It has been a remarkable year for the College of Business and Innovation’s Edward H Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) and many of its students: the school has hosted its first national invitational sales competition, its students have won/finished well in major sales competitions across the country, received other honors, and one student has even been featured on the cover of a national annual sales publication.
And the year is just half over!
ESSPS’ landmark achievement was the hosting and presentation of the first University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition (UTISC), with 31 teams from universities across the country participating.
“UTISC is the nation’s first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to the non-senior. We know younger students are anxious to shine outside the shadow of seniors, we are confident that they have the talent to compete on a national stage, and this gives companies the opportunity to find their talent first,” noted Deirdre Jones, ESSPS Director. “Juniors now have an internship for summer 2016, and they also have more opportunities about where they want to go post graduation. The UTISC gives the participants time to build relationships.”
“UT has been successfully running freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in our Internal Sales Competition for four years, and the students and businesses just love it. We are confident that our colleagues at other university professional sales programs have talented rising stars chomping at the bit that would excel in this competition and bring added attention to their universities. Furthermore, ESSPS is thrilled to bring tomorrow’s top talent to our corporate sponsors so that they can find the sales talent they need for internships and regular placements.”
Corporate sponsors of the UTISC included 3M, Quicken Loans, Goodyear, Penske, Sonic Foundry, Crown, Hilti, Reynolds and Reynolds, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Therma Tru.
UT’s team took fifth place in its own UTISC event. Additionally, Andrew Brownlee, a freshman, finished in 6th place in the freshman/sophomore division, and Gabriella LeMaster took sixth place in the junior division.
“Our sales students are so strong,” Jones noted, “as further evidenced by the success of ESSPS students at the National Collegiate Sales Competition.”
At the NCSC, the largest and oldest sales role-play competition in existence, UT’s team with Alejandro Vera and Lexi Jarrett claimed first place in the graduate division.
Furthermore, at the national convention of Pi Sigma Epsilon Professional Business Fraternity (PSE) in Milwaukee, COBI sales student Stephanie Elkins claimed first place in their National Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon as well as Top Salesperson of the Day.
Of course, the ESSPS staff has important activities beyond their successes at competitions.
“During UT’s homecoming weekend this year, we will have a Fall Fête on Friday at Hensville,” Jones said. “It will be a networking social for our existing students, as well as for our alumni to come back and mingle, as well as our ESSPS corporate sponsors and others in the business community. It’s the day of our Internal Sales Competition, and the winners of our competition will be announced at Fall Fête; UT’s ROTC Pershing Rifles team will perform, and we hope to have the UT Marching Band perform as well as having artwork from UT students on display. It will be the night before UT’s homecoming game, which will be against BGSU, so a lot will be going on.”
Jones said tickets can be purchased now by contacting the ESSPS office at 419.530.6133 or email EdwardSchmidtSchool@utoledo.edu
“Everyone is in sales in some way, shape or form,” Jones said. “Everyone sells, at least internally. Even if someone does not go into the sales profession, it’s guaranteed they will use these skills; you can’t market yourself if you don’t have the skills to get a job, a promotion, or support for your ideas.”
ESSPS is self-funded for its activities and sophisticated technology, such as the broadcast and recording equipment in its sales role play and training rooms, and welcomes contributions for equipment, events, training, technology, programming, competitions and faculty development.
“There is always so much going on here,” Jones said. “We’re already working on next year’s UTISC, which will be held February 23-25, 2017, and have several key sponsors committed to the event.”
“Our Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales is widely considered to be one of the top university sales programs in the country,” Jones said, “and I believe we are number one. Even the Sales Education Foundation, which includes UT in its 2016 list of Top Universities for Professional Sales Education, featured one of our students, Mark Parker, on the cover of its 2016 Sales Education Annual.”
“It all benefits our students, elevates the profession and, quite frankly, is invigorating and fun.”