Student Programs

Student initiatives and scholarship programs highlight NGA’s dedicated effort to make independent grocery retailers and related organizations employers of choice for college graduates. NGA partners with university faculty and students through the work of groups such as WGA (Women Grocers of America), the NGA Research & Education Foundation, the Asparagus Club and the Food Industry University Coalition. Please reach out to with questions of for additional information on the below programs. 

For Students


The Student Case Competition provides students teams with the opportunity to creatively address a real-world issue currently impacting the industry. The competition, generously sponsored by the Asparagus Club and held at the 2017 NGA Show, awards up to $4,000 for winning teams of four students who success address this year’s case study question. Students were asked to provide recommendations to Harp’s Food Stores, Inc. (Springdale, AR) regarding their efforts to reach millennial consumers. NGA Show attendees are welcome to attend the competition, which will be held as a General Session on Tuesday, February 14. 

Case study topic examples:

*For information on NGA's Scholarship Opportunities, click HERE!*


The Women Grocers of America (WGA) distributes the Mary Macey Scholarship yearly to promising college students pursuing careers in the industry. Scholarships are one-year awards in the amount of $1,500 (number of recipients subject to availability of funds).

The Asparagus Club Scholarship awards a maximum of ten scholarships per year (subject to availability of funds). Each scholarship is $2,000 per semester (fall and spring only) not to exceed four consecutive semesters. Recipients must retail full-time status and earn at least a 2.5 GPA to earn a scholarship each semester/quarter.

NGA awards a total of 10 scholarship offerings to college students. To view a summary of all those scholarships, click HERE.


The NGA Mentoring Program connects students with independent grocery professionals at the NGA Show based on student’s career interests. Mentors guide students through several elements of the Show (exhibit floor, education sessions) and offer insider knowledge on the rapidly changing marketplace. This is an invaluable opportunity for students to learn first-hand about multi-faceted industry and be considered for exciting career opportunities after graduation.  

The WGA Student Membership grants students the opportunity to join the WGA community at the complimentary student membership rate! WGA (Women Grocers of America) is the sole organization representing female grocers and specifically serves as NGA’s career development network for the industry’s female professionals. Membership benefits include networking opportunities, WGA event admittance, and other educational resources.

WGA student membership sign-up instructions:

  1. Click here to create an online account and sign up for WGA student membership
  2. Select ‘WGA Memberships’ from the left column under your profile
  3. Type in your name and select ‘WGA Student Membership’
  4. Checkout and complete purchase – a WGA board member will then reach out with additional details!

For Retailers

Retailer professionals who become NGA Student Mentors gain priceless time with rising industry talent as they explore career opportunities. Mentors are assigned mentees based on the student’s career interests and area of study. Retailers should allocate at least two hours at the NGA Show to devote to mentoring responsibilities. Suggested mentor activities include: walking the exhibit floor, attending an education session and introducing students to professional peers. Are you interested in becoming a mentor? Contact NGA at

Support NGA’s Research and Education Foundation scholarship program through a catalog of giving opportunities.


NGA gives retailers the chance to interview students within groups or one-on-one at the NGA Show. If your organization is interested in recruiting talent from participating universities and colleges, see below for an updated list, please send a request to  

  • Supermarket Industry Student Career Survey - assesses students’ interests in a career in the grocery and food industries.  The survey examines primary sources of career information for students; salary expectations; importance of a variety of job factors when selecting an employer; perceptions of the grocery industry and the likelihood of working in specific positions.  This information will help recruiters better understand the needs, wants and perceptions of potential associates and develop more effective recruiting programs. Data was compiled and analyzed by Retail Feedback Group.
  • Determining Career Paths for New Hires  –  This study was designed to help the independent food retailer attract new external management talent, as well as provide growth opportunities for retaining internal high potential candidates.    A number of best in class independent retailers as well as regional and national chain were interviewed to determine best practices for recruiting, hiring and training techniques of management associates.  Developed by Paul Adams and Larry Lincoln, Paul Adams & Associates

For Faculty

The Food Industry University Coalition (FIUC) was established in 2004 in order to advance a collaborative agenda of industry-focused academics and research. The mission of the 16 members is to leverage the combined wealth of its members’ intellectual capital, strategic perspective and third party status to provide thought leadership for the food industry in dealing with challenging issues.

Membership in the FIUC is limited to programs of accredited academic institutions conducting research on topics related to the food/retail industry on an ongoing basis. Please contact Frank Gambino, Director, Food Marketing Program, Western Michigan University for more information.

FIUC Membership Roster: 

  • University of Alabama
  • Arizona State University
  • Auburn University
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • California State University, Fresno
  • Cornell University
  • University of Florida
  • Illinois State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Western Michigan University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Portland State University
  • Sam Houston University
  • St. Joseph’s University
  • State University of New York at New Paltz
  • University of Southern California

Are you a faculty member interested in bringing your students to The NGA Show? Send an inquiry to for additional information.