Competing in the 2013 National Grocers Association Case Competition was an incredibly rewarding experience. Being a part of a team with diverse backgrounds, I not only learned a lot from working on the case but from three other talented women from the University of Minnesota as well.
We were asked to create a new marketing strategy to increase sales for Ray's and Chief's supermarkets located in Ohio. Throughout the preparation, with connections through The Food Industry Center, we were able to reach out to professors, advisors, industry leaders, and people working directly in the field to receive invaluable feedback allowing us to create a practical strategy that was relevant to the real word.
After only a few short months of practicing, presenting and preparing for the competition, arriving in Las Vegas in Mid-February was surreal. We spent every last minute up until our presentation practicing, rehearsing and perfecting our case. As the first team to compete, it was a huge sigh of relief after delivering our presentation. We were able to enjoy the rest of the conference without any headaches or stress.
One of my favorite experiences from the conference was being able to watch the other schools' presentations. I definitely took away a lot of skills and ideas that I will be able to implement into the future.
The rest of the conference was full of excitement. Dense Fung, a fellow teammate was a workshop moderator for an interesting perspective on social media in the current industry. We also spent a large amount of time meeting personal mentors and walking around a very large trade show where we were able to learn a vast amount about the retail food industry. New food products, old food products and innovative machinery were being displayed and sampled throughout the trade show. It was exhilarating being able to see industry leaders in one room talking about their different passions within the industry and seeing how they all align to create the incredible industry we are all so heavily dependent on.
Competing in the NGA case competition and being able to experience the conference was unforgettable. I was able to network with many industry professionals and students from across the nation while being able to immerse myself into an environment where people share my same passion for food.