Ilitch School students rise to top in 2020 Elevator Pitch Competition

On Friday, Oct. 23, a select group of Wayne State University business students vied for scholarships and bragging rights during the sixth annual Mike Ilitch School of Business Elevator Pitch Competition, held virtually this year for the first time ever, with executive judges from Ally, Deloitte, Detroit Pistons, Eli Lilly, Ford, Google, Owens Corning, Paramount Marketing Group, Plante Moran and Quicken Loans.

Winners were:

  • First place, $1,000, Jenae Lodewyk
  • Second place, $500, Rujula Lnu
  • Third place, $250, Merisa Candic

The competition is usually held at Detroit’s historic Guardian Building, where students ride the elevators with judges. In this year’s competition, students had 90 seconds over Zoom to give their “elevator speech” about themselves, describing their education, skills and career aspirations. They were evaluated on their ability to sell themselves and present a positive, professional first impression. Five finalists then pitched to a panel of judges in group Zoom meeting.

“We weren’t really sure what to expect this year, but our Ilitch School students did not disappoint,” said Dean Robert Forsythe. “A record 138 students participated in the training workshops and 73 submitted videos to enter the competition.”

The Fall 2020 Elevator Pitch Competition was sponsored by the Mike Ilitch School of Business Alumni Council.

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