LIBERTY — Everyone who drives the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile gets a fun nickname. Liberty graduate Mikayla Minnick said hers is Mac ‘N Cheese Mikayla and she relishes her job as a hotdogger.
“I’ll drive the Wienermobile for a year,” she said, adding she has a partner named Alex.
A graduate from University of Missouri, Minnick remembered hearing about the Wienermobile job for the first time as a sophomore. It was only open to seniors so she paid little attention. A couple years later, in January 2019, Minnick was preparing to graduate from the strategic communication program from Mizzou’s Journalism School and was anxious to have a job upon graduation.
“My roommate said the Wienermobile would be perfect for me,” she said. “I looked into it and saw I had one day before the application process closed.”
Minnick said it required a resume so she submitted hers. She was one of 7,000 applicants.
Hearing back, Oscar Mayer told Minnick they would be on campus for a recruiting event and invited her to join. She then had an interview and waited for the top 24 applicants to be selected.
In mid-February, Minnick got the call. She was in the top 24 and invited for a second interview where Oscar Mayer would fly her to Chicago.
“So it was a 50/50 shot now,” Minnick said. “The last interview was in early March and they only take 12.”
Having wowed interviewers in the process, Minnick was selected and is now on a coast-to-coast weenie roast bringing smiles to people all over the country. She has spent most of her time visiting parts of Illinois and Michigan but will spend the next five months of her remaining 11 traveling the southern region of the country.
Each team has a region, Minnick explained. Every night is spent in a hotel and every week in a new destination. After the first six months, she will receive a new region and a new partner, saying she hopes to bring the Wienermobile to Liberty. Minnick is proud of her Liberty roots and would love to share her success with her hometown, she said.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “The main purpose is to make people smile.”
The Wienermobile became an icon in America during the Great Depression. Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer, saw what was happening during the time and set his mind to figuring a way to make people smile, Minnick said. Thus, the Wienermobile was born.
“It’s really great to see the looks on people’s faces,” Minnick said. “My job is to make magic and make people’s days.”
The unique job and vehicle also has a way of making her day.
“When I am having a bad day, I get up and go to the Wienermobile and see people taking pictures, telling their friends and it cheers me up. It’s the best job ever,” she said.