COMM Students Win Pitch Competition | Kent State University

COMM Students Win Pitch Competition

Applied communication junior Julia Hazel was the winner of this year’s fifth annual Kent State LaunchNET Elevator Pitch competition.

The competition gives students 90 seconds to pitch a business idea or personal skills to a panel of judges for a chance to win prize money. Judging this year’s competition was Kristin Williams, executive director of Career Exploration and Development; Rachel O’Neill, marketing of Segmint Inc. and Kent State alumna; and Marjorie Wachowiak, School of Fashion Design and Merchandising lecturer.

Hazel won the $400 prize for Best Personal Pitch against 22 other student competitors. Hazel came in and talked with us about her experience winning the competition.

What made you want to study communication?

Originally, I was in broadcast journalism which was pretty narrow and strict with what I could do. Switching to communication studies allows me to open up to more job opportunities and be more creative while also talking with a wide variety of people.

How did your communication courses prepare you for the pitch competition?

Student media really played a vital role in my skills for the competition. I’ve been working with student media since my freshman year and just recently switched into my communication courses just last year. A lot of my course work has me learning about how to communicate and work with different kinds of people through the internet and social media, which also allowed me to talk about how I can relate to different audiences. COMM 15000 definitely prepared me a lot by getting up in front of the class and my professor had us talk in front of multiple classes so it got me comfortable talking in front of a lot of people I didn't know.

Tell me a little about your experience being a competitor. How did you feel when they called your name as one of the winners?

Well it was my first time participating in the event and I actually went because it was extra credit for one of my classes. I didn’t really prepare for it, I improvised the whole thing. I just left my High Impact Speaking Class and called my mom and a couple of my friends to help me decide on whether to do a personal or business startup pitch. I got lucky for sure, you should always prepare for something like that.

I had no idea that I was going to win. I heard them call my name and I was so ecstatic. I sat through probably seven competitors and they were all very good. But it shows that my hard work has finally paid off and that I earned it. It was one of the best achievements I made during my college career.

Watch Hazel’s winning pitch here: http://bit.ly/2n7Qi3j