Ilitch School students rise to top in 2021 Elevator Pitch Competition

On Friday, Oct. 22, a select group of Wayne State University business students vied for scholarships and bragging rights during the seventh annual Mike Ilitch School of Business Elevator Pitch Competition, held virtually this year for the second time, with executive judges from Ally, the Detroit Pistons, Eli Lilly, Enterprise, Google, Ilitch Holdings Inc., Owens Corning, Plante Moran and Rocket Companies.

The winners were:

  • First place, $1,000, Elise Hloros
  • Second place, $500, Durr-E-Najaf Mooraj
  • Third place, $250, Melva Gijo and Brian Puente (tie)

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. Finalists then pitched to a panel of judges in a group Zoom meeting.

“When we realized we would need to conduct this competition virtually again this year, we weren’t really sure what to expect,” said Dean Robert Forsythe. “As usual, our Ilitch School students did not disappoint: 100 students participated in the training workshops and 65 submitted videos to enter the competition.”

The fall 2021 Elevator Pitch Competition was sponsored by the Mike Ilitch School of Business Alumni Council.

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