Students Strengthen Business Skills


By Danielle Bitts and Reba Putorti

Adelphi University held their annual Adelphi Apprentice Challenge on Friday, Nov. 20, where nearly 200 local high school students, including a group from Westbury High School, gathered on the campus in Garden City to show off their business and entrepreneurial acumen.

Students were divided up to work in mixed teams and had one hour to reach an effective marketing pitch to present to judges throughout the rounds of competition. They had to compete by developing a marketing plan for Live Nation, one of the largest producers of live music events in the world. The mission was to develop a pitch for Live Nation’s Pop 100 Music Festival campaign in the tri-state area in 2016.

Students were given one hour to create an effective marketing plan for Live Nation.
Students were given one hour to create an effective marketing plan for Live Nation.

Alan Cooper, Associate Dean of the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business at Adelphi, opened the event with a presentation summarizing what was expected from students for the day. “They didn’t know what the assignment was until a week ago and we received 19 teams from across Long Island to come here to Adelphi and spend the day…They have one hour to develop a marketing plan for a Live Nation event,” said Cooper.

When the timed hour expired, the groups filed into different boardrooms. Each room consisted of two student teams with two or three judges. They listened to the four-minute presentations and then were able to ask follow-up questions. After both groups presented, the judges in that room deliberated and announced a winner, who then proceeded onto the next round, where presentations were cut down to two minutes. The top five teams were announced during the lunch period.

Grant, a senior at Garden City High School, explained how his team’s strategy was to split the group members up doing different tasks with what each person was good at during the planning hour, then come together to put the idea into action for presentation. And it paid off because his team won. “The planning part was easy,” senior Jenny from Massapequa High School said. “As the project manager for my team, I just wanted to set us apart from the other groups, and it worked.”

Jandy, a senior at Westbury High School said “going into the presentation I focused on the advice we got from the judges beforehand. Even though we didn’t win, it was a valuable experience for a high school student to gain insight on what goes on behind closed doors.”

The 2015 judging panel was made up of 14 judges from various prestigious companies including Nike Women, Apple Inc., Live Nation, Sea Star and Didit. Dan Casale, vice president of finance at Live Nation and Adelphi Alumni, was one of them. “I was involved last year as keynote speaker,” said Casale. “I thought it would be a good opportunity for Live Nation to participate as a brand.”

Students felt that this event helped build the necessary skills for future employment in the business industry. “In business, like in the real world, you really have to work in teams pretty much 99 percent of the time if not, 100,” said Benjamin Green, a senior at Plainview Old Bethpage JFK High School. “So it’s just a very good way to kind of get used to what I’m going to be doing later in life.”

The final round consisted of the group’s project manager representing their team and summarizing their marketing plan to all of the judges and peers from the event. Team 1, who called themselves Flagship Marketing, won the Adelphi Apprentice Challenge with their marketing campaign centered on pop-up concerts and a social media push for the Live Nation Challenge. The team not only won VIP tickets to one of three Live Nation concerts of their choice, and the Adelphi Apprentice title and plaque, but also proved that they have what it takes to make it in the business world.


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