After graduating from Binghamton University in 2023, Chloe Van Caeseele landed a once-in-a lifetime job — driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Once an anthropology major at BU, Van Caeseele now drives the 27-foot vehicle with fellow ambassador Mary Clare Kammer, University of Missouri – Columbia ’22. Kammer and Van Caeseele are among the 36th class of Hotdoggers — 12 recent college graduates who drive the iconic Wienermobiles.

Hotdoggers travel the country with the aim of serving as brand ambassadors for Oscar Mayer and “spreading smiles,” according to Kammer. During their time behind the wheel, Hotdoggers travel 20,000 miles across on average 20 states, while making media appearances and creating content for Oscar Mayer.

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile first hit the roads in the 1930s, when it was conceptualized by Carl Mayer in 1936. In 1988, Oscar Mayer launched the Hotdogger program. With only six Wienermobiles in operation across the country, the hot dog on wheels has since become an American icon.

Recent college graduates are eligible to apply for the one-year position. With over 2,000 Hotdogger applications and only 12 spots, the hiring process is extremely competitive — a less than 1 percent acceptance rate.

For Van Caeseele, the possibility of working as a Hotdogger began when she saw the Wienermobile parked at a mall in Rochester, New York. This led to a moment of “epiphany” during her walk to class at BU.

“I thought to myself, oh my gosh, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile — ‘I wonder who drives that thing?’” Van Caeseele said. “So I did my research, looked it up online and the mission and the experience and the opportunity … was way too cool to give up or not take a stab at. It was all about making people smile, carrying on tradition, adventure, exploring, just this crazy experience … I have to at least try.”

Kammer was drawn to the position from her childhood experiences. Though Kammer hails from St. Louis, Missouri, her father grew up in Chicago — the birthplace of Oscar Mayer.

“[The Wienermobile] came down his street all the time,” Kammer said. “He would sing the jingle to me when I was little, and then when the Wienermobile came to my college campus, they said they were looking for Wienermobile drivers. And I was like, no way this is a real job. This is iconic — I would absolutely love to do that.”

Going into the position, their undergraduate experiences served as solid foundations for becoming the faces of the largest brand under Heinz-Kraft.

At BU, Van Caeseele interned at WBNG 12 News and BU’s media and public relations department, worked as an RA in Hinman College and served as the program coordinator for BU’s Tour Guide Program, among other achievements. Van Caeseele described how her time as an RA helped her learn how to live and work in the same place, while her media-focused jobs prepped her for the PR and content-creation aspect of working at Oscar Mayer.

As Hotdoggers, Van Caeseele and Kammer have developed skills including marketing, pitching media and appearing behind the camera, according to Kammer. In addition, they have acquired the unique experience of traveling with one other ambassador.

“This is truly your partner through everything,” Van Caeseele said. “Traveling to different countries, learning new skills, going on a crazy adventure and also, in your downtime, pretty much the only person you know when you’re in a brand new city.”

Kammer has appeared at events as large as Mississippi’s Cruisin’ the Coast show and USA Pickleball National Championships. On Jan. 20, Kammer and Van Caeseele appeared on national television for the Fox & Friends show.

Despite these high-profile appearances, small moments stand out the most to Van Caeseele.

“I’ve had some of my most impactful moments when I’m not ‘on the job,’” Van Caeseele said. “Because people will come up to me and tell me, you know, ‘This was something that me and my dad would do when he was still alive, we would track the Wienermobile … and I was just really missing him today, and this was my sign from my dad because I was really missing him.’”

Kammer’s most memorable moment came from a small town in Missouri, where she was touring with another ambassador.

“Right when we were leaving someone left a note on our windshield,” Kammer said. “It had rained all night long — I don’t know how that note was still there or how it was still easily readable — but it said, ‘could you mail me a wienie whistle for my daughter?’ and left an address.”

After discovering that the house was only five minutes away, Kammer and her partner delivered the whistle right to the family’s doorstep.

“It had stopped raining, and the dad happened to be outside in the front lawn,” Kammer said. “[We] pull up with this giant 27-foot hot dog … and the daughter and the mom came out on this glorious Sunday morning after a long night of rain, and it felt like a movie. It did. I was like, you can do something as big as a national pickleball championship and then go from just dropping off a wienie whistle and making someone’s Sunday morning.”

Van Caeseele and Kammer are starting their second week together as the east team. In the first half of the program, Hotdoggers are assigned to different partners and regions. Last half, Van Caeseele was touring the Central region and Kammer was traveling through the south. So far, Van Caeseele has visited 17 states and Kammer, 12. They have many more states to explore, with five more months before the 37th class of Hotdoggers takes the helm.

After her time with Oscar Mayer, Van Caeseele plans on pursuing opportunities that involve travel, interacting with people and working toward a strong purpose, wherever her path takes her.

“I think that more people should go into things that they really, really, really love because you can really create so much magic and make an impact,” Van Caeseele said. “Because if your heart’s in it, everyone else around you is going to feel that.”

Editor’s Note: Van Caeseele was an assistant News Editor fall ’21.