University of Houston retailing and consumer science sophomore, Monique Adenaike was awarded the National Retail Federation ® (NRF®) Rising Stars Scholarship. She attended the Shop.org Digital Summit Student Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 5 - 7, 2015 and connected with industry professionals who could help with her goal - to work as a retail buyer or merchandiser - a career for which she has begun preparing through her work experiences with Papaya Clothing, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Pizza Hut. Monique's scholarship covered travel expenses for the student program including a career fair. According to the NRF website, the Rising Stars Scholarship was created to teach younger students about the variety of career opportunities available in the retail industry, and to encourage them to attend the NRF Foundation Student Programs early in their academic careers. Monique's enthusiasm for retailing and keen and willingness to learn were key reasons for her award.
University of Houston retailing and consumer science (RCS), Kristen Whitcomb was also awarded a NRF Retail and Consumer Science scholarship travel stipend to attend the Shop.org Digital Summit Student Program in Philadelphia.
"The National Retail Federation has provided multiple benefits to retailing students through virtual career fairs, subscriptions to retail industry news feeds, competitive events, professional conferences, and $20,000 - $30,000 in travel scholarships to participate in national forums and student programs," said Dr. Barbara Stewart. "Our students have many qualities that qualify them for success in retail. Among these is a willingness to work hard to achieve goals."
As UH retailing and consumer science program student ambassador to the NRF student association, Natalia A Ochoa a senior in the program will lead promotional and networking activities targeted to students. "As a liaison, I will have a great opportunity to learn, network, and grow professionally. It is a great pleasure to represent The University of Houston, and as an ambassador I am excited about sharing what I learn and discovering new opportunities for the RCS department," said Natalia.
What's next for the NRF student association members? Four UH graduate students, Akshatha Chakkodubai Rao, Rakesh D. Salian, Sinem Tepe, and Karen Jacobs are preparing a competitive challenge to demonstrate that they have what it takes to get a product to market and on the shelves of national retailers. The competition will be showcased at Retail's Big Show, January 17-19, 2016, in New York City.