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Oh I Wish I Were…

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of days, the Wienermobile is here on campus. Or I should say one of the Wienermobiles is here (there are 6 total). The 20-foot long hot dog is in town to recruit new Hotdoggers, the recent graduates who drive the vehicles around the country. Every year, around 1,500 people apply to become Hotdoggers and twelve are chosen. Penn State has been pretty successful in getting graduates into the program, with a Penn State grad being part of the program almost every year. This year there are 2 Penn State grads in the program. One of them, Mary Kate DeCoursey (Class of ’09) is here with her colleague John Dobson (from the University of Missouri) to hold an information session for interested parties. I was able to sit down with them yesterday and ask them a few questions about their experiences driving a giant hot dog around the country.

What made you decide to become Hotdoggers?

Mary Kate: I wanted to become a Hotdogger because of the reputation that the program has. It’s a great public relations and media experience. Plus I get to travel the country and get a salary while doing it.

John: I grew up loving the Weinermobile, I’ve had a special affection for it all my life. Like MK, I was also drawn to the adventure and travel opportunities. We’re basically professional tourists.

Is it difficult to drive the Weinermobile?

John: It’s a piece of cake. We’re trained by the Madison (WI) Police Department at Hot Dog High. We start off driving a minivan with blacked-out windows, to simulate the experience of driving the Weinermobile, on a cone course at the police facility, and then we move up to the real thing before heading out across America.

MK: I think it feels like driving a large SUV, but with everyone smiling and waving at you.

You mentioned “Hot Dog High.” What does that entail?

MK: It’s a two-week training program where you learn everything that you might need to know while out with the Weinermobile. We work on crisis training, media training, driving lessons. We also do a lot of team building, none of us knew each other before starting the program.

It might sound like a silly question, but would you recommend it?

MK: YES! People always say to savor your time in college because it’s the best 4 years of your life, but this past year might top college.

If this sounds like something that might be up your alley, Mary Kate and John will be holding an information session, along with a representative from Kraft Foods (who own Oscar Meyer) on Thursday Feb. 11th at 6:30 in 112 Thomas Building. Dress is business casual and they ask that you bring a cover letter and resume. Interviews will be held the following day. If you’re selected as a finalist, you will be flown out to Madison, WI in March for final round interviews, when they’ll make their decision.

About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.


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