Dani Berry, a senior marketing major from Clermont, GA, was recently named the first-place winner of the State Farm-sponsored Elevator Pitch Competition at University of North Georgia. She received a $1,000 award, and every student who placed in the competition was offered a paid State Farm internship.
The goal of the competition was to teach students how to market themselves to companies wishing to hire, according to Associate Professor of Professional Sales/Marketing, Dr. Cindy B. Rippé, who organized the inaugural event and advised Berry throughout the semester. Competing students had less than a minute to present their reasons why they would be the best candidate for a job.
“In every class I’ve taken at UNG, I’ve been told to make myself memorable,” said Berry. “If they [employers] can’t remember you, nothing else you’ve done will matter. That’s why I had the idea to bring a soccer ball in to my pitch. I’ve played sports my whole life, and it really nurtured a competitive spirit in me, which is what many employers are looking for in hiring a salesperson.”
Berry went on to talk about her success in the National Collegiate Competition in Atlanta and how she could be a successful addition to any “team”.
“Throughout my college career, I’ve struggled with putting myself in front of somebody I didn’t already know. Dr. Rippé worked to instill in us the ability to be comfortable in our abilities, no matter the situation. Based on her advice, I worked on being able to adapt to different consumers and change my pitch when necessary. I’m grateful to Dr. Rippé for her advice through this process, which helped me learn to think outside the box.”
Berry went on to say that she encourages other students to participate in similar competitions because it allows students to apply the skills they learn in classes at UNG. Berry will graduate Saturday, December 14, 2019, with a degree in marketing with a sales concentration.