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Students intern to make coupon books
The people handing out free coupon books all around UNT’s campus are not just advertisers but trained interns with Campus Special, a company devoted to saving students money and teaching them how to market local businesses.
Campus Special was founded by Chau Nguyen in California in 2005. Currently the company provides coupon books to over 350 universities in America and is the largest provider of coupon books for college students.
One of their main sources of awareness is a hands-on internship program that teaches students the skills to produce the book and gain experience in business sales. They recruit students to hand out coupons on their campus that are relevant to the area they live in.
UNT marketing junior Glenn Lanier started his internship in May, which included a weekend of training over the summer in Chicago where he learned how to build the books and execute them.
The interns on campus put the book together by creating spreadsheets of local businesses that want to advertise, sending those to headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. where the books are printed and then shipping them back to the participating campus.
“This has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever completed in my life, but it has also been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” Lanier said. “Their goal truly is to see students succeed.”
The current national sales manager and UNT alumnus, Anthony Elmore, was one of the key leaders in getting the university involved with Campus Special.
Elmore has worked with the company since 2005, starting out as an account executive while working with many local businesses and students.
“This whole experience is for the students, by the students,” Elmore said. “No one would know of better places around Denton to put in the book than local students.”
One of the businesses Lanier scouted was Old House BBQ, on Avenue C. The restaurant’s general manager Antonio Guillen paid $700 to have a coupon in the book for two semesters, yet he did not see the profits he hoped for the first semester he advertised.
The address to Old House was not included in the book so the restaurant did not make profit off the coupons. Fixing the issue for the second semester by reprinting the ad with the address produced more profit for Old House, but Guillen is still skeptical.
“I don’t know if I want to sign back up next semester because I need to make money to give money,” Guillen explains. “We have great deals for UNT students to give us a try, but I need the right advertisement to show that.”