Taking the job interview to new heights, the USF College of Business challenges students to sell themselves in an “Elevator Competition” on April 5, 2014.
TAMPA, FL (March 28, 2014) – Although unemployment in the Tampa market is improving, business students are facing a crowded market. In order to stand out in a market full of recent graduates, it is important for students to know how to sell themselves the first moment they meet someone; even if it is unexpectedly, in an elevator.
For the sixth year, the University of South Florida’s College of Business is sending its students to the elevators at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 5 at 100 N. Tampa Street, Tampa where they will deliver “elevator speeches” to area hiring managers. While these encounters are planned and completely expected, the competition, sponsored by Regions Bank, is meant to teach students how to sell themselves and present a positive, professional first impression.
Two dozen students who made it through the business school’s on-campus preliminaries are given one minute to deliver their speeches. Hiring managers from companies such as Regions, Buckle, FIS, NetAPP, Cox Target Media and Sagicor will judge the students who compete to win prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250.
Dean Moez Limayem knows that business students leave USF with the business acumen needed to launch their career, but they often need to boost their networking skills and emphasize what sets them apart from others. The contest requires all participating students to attend workshops on how to sell themselves, dress professionally, network, and use proper body language to make a positive first impression.
“The College of Business is dedicated to providing its students with the experience they need to land a job after graduation, but it is up to them to learn how to sell themselves,” Limayem said.
“Hiring managers often say they can usually determine their interest in a candidate within the first minute or two,” Limayem added, noting that students need to learn how to sell themselves from the first moment they meet someone. That, he said, is the heart of the competition.
For students like Giampiero Fuentes, an undergraduate finance major who is also a two-time entrepreneur, the competition is an opportunity to shine.
“I like to take every opportunity that comes my way, especially when I have the chance to show what I am worth not only to my school, but also to the professional world,” Fuentes said.
The final round of the competition will be held in the executive board room of Regions Bank. In the style of the television show, “The Apprentice,” the top five students will present their pitches to a panel of judges who will then determine the winner of the competition.
PHOTO AND INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Student participants, judges, sponsors, and leaders from the College of Business will be on hand and available for interviews. Journalists or photographers who request clearance prior to the competition may ride in the elevator with students and hiring managers during the competition.
WHEN: April 5, 2014 – Students arrive at 8:00 a.m., competition begins and several rounds of elevator rides take place at once; winners announced at approximately 11 a.m.
WHERE: Regions Bank Tower – 100 N. Tampa Street (corner of Tampa and Whiting Streets in downtown), Tampa, Florida
VISUALS: Undergraduate-level business students in business attire riding elevators with hiring managers, nervous groups waiting to be scrutinized “Donald Trump style” in the final round in executive board room. Photographer may be able to ride in the elevators with competing student and judges (with advance notice, please).
Student contact for interview: Giampiero Fuentes 813-458-2695
On-site, day-of-event contact: Pavla Ozkul, 678-643-6138
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to students success. USF ranks 50th in the nation for federal expenditures in research and total expenditures in research among all U.S. universities, public or private, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving more than 47,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.
USF’s College of Business and School of Accountancy are dually accredited by AACSB International. In addition to serving nearly 5,000 undergraduate students, the College of Business boasts one of the nation’s top accounting programs, as well as a myriad of graduate business programs, including a part-time and weekend Executive MBA program.
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