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Business School Partners with School Districts for Scholarship Competition

The Norfolk State University School of Business is working with 19 local school divisions in the Hampton Roads area to provide students with college scholarships and cash awards. Students in grades nine through twelve will compete and will have the chance to walk away with one of the three scholarships and cash prizes available. The competition kicks off this month. Winners will be announced in May 2019.

NSU School of Business Dean Glenn Carrington, a retired partner of Ernst & Young LLP, where he served on the U.S. Executive Board for almost a decade, sees the competition as a way of getting high school students interested in attending college and helping them to prepare early for the requirements of both college and the workplace.

He points to his own college experience in which his only intention was to play basketball and was unmotivated in the classroom. He didn’t fully tap into his potential. It took an NSU professor to make him recognize it and then harness it. “Early intervention is key,” he said. “If somebody had told me that I could do X, Y, Z, early in life, it would have changed my life.” But the acknowledgement of his professor motivated him to reach the highest heights in the financial world.
The goals of the competition are to provide early intervention by preparing students for college and the labor market; awareness by alerting students about the importance of communication skills; and motivation by provoking, stimulating or persuading students to express themselves through quality communication.

dr carrington photoCarrington points to a survey by Workforce Solutions Group that found that more than half of employers said applicants lack communication and interpersonal skills and that many indicated that today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well.

“Employers have an expectation that when they interview new college graduates that they will possess or display certain skills,” said Carrington. “Those skills are general good business communication, strategic or critical thinking and good verbal communication.”

In the workforce of the future, said Carrington, people will be competing against not just other people but also the use of artificial intelligence. Prospective employees will need creative problem-solving and analytical skills. “The bottom line is, will you be able to take problem and figure out the answer? This is a way of preparing students for the future.”

This competition requires both written and oral communication skills using the topic of robotics and its future impact on humanity. Each of the 19 school divisions will choose a champion. Norfolk State will then choose finalists from the 19, who will compete until first, second and third place winners are chosen by judges in the final round to be held at Norfolk State University.

The winners will receive scholarships and cash prizes as follows:

1st Place: $10,000 — $8,000 scholarship and $2,000 cash
2nd Place: $3,000 — $2,000 scholarship and $1,000 cash
3rd Place: $1,500 — $1,000 scholarship and $500 cash

Scholarships and cash prizes will be awarded once the winners have been accepted and enrolled in the college of their choice.