The National Grocers Association (NGA) and the Food Industry University Coalition (FIUC) together announce a collaboration to further the professional development of students from 13 university food and retail programs at the NGA Show in February. “Students are the future leaders of the independent grocery industry,” said Peter J. Larkin, President and CEO, NGA. “We are proud to support their path to success by providing opportunities for professional growth at the NGA Show and NGA is committed to providing additional opportunities for student engagement at future events.”
While at the Show, students will broaden their knowledge and development through education and networking. The 2013 Case Study Competition provides student teams with the opportunity to creatively address a real-world issue currently impacting the industry. The competition, generously sponsored by the Asparagus Club, awards up to $4,000 for winning teams of four students who successfully address this year’s case study question:
Chief Super Market, Inc. (Defiance, Ohio), a twelve-store independent grocer, “…exists to delight customers with great food and experiences.” The company would like the students to use their imaginations to determine what the company should do to fulfill that mission and grow market share.
Students will also participate in a mentor program that will pair them with an industry executive who can walk them around the NGA show floor, share knowledge of the independent grocery business, and answer questions about a career in the industry. The Show will also feature a, a career center where students can participate in job “speed dating” with retailers, get feedback on their career path, and review publications from coalition universities.
Students will give back by participating in show roles such as helping moderate sessions, serving as greeters in workshops, and participating/ volunteering for the Women Grocers of America First Annual 5k Run/Walk.
“This opportunity allows universities in the coalition to send top students to the prestigious NGA Show to enhance their coursework through real-world experience,” said Wes Harrison, Professor, Louisiana State University; Chairman, FIUC. “Just as the students want to make their schools proud, the universities get representation at the national level which can only strengthen their programs.”