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Fifth Annual Elevator Competition approaching

Tampa, FL (January 16, 2013) — Business students everywhere are familiar with the "elevator pitch:" the one-minute speech you'd give about yourself and your abilities if you happened to find yourself in the elevator with a recruiter for the job of your dreams.

For the fifth year, the Muma College of Business is sending its students to the elevators -- literally. On Saturday, April 6 at 8 a.m., business students will travel to 100 N. Tampa Street to ride in an elevator with area hiring managers to help the students learn how to sell themselves and present a positive, professional first impression in competition's final round for two dozen students who make it through the business school's on-campus preliminaries. The students have one minute to give an 'elevator speech' about themselves, describing their education, skills, and career aspirations. The competition includes prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 for the student winners.

Muma College of Business leaders know that students leave USF with the business acumen to launch their career, but they often need to boost their networking skills and emphasize what sets them apart from other job seekers.

"This competition allows students to practice the interpersonal skills that will set them apart when talking to hiring managers in the real world," said Pavla Ozkul, director of employer relations. "It's a great chance for them to experience the type of high-pressure situation they might face in a job interview instead of just practicing in front of a mirror."

The final round of the competition will be held in the the style of the television show, "The Apprentice," with the top five students presenting their "perfect pitch" to a panel of judges who will then determine the winner of the competition.

The contest requires all participating students to attend extracurricular workshops on how to sell themselves, dress professionally, network, and use proper body language to make a positive first impression. Those workshops will be held March 18, March 21, and March 26 from 5 to 6 p.m. in BSN 221. Students must attend at least one of the workshops to be eligible for the semifinals, which will be held April 2 from 2-6 p.m. at the Muma College of Business.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and the Office of Employer Relations is seeking Human Resources professionals to participate in the event. Students and companies interested in participating in the elevator competition should email