Camp Introduces Retail Careers to Incoming Freshmen

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Retailing Excellence at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted 17 incoming freshman students from Arkansas, Texas, Illinois and Peru during the Business Leadership Academy held June 5-10. The summer residential program creates an awareness of retail career choices and opportunities that exist for Walton College business majors.

The camp exposed students to business and cultural aspects of Northwest Arkansas. The week kicked off with a tour of a Walmart distribution center in Bentonville. Students also visited Crystal Bridges Museum and participated in a retail scavenger hunt at Pinnacle Promenade shopping center and the Northwest Arkansas Mall. In addition to the tours, students participated in training workshops on social and business etiquette, business presentation skills, the McMillon Family Retail Innovation and Technology Lab and the Jane Gearhart Food Pantry.

This year, the students were challenged to launch a pop-up store in the McMillon Innovation Lab, located on the University of Arkansas campus. Each student team had to create a business plan, a strategic marketing plan and a budget for launching a business. The three teams proposed ideas for a 24-hour school supply concierge, an after-hours food delivery service and a frozen yogurt bar and bakery to a panel of judges from Walmart, S.C. Johnson, Shopper Marketing and the Walton College.