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Business and Finance

One minute elevator ride to success

Corporate Mentor Program Coordinator J.R. Haworth has been a judge for the College of Business‘ elevator competition for the past two years and hosted it last year.

Only business students who attended a specified workshop can compete in the preliminaries to be held Tuesday, March 26 from 2 p.m. to  6 p.m. in BSN 221.

“It says something about you,” Haworth said, “because out of 6,000 students we normally have 75 to 100 that compete. And so right there, it shows you have the guts to do it.” 

Yes, the one-minute speeches are actually held in an elevator and the point is to help students practice describing their education, skills and aspirations – all in hopes to make a killer first impression.

“It’s all about students overcoming their own fear of speaking about themselves to professionals,” Haworth said. “It’s healthy competition and students help each other work on their presentations.”

Students are judged on:

  • ability to communicate and share information
  • professional appearance
  • confidence
  • overall first impression

Haworth recommends students focus on differentiating themselves from their peers.

“And don’t be fake,” he said.

The event is sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Nielsen. Hiring managers from  Melitta, Regions Bank, T. Rowe Price and Dillards will ride in the elevator with participants.

Semi-finalists will compete on March 31 from 9 a.m. to noon in downtown Tampa at 100 N. Tampa Street.

Scholarship prizes will be awarded to the top three graduate and the top three undergraduate students.

First place: $1,000

Second place: $500

Third Place: $250

Haworth evaluates his students based on their participation in either this competition or the 25 under 25 program.

“If you do both, great,” he said. “But you have to compete. You can’t be a sissy.”



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