Undergraduate and graduate students from more than 60 schools across the country applied for the 2016 Ray Greenly Scholarship, created to help address retailers’ increasing needs for digital talent. This year’s scholarship was divided into two phases, the first of which required applicants to submit an innovation essay and personal brand video. Phase two, developed in partnership with HSN, Nordstrom and REI, presented applicants with unique case studies focused on creating differentiated brand experiences to attract new customers and retain existing customers.
Digital retail executives from more than 45 companies including Walmart, Macy’s, Walgreens and Under Armour served as judges to select 25 semi-finalists based on the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated in their applications. The semi-finalists received travel scholarships to attend the 2016 Retail’s Digital Summit in Dallas, September 26-28, where a panel of executive judges awarded the top applicant with a $25,000 scholarship. Four runners-up each receive a $10,000 scholarship.
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Washington University in St. Louis
Finance, Accounting and Marketing
Jessica’s real-world retail experiences through internships with reputable brands have fueled her passion for the industry and interest in the power of omnichannel integration for small businesses. During her college career, Jessica co-founded and launched a concession candy store on campus called Bear-y Sweet Shoppe, the first of its kind for the university in 10 years. Determined to make a difference, she hopes to utilize her quantitative foundation in accounting and finance and knowledge of digital retail tools to improve online shopping experiences for consumers everywhere.
Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta
Fashion Marketing and Management
Described as having exceptional drive and work ethic by her professor, Ce’Erica exemplifies determination and attention to detail in any project she faces. In the future, she hopes to elevate customer service models by integrating digital tools to enhance the in-store shopping experience. Ce’Erica’s goal is to work in wholesale and own her own showroom so as to immerse herself in retail from the foremost stages of distribution.
University of Pennsylvania
While working in emerging markets around the world, Ada was inspired by the prevalence of digital retail and became eager to expand her knowledge in the areas of innovation, technology and creative solutions. Now she is pursuing her MBA in the hopes of harnessing the power of digital retail through social entrepreneurship to expand economic opportunities for underserved populations looking to access formal marketplaces.
Santa Clara University
English and Classics
As an English major, Giannina is determined to make her mark in the retail industry with an atypical background. She is a strong believer in “leaning in” and making the most of each opportunity that comes her way. Giannina’s passion for retail stems from her desire to shape the future of retail by empowering consumers to make the most informed decisions. Professional, upbeat and well-rounded, Giannina hopes to use digital advancements to influence personalization and direct selling while balancing privacy to create seamless omnichannel shopping experiences.
University of Pennsylvania
An enthusiastic and dedicated learner, Kaley is determined to pursue an impactful career in retail and digital innovation. Not only does she lead the Wharton Retail Club, she also established an annual ‘retail innovation’ trip and numerous career treks in order to share her passion with others. Known for being able to move “seamlessly between the qualitative and quantitative,” Kaley hopes to focus on harnessing digital innovations to improve sustainability in the retail industry in the future.