BY JORDAN D’AURIO
On Thursday, March 31, Nichols College held it’s 4th Annual Elevator Speech Competition in Daniels Auditorium. A record breaking 25 students competed to win up to $1400 in cash awards donated by sponsors such as Robert Half Technology, Mohegan Sun, the Nichols College Fischer Institute, UniBank, Barnes and Noble, the O’Connell Family, and Marsh & McLennan Companies.
An elevator speech is a clever and concise sales pitch about yourself or a product that you would deliver to an employer or client during the duration of an elevator ride. In the business world, having an elevator speech planned and ready to go is as essential as having a business card readily available. With that being said, the participants brought a diverse collection of stories of activities, actions or events they’ve experienced that make them who they are today. From sick loved ones to vast aspirations, every participant had a unique story, and that’s what makes this event so remarkable.
The event was nerve wracking for the 25 participants. After every speech the audience awaited comments and feedback from the judges along with their scores. Each judge would hold up a number between 1-10 and then the numbers would be recorded and added up at the end to determine the winners. However, the competition towards the end went a little bit different than expected. There was only one participant who received a 10 from all four judges; that participant was Ariff McLaren, class of 2019, who received the 1st place award. The award for 2nd place came to a tie between Jimmy Phillip, class of 2018, and Zachary Pina, class of 2019. In order to break the tie, each of them was asked the question, “Why is an elevator speech important?” and given one minute to come up with their answers. After the judges evaluated both candidates, they announced Jimmy Phillips as the 2nd place winner of $400 and Zachary Pina the 3rd place winner of $300.
Along with our first through third place winners, the judges announced Kaitlyn Baron, class of 2019, as the honorable mention and she received $100. The judges’ choice award went to TJ Roche, class of 2019, who also received $100.
A huge thank you to our judges President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Patrick Holland `88, Kim McCarthy `92, and Mackenzie Walsh `12 for participating in this event and giving the participants feedback that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.