For the past year, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Lizzie Duffey ‘16, of McFarland, has been cruising around 28 U.S. states as a Hotdogger in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
The goal of the full-time graduate position as an Oscar Mayer Hotdogger is to spread miles of smiles in the Wienermobile, which on average travels 500 miles per week.
“By traveling to a new U.S. city each week, I attend events at retail stores, food shows, parades and various charity and goodwill events,” Duffey said. “Only 450 people have ever held this prestigious position, which is less people than have ever been to space!”
Only one other UW Oshkosh grad, Kylie Hodges ’11, of West Hollywood, has ever held the position.
Duffey said she has seen and experienced some incredible things at a Hotdogger. She has especially loved the people in Texas, hiking in Arkansas, music in Nashville, food in New Orleans, history in Washington D.C. and the open air in Colorado.
Aside from increasing the brand, being a spokesperson for the company, participating in media interviews and giving rides to excited fans, Duffey and her partner still managed to “mustard up” the time to do-good for communities in Texas.
“My Hotdogger partner and I spent the week organizing and executing our own food drive. While in Amarillo we filled the Wienermobile with over 1000 lbs of food, which created 902 meals for families within the Texas panhandle,” Duffey said.
The Hotdoggers help to create lifelong memories for families and fans all over the country, but the fans also gave them many memorable moments as well.
“A grandmother with her daughter and three young granddaughters told us that after a difficult year including health complications and cancer treatments, sharing a VIP ride inside the Wienermobile with her family completed her bucket list,” she said.
Duffey knew that she has wanted to work in the Wienermobile since her very first day at UW Oshkosh listening to Hodges, the keynote speaker at Odyssey, talk about her experiences on the hotdog highways.
“By sophomore year, I had done enough research on the Hotdogger position and knew it was my dream job post graduation, seeing it as an amazing opportunity to gain professional work experience in my career field while also making me a unique candidate for any other job to come in the future,” Duffey recalled.
Her year long adventure will be over in June and through her experiences as a Hotdogger she has a better idea of what direction to go next with her career.
“Once I hand over my keys, I’ll be looking for my next full-time job, in a permanent location,” Duffey said. “I’ll be looking for public relations and media relations positions at agencies in a handful of my favorite markets that I’ve traveled to this past year”.
Written by Emily Reise.