representation career the moment he began his UWI journey in 2014, representing a number of top brands in the local private sector as a student brand ambassador.

Nunes soon discovered that the world of brand representation offered an abundance of opportunities for students, and so he unselfishly began to share these with his friends and colleagues. Several opportunities and companies later, he officially launched University and College Ambassadors Youth Marketing (UCA).

UCA was established in January 2017 to do what Nunes had already been doing, but on a wider scale – to bridge the gap between companies offering internships, volunteering and ambassadorial opportunities and students needing valuable work experience and personal development. The company now has a team of six tertiary-level students – which Nunes dubs “his Avengers team” – to assist him in running his business located at 22 Dunrobin Avenue, Kingston.

While business ownership can be rewarding, Nunes admitted that it also has its challenges, advising budding entrepreneurs to “grow a thick skin and not take things too personally” if they wish to become successful. One particular challenge unique to his line of business is that “sometimes students would opt for a job and then cancel at the last minute”, he shared. While admitting that this usually occurs because of the unpredictability of their schedules, Nunes said it paints the company in a bad light and it is something he is actively working to minimise, Nevertheless, he said UCA affords him the freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur – the “ability to determine my own life and income”.

His obvious love for the world of entrepreneurship and marketing is backed by his knowledge of economics.
“Economics is life!” he said simply. “I was inspired by Dr Damien King in my first year [pursuing a degree in economics]. He was particularly fascinated “with the whole intricacy of the discipline which spans from theory to practice”. He went on to cite ways in which he has been able to put economic theories into practice. “I carry out research to find out what solutions I can provide companies by offering them a need for student ambassadors. I analyse these findings and creatively present and pitch to these companies, demonstrating how I can help improve their service with the use of ambassadors – whether it is to generate leads, create brand affinity, open accounts or other administrative tasks. I adjust the campaigns based on the specific company, showing them what the return on their investment will be,” he said.

In the near future, this St Catherine native hopes to expand UCA across the region, providing job opportunities for his Caribbean counterparts and benefiting generations to come. He also hopes that his extensive experience as a brand ambassador, coupled with his BSc in Economics and Statistics, will be enough to land him his dream job of global brand manager for a prominent local company. With his marketing and economics knowledge, his charismatic personality and steely determination, Nunes is well on his way to making this dream a reality.