N.C. A&T Team Wins First Place in 5th Annual Moguls in the Making Pitch Competition

By East L Dockery / 09/11/2023 Students, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Business and Economics, College of Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2023) – Four North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students won first place in the 2023 Moguls in the Making pitch competition.

Javen Washington, Nyla Ward, Teco Bynum and Laia Garland were the winning participants and each received a $20,000 scholarship on behalf of Ally Financial, Inc.

The competition ran from Sept. 6-10 and was hosted by Ally Financial (NYSE: ALLY) in collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the event which featured special appearances by actor/entertainer and Aggie alumnus Terrence Jenkins ‘04 – better known as Terrence J. Multi-platinum artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Big Sean also shared personal experience with students and commitment to the program.

Members of the N.C. A&T team represent the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics, College of Engineering and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Washington of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is a senior studying accounting and finance. Garland, of Charlotte, is a senior studying management entrepreneurship and innovation. Ward, of Charlotte, is a sophomore Honors College student studying political science. Bynum, of Charlotte, is a senior Honors College student studying computer science and Cheatham-White scholar.

"The experience was very surreal," Bynum said.

By participating in the competition, students were given the opportunity to network with industry leaders as well as C-Suite members from Ally Financial.

"The entire experience showed how they cared about diversity and inclusion," Bynum said. "It was a lot of fun and extremely informative as everyone made sure your pitch was delivered beautifully."

"Moguls in the Making is an investment Ally makes to provide career-launching business experience,” said Ally Financial CEO Jeffrey J. Brown.

“We’re intentional about how we show up as an ally, focusing on efforts that support economic mobility and inspire social change. Programs like this provide access and opportunities for historically Black college and university (HBCU) students to learn core business and entrepreneurial skills and help to build an early talent pipeline with bright, passionate and creative individuals who will be our future leaders.”

The other participating HBCUs were Alabama A&M University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morgan State University, NC Central University, Norfolk State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University at Baton Rouge, Spelman College, Texas Southern University, Tuskegee University, and Virginia State University.

"When the second team was being announced we were very confident we were going to win the competition," Bynum said. "There was so much suspense, and as soon as they said 'North Carolina' we all stood up and screamed."

North Carolina Central University was awarded second place and each student received a $10,000 scholarship. Texas Southern University was awarded third place and each student received a $5,000 scholarship. All remaining students who competed received a $1,000 scholarship for their participation.

“Ally is committed to building an early talent pipeline with creative, diverse, highly skilled individuals from all backgrounds,” said Ally Financial Chief Diversity Officer Reggie Willis.

“Connecting with motivated, passionate students through our Moguls in the Making program helps us do that. Creating an inclusive workplace doesn't happen overnight. It's a continuous, intentional effort that requires us to know our teammates well and react to the changes we see in the workplace and in society. The students have taught us so much about the next generation who want to make an impact on our world.” 

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

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