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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Ray Greenly scholars at Shop.org Summit 2014

How to apply for the Ray Greenly Scholarship

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How to apply

The 2017 Ray Greenly application period is now closed. Please email scholarships@nrf.com for more information.

The Ray Greenly Scholarship is awarded to students with a creative, entrepreneurial spirit who can find innovative ways to connect retail customers to brands and products. Learn more about the scholarship and meet the Class of 2016.

This scholarship is life-changing because it provides the opportunity to:

  • Explore entrepreneurial ideas and work closely with a major retailer.
  • Discover digital retail and put your name in front of retail industry experts through the judging process like the Class of 2016 scholarship recipients.
  • Receive a $1,500 travel scholarship to interact with top retail executives in Los Angeles, CA at SHOP.ORG, Sept. 25 – 27, for your chance to earn a $25,000 academic scholarship.

The 2017 Ray Greenly scholarship application process consists of two phases. In the first phase applicants are required to submit an innovation essay, personal brand video and school transcripts. The application deadline for phase one is Monday, April 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. There will be short review period during which applicants will be selected to move on to the second phase of the application process.

In the second phase, applicants will be assigned a company specific challenge and must also submit a letter of recommendation, resume and headshot. Applicants will be notified by April 10 if they have been selected to move on to this phase. Applicants moving on to phase two will be randomly assigned to a challenge from a major retailer. The application deadline for phase two is Monday, June 26 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

A panel of retail executive judges will determine up to 25 applicants to receive a travel scholarship to cover student’s registration and expenses to attend SHOP.ORG 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. Travel scholarships will be paid directly to the student’s school.

Five finalists will then be selected from the group of up to 25 students to receive scholarships. The scholarship amounts available are: One $25,000 scholarship for the top recipient and four $10,000 scholarships. Scholarship proceeds will be made payable to the educational institution at which the student is enrolled.

Application Requirements

Phase One Requirements - Due April 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern

In the first phase applicants are required to submit an innovation essay, personal brand video and school transcripts. The application deadline for phase one is Monday, April 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

Essay
Compose an essay in response to the questions below. The essay should be on a separate page. Responses should be in paragraph format and adhere to the maximum page requirements indicated. Only .doc, .docx, and .pdf files will be accepted.

Essay 1: Innovation (one-page maximum):

Tell us about an app or product that is cutting-edge and has changed the way you shop or has the potential to do so. Explain why it is innovative and how it makes the shopping experience better. Include any suggestions you have for making it even better. Be original and choose something unique that will make you stand out.

Personal Brand Video (maximum of two minutes):

Create a video that reveals who you are, what you are passionate about, what you intend to do in your career, and how you will get there. There is no specific format to follow, so be creative!

This is not a video resume. It is your chance to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Be authentic and memorable.

Video must be two minutes or less. You will need to submit a URL as part of your application.

Transcript

Please upload a copy of your transcript to verify your cumulative GPA. This does not have to be an official transcript.

Phase Two Requirements - Due June 26 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern

In the second phase, applicants will be required to complete a company specific challenge and submit a letter of recommendation, resume and headshot. Applicants will be notified by April 10 if they have been selected to move on to this phase and will receive their assigned company challenge. Applicants must participate in mandatory one hour call with their assigned retailer the week of April 24. The company will provide relevant information during these calls to assist the applicants in completing their assigned challenge. The application deadline for phase two is Monday, June 26 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

Letter of Recommendation

One letter of recommendation must be included with the completed application. The recommendation must be from a non-family member who can speak to the student’s character. The letters must be written on a separate sheet of paper (preferably letterhead), addressed to NRF Foundation Board of Directors, reference the Ray Greenly Scholarship, and be signed.

The letter of recommendation should include the following (One-page maximum):

1. How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity? 

2. What skills or abilities does the applicant have that will make him/her successful in his/her future career? Please include examples highlighting the applicant’s potential in his/her chosen field.

3. What other information about the applicant should be taken into consideration?

4. Why are you recommending that the applicant receive the Ray Greenly Scholarship?

Resume

You must upload a current resume as part of the application package.

Headshot

You must submit a high-resolution color headshot, at least 300 dpi in jpg or tif format. Photographs will be used for promotional purposes to feature recipients of the Ray Greenly Scholarship.

Review the scholarship application for more details.

The Ray Greenly Scholarship is open to sophomore, junior and senior undergraduates and masters students enrolled full-time at any accredited U.S. college or university (regardless of NRF member status) when the scholarship is awarded in September 2017. Applicants do not have to be in a retail program or major to apply.

To apply, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident eligible to work in the United States.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • Be available to attend SHOP.ORG, September 25-27 in Los Angeles.

Previous Ray Greenly semi finalists and finalists and Next Generation scholarship finalists are not eligible to apply. For more information, review the full eligibility requirements.

The NRF Foundation and retail executive judges will evaluate each applicant based on their demonstrated understanding, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and forethought for creating new ways to connect retail customers to brands and products which could potentially help the retail world evolve.

Push the boundaries with your innovation essay. Think outside the box.

Your personal brand video should reveal who you are, what you are passionate about, what you intend to do in your career, and how you will get there.

There is no specific format to follow, so be creative! Remember that this is not a video resume. This is your chance to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Be authentic and memorable. The video must be two minutes or less.

Judges want to see passion, ambition and specific aspirations in your video along with unexpected and creative ideas. The letter of recommendation should really speak to your character and convince the judges that you have the potential to succeed in your field. 

Judges will be looking for applicants who have a clear understanding of digital retail concepts and who make well-reasoned, logical and realistic conclusions.

Be creative, be innovative and be different!

February 16 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern - Join us for a conference call to learn more. The number to dial-in is 1-866-855-1143, participant code - 49572241#.

April 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern – Phase one deadline: Innovation Essay, Personal Brand Video and School Transcripts due.

April 10 – Applicants notified if moving on to phase two and company challenge distributed to those applicants via the scholarship platform.

Week of April 24– 1 hour mandatory call with assigned retail company. Applicants will only participate in one call based on their assigned challenge.

June 26 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern – Phase two deadline: Company Challenge, Letter of Recommendation, Resume and Headshot due.

Late-July - Up to 25 semi-finalists selected and notified

Early-September– Five finalists selected and notified

September 24 - Final round interviews in Los Angeles, CA for the five finalists

September 25-27SHOP.ORG 2017

Did you know?

One out of five full-time, salaried positions on the NRF Job Board are digital careers in e-commerce or IT.

Shop.org
Vicki Cantrell

Shop.org is the industry’s largest, most vibrant and experienced online retail community, offering exclusive research, events and networking opportunities.