For optimal user experience, please upgrade your browser.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Student Challenge hero image

Student Challenge Class of 2018

Floating Widget

Floating Share Widget

Student Challenge 2018

To learn more about the 2018 Student Challenge semi-finalists, read the press release

THE BIG PITCH

The NRF Foundation collaborated with STORY and KPMG for the 2018 Student Challenge Competition - The BIG Pitch. Nearly 30 teams from NRF member schools selected one of the following sponsors to focus on: 3M, CVS, or StaplesThey were tasked with finding two to four of the smartest, most creative people they knew to create a 25-page pitch presentation and 90-second pitch video to convince the Chief Marketing Officer of 3M, CVS, or Staples to select their STORY.

Each team was assigned a KPMG mentor; after an intense round of judging, 8 teams advanced to the semi-finals, which include Q+A calls with a panel of retail executives. Three teams will move on to the finals where they will present live to retail executives at Retails BIG Show Student Program.

THE SCHOLARSHIPS

Each student on the top team will receive a $5,000 scholarship; each student on the runner-up team will receive a $2,500 scholarship , and third place team members each earn a $1,500 scholarship. The top team will be named during the NRF Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 14, in New York. 

FINALISTS

COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO

Ashley Cairns, Blake Fortin, Kendall McDermott

STORY Sponsor: Staples

KPMG Mentor: Leila Shin

COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO

Allison Coppedge, Sara Diaz de Villegas, Nathan Procell, Lane Hedler

STORY Sponsor: 3M

KPMG Mentor: Leila Shin

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Anita Mo, Kelsey Serraneau, Walter Little

STORY Sponsor: 3M 

KPMG Mentor: Brett Benner

 

SEMI-FINALISTS

FASHION INSTITUTE OF DESIGN AND MERCHANDISING

Natasha Azurdia, Njeri Joseph, Tiffany Tran, Whitney Sutherland

STORY Sponsor: CVS

KPMG Mentor: Elisa Holland

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY   

Alyese Shaffer, Alyssa Menendez, Jennifer Groce

STORY Sponsor: 3M

KPMG Mentor: Ali Wampler

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Jennifer Junker, Katie Dukes

STORY Sponsor: Staples

KPMG Mentor: Leila Shin

MEREDITH COLLEGE   

Allison High, Particia Kalevas

STORY Sponsor: 3M

KPMG Mentor: Swetha Ramjee

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - MADISON

Danielle Weber, Elizabeth Wanzer, Megan Lund, Victoria Rustad

STORY Sponsor: 3M 

KPMG Mentor: Vera Nieuwland

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

As each member university could sponsor two teams, 24 teams from 19 schools participated this year. The creativity and hard work demonstrated by all of the teams made it extremely difficult to select only 8 semi-finalists. Congratulations to all of the teams on their creativity in bringing their ideas for 3M, CVS, or Staples to life: 

Bradley University, Butler University, Columbia College Chicago, Drexel University, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Fashion Insitute of Technology, Florida State University, Georgia Southern University, Indiana University, Iowa State University, Lasell College, LIM College, Meredith College, Texas State University - San Marcos, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of North Texas, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Wisconsin - Madison.

NRF Student Association

Take advantage of NRF Student Association membership benefits and student programs.