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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has rolled out its 2013 RILA College Student Program, which offers undergraduate and master’s-degree students scholarships to the 2013 Retail Asset Protection Conference, scheduled for April 28-May 1 in Orlando, Fla., and an edge over their peers via industry networking and educational opportunities. Sponsoring retailers will pay for students’ attendance at the conference and provide personalized education and mentoring.
The program enables students to learn about asset protection from industry experts and grants access to the almost 1,000 retail executives slated to attend the conference. Students will also receive a scholarship to complete the Loss Prevention Foundation’s (LPF) Loss Prevention Qualified (LPQ) certification course and examination, a one-year free membership to Matthews, N.C.-based LPF and complimentary enrollment in the Academic and Retail Partnership Program, which guarantees students who have earned the LPQ certification a job interview with one or more participating retailers.
“This program offers students unprecedented exposure to the retail industry and presents them with opportunities they don’t get by sitting in the college classroom,” noted Lisa LaBruno, SVP of retail operations for Arlington, Va.-based RILA. “It’s a win-win; mentors are connected to talented young people who are passionate about pursuing a career in retail, and students get to showcase their skills to key decision-makers at some of the largest and most progressive employers in the U.S.”
In the months leading up to the conference, students will work with corporate and store-level personnel from their mentor companies to complete a research project, resulting in a presentation during a breakout session at the conference. This year’s topic is “Customer Rights, Customer Service and Asset Protection in a Mobile Point-of-sale World.”
Among the student mentors taking part in the 2013 student program are 7-Eleven Inc.; Aspect Loss Prevention, a division of Verisk Crime Analytics; Big Lots Stores Inc.; J.C. Penny Co. Inc.; LPF; Lowe’s Cos. Inc.; The Home Depot, Inc.; Walgreen Co.; and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and students from University of Texas McCombs School of Business, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Mississippi College and Sam Houston State University are participating.