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Parker College of Business teams advance to semifinals of national student challenge

Brynna Chin-A-Young, left, Brianna Shirey, Mackenzie Miller and Toni Liburd represent Team Encircle, one of two teams from the Parker College of Business to make it to the semifinals of this year’s National Retail Federation Student Challenge.

After collaborating on 30-page pitch presentations and 90-second videos to convince selected retailers why and how their businesses should collaborate, two student teams from the Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business have made it into the semifinals of this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Student Challenge. 

The NRF Student Challenge gives undergraduate students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting by creating a set of products and pitching them to judges that represent a major retailer with the goal of the retailer picking up the product line for its stores. 

“Congratulations to both of our NRF Competition teams for making it to the semi-finals,” said Kristen Ruhland, faculty advisor for the teams. “This is a wonderful accomplishment and we are very proud of the work they have done thus far.”

The two teams, which are made up of four students each, created a set of products to pitch and will present them to a panel of judges between Nov. 30 and Dec. 9. From there, selected teams will move on to the final round, which is set for January 2021. The winning team members will each receive a $6,000 scholarship to apply toward tuition. 

This year, students participating in the competition include Ye’Senia Agosto-Rivera, Kahleel Morman, Nicholas Sanchez, Katherine Trice, Brynna Chin-A-Young, Toni Librud, Mackenzie Miller and Brianna Shirey. 

Student teams from the Parker College of Business won the NRF Foundation Student Challenge in 2017 and 2020, were semifinalists in 2019.

The challenge is exclusively open to students who attend NRF University Member Schools. Participating students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors. Since its launch, the NRF Student Challenge has provided nearly $300,000 in scholarship funds to students throughout the country and career opportunities.


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