‘Ground Floor’ project earns students dinner with EY execs

SwipeIt students. Caption TK.

From left, Daniel Scarda, Christine Lowney of EY, Raimbek Issayev, Griffin Hull, Samantha Ruilova Vallejo and Ritu Malhotra of EY. Not pictured is team member Caroline Kim.

Five first-year students from the Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center turned the capstone project for their first-year business fundamentals course, The Ground Floor, into a valuable networking experience with one of the world’s premier professional services firms.

Griffin Hull, Raimbek Issayev, Caroline Kim, Samantha Ruilova Vallejo and Daniel Scarda, all BS ’19, recently pitched an innovative college meal-plan program called SwipeIt to executives at EY (formerly Ernst & Young). They came in first among five teams that were chosen to participate in the EY event.

SwipeIt would broker a meal plan for college students in an urban setting, which would eliminate or reduce the need for cafeteria space on campus by organizing a variety of discounted meal and snack options in numerous commercial eateries, all within a 15-minute walk of the campus.

As a reward for their victory, the SwipeIt developers will have an opportunity to dine with some EY executives.

The students’ business plan was their final project this semester in The Ground Floor, in which students are introduced to every aspect of business operation and development.

“Week by week, knowledgeable practitioners in each field come to speak with the students,” said Vincent DeCola, an assistant dean at the Gabelli School at Lincoln Center. “Some presenters come from within Fordham’s own distinguished faculty, others are alumni and friends from around the world of business.”

Every student in The Ground Floor must be on a team that develops and proposes a plan for a business idea that they conceive. Students are then graded on their written proposal and oral presentation.

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