Columbia College Chicago NRF Teams Make Student Challenge National Semi-Finals

Columbia students Eryn Jones, Xitaly Viveros, Alfred Pell, and L'oren Parker on the Target team as well as Amaiya Sims, Ben Sill, Brittany Wilson, and Kristen Kirschbaum on the Qurate team have made the semi-finals in this competitive challenge.

Columbia College Chicago advertising, fashion, ASL, cinema art and science, and graphic design students came together to participate in the National Retail Foundation (NRF) Student Challenge. In this challenge, teams from member schools come together to apply their knowledge of fashion and business in a real-world setting. A number of successful teams will earn the chance to pitch their ideas to retail leaders from some of fashion's biggest companies. The top team earns a $6,000 tuition scholarship for each team member.

Students were mentored by faculty including Dana Connell in Fashion and Peg Murphy in Communication. Students will now have two weeks to revise their plan books and pitch videos. Then, they will video-conference with industry executives. Following that stage, three of the semi-finalist teams will be chosen for the national finals. 

The challenge encourages students from Columbia College to stretch their boundaries beyond what is traditionally taught in a classroom. Last year, Columbia student Kendall McDermott said of the competition: "This competition has inspired me to think beyond the status quo. The Student Challenge has shown me how innovative retail can be and I'm excited to take what I’ve learned during the Student Challenge and come up with my own inventive ideas."



Rhiannon Koehler
Communications Manager