An upcoming campus-wide competition will give University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students a chance to learn new skills and vie for $3,000 in prizes.
The second-annual UW-Whitewater Institute for Sales Excellence All-Campus Sales Competition, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual, is a free opportunity for students to sharpen their sales skills.
"It's a huge career entry point for students all across campus and we think students should be introduced to what selling is, see what selling can be at its best and have an opportunity to try it out and see if they are interested in it," said Shannon Cummins, associate director of the Institute for Sales Excellence and assistant professor of marketing.
Online registration for the event runs from Feb. 3-14. Registration and participation information is available at www.uww.edu/cobe/sales/competition.
The sales competition is a four-round event. All competitors participate in the first two preliminary rounds, which include making a simulated sales call by telephone.
Students selected for the final rounds of competition will take part in video-recorded in-person sales simulations with Northwestern Mutual professionals. In the finals there will be gift card raffles for all competitors and cash prizes for all finalists and top sellers, including a $1,000 top prize.
Cummins said some students who participate will discover for the first time that they have a talent for sales. Others, already planning to enter sales, will get a chance to sharpen their skills.
She said the competition has led to internships and job interviews for some past participants. All contestants, regardless of their career path, will get a chance to improve their speaking and presentation ability.
Cummins said that, whether in an job interview or elsewhere in life, people often need to sell themselves to succeed.
"Even if you don't go into a job in sales, you will use these skills in life," she said.