A team of students from The Catholic University of America is headed to Atlanta, Ga., this week for the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC). While there, the team will participate in a simulated sales pitch meeting against other college teams, while networking with sales professionals from around the country.
The five students were selected based on the quality of their sales proposals and deliveries during an on-campus preliminary competition held in January. The University-wide competition was sponsored by the Busch School of Business Sales Program and led by the program director, Professor Mark Weber.
Emma Dodson, an international economics and finance major from Raleigh, N.C., was encouraged by Weber to try her hand in the sales pitch competition.
“I thought it sounded like an opportunity for me to put myself out there and see how my selling skills were outside of the classroom,” she said. “Sure enough, about a week later I found out that I placed first in the competition.” In addition to winning a trip to Atlanta for the national competition, she also received a $500 prize.
Emma said that the competition, along with the Sales Program, has opened up new opportunities for her. “I am very excited to see what is next,” she said.
Students can minor in the sales program or earn a certificate while incorporating courses with an internship. Weber said he encourages all students to consider enrolling in sales classes no matter their major.
“About 30 to 35 percent of students in sales classes are from non-business majors,” he said. “Some of the best students who have come through the program are music majors, drama majors, and philosophy majors. They’re all really good, deep thinkers. They know how to listen and ask questions, and 80 percent of sales is listening and asking questions.”
Senior Jesse Williams, a mechanical engineering major from Syracuse, N.Y., said in addition to helping him develop interpersonal sales skills, the program has allowed him to network with alumni and professionals. After winning fourth place in the University sales pitch competition, Williams will be joining Dodson in Atlanta for the national competition.
“During my junior year at The Catholic University of America, I was introduced to a profession known as sales engineering, in which an engineer is tasked with forming and maintaining deep-rooted company-to-company relationships and selling the technical aspect of a company’s software or product,” he said. “As a result, on learning of the Sales Pitch Competition, I was eager to demonstrate my potential in sales.”
The National Collegiate Sales Competition will be held from March 29 to April 1. This is the first year that Catholic University has participated in the NCSC.
Learn more about the sales program.