Marketing students at Missouri State University had the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a real-world environment. In November 2019, Tanner Kottwitz and Courtney Hammonds, members of the MSU Sales Team, had the chance to demonstrate their abilities at the International Collegiate Sales Competition hosted by Florida State University.
The ICSC is an annual competition that brings together students from across the globe to Orlando, Florida, to participate in competitive sales events that include role-plays, warm calls, speed selling and sales management cases. Companies such as DELL, Oracle NetSuite and State Farm were in attendance for the career fair, allowing students to network with potential employers and build professional connections.
Participants in the main role-play competition were tasked with selling a cybersecurity software to a large payroll company. This task put the competitors to the test and forced them to think outside of the box. Hammonds said, “It was a very technical product, so learning about cybersecurity and the product was a challenge and amazing learning opportunity.” The Sales Team tackled the challenge head-on by working together and won in the first round of the role-play competition.
While meeting with many of the businesses participating at the conference, Kottwitz found that his involvement in additional competitions made him stand out from other candidates. Kottwitz participated in the warm call portion of the event which opened his opportunities with recruiters. He said, “I noticed a very different tone and direction in the conversations once the recruiters uncovered that I was indeed a competitor and not just at the competition for the experience.”
Kottwitz and Hammonds’ favorite part of the event was the increased networking opportunity. Both students were able to expand their networks with many recruiters, consult with sales professionals and meet other sales teams from around the world. They were also able to gain insights into potential career paths following the completion of their education. As evidence of this, Kottwitz recently accepted a position with Oracle NetSuite following their interaction at the conference and will begin working for them in February 2020.
For students who are looking to increase their opportunities, Kottwitz recommends attending conferences like the ICSC. These career-centric events allow students and professionals to interact and develop long-lasting relationships that can be extremely beneficial. He says, “If someone is serious about obtaining a professional sales position after graduation, sales specific career fairs are crucial, and this seems to be the holy grail for post-graduation sales opportunities.”