The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales (RBI) at William Paterson University’s Cotsakos College of Business is hosting the 11th Annual National Sales Challenge, an intense series of selling competitions and workshops, on campus, from November 15 to 17, 2017.
More than 100 college students representing 33 universities from across the country, as well as from Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, are participating.
The competition is designed by the University’s Russ Berrie Institute to strengthen students’ sales skills and offer them an opportunity to network with business executives from companies around the country who will judge the events and serve as sponsors.
The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales was recognized in 2016 as one of the top sales programs in the nation by the Sales Education Foundation of Dayton, Ohio. Housed in William Paterson’s Cotsakos College of Business, the Institute was one of the first in the country to offer a bachelor of science degree in professional sales, and represents a unique partnership between the private sector and higher education designed to advance the field of professional sales. An estimated 85 percent of the program’s graduates find a job in six months.
This year, more than 80 executives from 13 sponsor companies are participating in the National Sales Challenge, including: ADP, Complete Document Solutions, First Data, Granite Telecommunications, Henry Schein, Lennox, Liberty Mutual, McKesson, Mutual of Omaha, North American Plastics, Polymershapes, UPS, and Tom James.
The RBI Sales Career Boot Camp was added two years ago and is designed to provide interaction in small group settings between students and industry leaders from the sponsor companies. The 2017 boot camp will address the transition from degree to work with sessions on how to craft a personal presentation story that will prepare students for job interviews. Senior sales and human resource leaders from ADP, CBRE, CDS-Xerox, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Graybar Electric Company, Henry Schein Dental, Liberty Mutual, McKesson, North American Plastics, Paycom, Polymershapes and UPS will serve as panelists.
“The boot camp provides students with an opportunity to learn directly from industry leaders,” says Siamack Shojai, dean of the Cotsakos College of Business. “This is part of our commitment for students to learn via the Cotsakos College of Business’s close connections with local, regional and national businesses. Our corporate sponsors are eager to participate because it introduces them to a new generation of up-and-coming sales leaders.”
The National Sales Challenge is one of only a few select such competitions in the country. Prior to the event, students competed on their own campuses in order to win the opportunity to compete in the National Sales Challenge at William Paterson.
Competitions include the sales-role play event, which uses a selling situation from sponsor ADP, and a speed-selling competition, which requires students to rotate through tables seated with company executives to pitch themselves for two minutes for a generic job. The event will be held in the Russ Berrie Professional Sales Laboratory, a unique computerized multimedia facility that simulates business office environments.
Students from all 33 schools participate in the boot camp and speed-sell competition on Wednesday, November 15, and the role play competition on Thursday, November 16. Also on Thursday, the organizers have included a gala reception to facilitate opportunities for participants to hone networking skills. Finalists will compete on Friday, November 17.
Participating schools for 2017 are: Baylor UniversityBloomsburg UniversityClarkson UniversityEdinburgh Napier UniversityFarmingdale State CollegeGeorgia Southern UniversityHigh Point UniversityIllinois State UniversityJames Madison UniversityMetropolitan University of DenverMorehouse CollegeNorth Dakota State UniversityNorthern Illinois UniversityPenn State HarrisburgPlymouth State UniversityPurdue UniversitySalisbury UniversitySiena CollegeSouthern New Hampshire UniversityTemple UniversityUniversity of Arkansas - Little Rock University of Central FloridaUniversity of Central OklahomaUniversity of Louisiana-LafayetteUniversity of New HampshireUniversity of North AlabamaUniversity of Texas at DallasUniversity of Texas-ArlingtonUniversity of Wisconsin-ParksideUniversity of Wisconsin-WhitewaterUtah State UniversityWestern State Colorado UniversityWilliam Paterson University
Follow the Competition: Twitter: @wpunjbusiness; #wpnsc17 Facebook: facebook.com/wpunjbusiness
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470