The 3rd annual All-MSU Sales Competition took place Friday, February 8, at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development. Thirty-six students competed in a tournament-style event structured around 20-minute business-to-business selling role-plays with corporate representatives playing the part of the buyer and also assisting with the judging. A $1,000 scholarship was awarded to the overall winner, and the four finalists earned the opportunity to represent MSU at the March National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
Winning this year’s competition was Maria Sasinowski (advertising), while Kaelyn Iciek-Nicks (marketing), Scott Rinnas (marketing), and Brittany Wolf (communication) rounded out the top four. Semi-finalists included Zach Doerr (marketing), Greg Gariepy (marketing), Evan Spreng (supply chain management), and Brad Sweeney (communication).
Sixty-five managers from eighteen companies participated, including nine firms (ADP, Altria, CH Robinson, Coyote Logistics, Eaton, Ford, TEK Systems, Thomson Reuters, and Tom James) that are sponsors of MSU’s Sales Communication Specialization, a joint initiative of the Broad College of Business and the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. The event also included a career fair for students interested in the selling profession, and nine other firms (Whirlpool, Sherwin Williams, Quicken Loans, Reynolds & Reynolds, Michigan Office Solutions, Kohls, Epitex, CED/All-Phase, and Capital Group) joined program sponsors there.
The sales specialization, which is open to students of any major, was created in response to the rising stature and importance of sales in an increasingly competitive business environment and the corresponding need for businesses to recruit graduates with advanced competencies in consultative selling. Since the program’s inception in 2009, MSU students have captured three national championships at the National Team Selling Competition held each fall at Indiana University. The All-MSU Sales Competition was established as a learning device for students and as an opportunity to connect students with the business community.
According to Doug Hughes, the associate professor of marketing who created and organized the event, “The competition is an excellent vehicle for students to test their mettle, showcase their talents, and grow their consultative selling skills. Business managers appreciate the opportunity to see our students in action and walk away extremely impressed with the quality of MSU students and what they are learning in our program.”