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NRF Student Challenge

FIDM Students Make it to the Finals in NRF Foundation Student Challenge 2022

Congratulations to FIDM Students Haley Shannon, Tooba Athar and K-Lynn Ward who have made it to the final round in the 2021-2022 NRF Foundation Student Challenge. The top team will be named on January 16 at NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show in NYC, where Target CEO Brian Cornell and Honest Company Founder and Chief Creative Officer Jessica Alba will be key speakers.

This year, 19 teams from 16 NRF Foundation University Member schools competed in the NRF Foundation Student Challenge business case competition for a chance to earn tuition scholarships and industry recognition.

For the NRF Foundation Student Challenge, teams of two to four students were tasked with acting as members of the Kohl’s product development team and had the opportunity to develop a new private label brand that embodies the meaning of diversity and promotes equity and inclusion through product assortment, marketing strategy and pricing. 

3 FIDM students standing outside in front of flowers

Mentored by FIDM Instructors Tom Selinske and Sheryl Marcus, the FIDM student team (pictured above) developed a pitch presentation to hypothetically convince the Kohl’s leadership team of how their new brand embodies diversity and inclusion and why it will cater to new and existing customers.

Teams' pitches were evaluated by a group of retail executive judges on their research and understanding, creativity and feasibility, visual effectiveness and structure and quality. Ten teams advanced to the semifinals, which included Q&A calls with a panel of new retail executive judges.

"The NRF Foundation Student Challenge offers real-world experience for undergraduates to work as a team and gain important skills that will serve them throughout their careers,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Bill Thorne says. “We are proud of their continued efforts to improve their product lines, and we look forward to the exciting opportunity they have to present their concepts to industry leaders."

Three teams advanced to the final round, where they will pitch live to a third panel of judges in January 2022 as part of the NRF Foundation Student Program in NYC. The other two teams were from Columbia College Chicago.

Each student on the top team will receive a $5,000 scholarship; students on the runner-up team will each receive a $2,500 scholarship, and third place team members will each receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Categories:  Business Management Merchandise Product Development Student