MILLEDGEVILLE — Seniors in Georgia College’s business school made their job pitches Friday in a contest designed to prep them for the real world.
The students participated in an Elevator Pitch Competition as an extension of their career preparation.
“The job market remains challenging for all graduates,” said Dr. Dale Young, dean of the college, “and activities like this provide for recent graduates to differentiate themselves in a very tight market.”
Around 45 students submitted a 60-second video of themselves summarizing their assets, profession and interests in hopes of capturing their audience’s attention quickly. Each video was viewed by a minimum of four business professionals before the top 10 finalists were selected.
“Elevator pitches are something my students have been filming and they sell themselves to teammates in class. We’ve been doing it for a number of years and I’ve shown them to executives, but this is the first time we’ve had an opportunity where there’s a competition for it,” said Dr. Renee Fontenot, marketing professor. “Students have to have career portfolios and they participate in a number of things, including a resume review, dress for success workshops and using Interview Stream to upload videos of themselves answering interview questions. All of these things are important for our students to be using.”
The sponsor of the college’s first-ever Elevator Pitch Competition was Northwestern Mutual. Campus Recruiter Erica Smith and Director of Selection Shannon Wiley reviewed and judged the student videos for posture, pronunciation, structure and style last week before announcing the top three winners.
Matthew Dedecker won first place and was awarded $450, while Christopher Nocera placed second with a $350 prize and Samantha Ortiz placed third with a $200 prize. All three students are marketing majors.
“Activities like this are extremely valuable in the professional development of our students,” Young said. “We look forward to continuing activities like this in the future because it’s important for Georgia College students.”
An elevator pitch is a 30- to 60-second speech that summarizes who the person is, what they do and why they would be a perfect candidate for a job opportunity in the time span of an elevator ride which ends in the exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting.
“The whole purpose is to get students practicing and rehearsing so they realize that it’s not going to be perfect the first time; it’s going to change in every context,” said Mary Roberts, director of the Career Center. “They get to know who they are so they can sell themselves to a potential employer.”
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