BY RISHON SEABORN
University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business has recently established a new professional sales minor.
The new minor includes five specific business classes that each specialize in sales relations. All students are welcomed to enroll to the minor.
The Perdue School management and marketing department has had plans on developing a sales minor for the past two years.
The inspiration of this minor began once a local company had reached out to SU asking how they were preparing their business students for the workforce.
Initially the company presented a scholarship proposal and the idea was able to be expanded to a larger platform of creating a sales program. This way a greater amount of students would be able to benefit from this idea.
About 15 to 16 percent of students will end up in a career that incorporates elements of sales with positions involving account executives and other positions.
Management and marketing department chairman Amit Poddar explains the significance and prestige of this new program’s existence.
“If they’re going into sales they might as well learn about it,” Poddar said. “There aren’t too many universities in the country who offer sales programs.”
A small handful of about 40 universities have sales programs open to students, so the specialization is an enhanced opportunity.
SU has recently become a part of the University Sales Center Alliance organization, which has a membership that consists of the sales universities who offer majors, minors and certificates.
“We are completely supported by industry: most of our funding, job fairs [and] student competitions are all possible due to the support of the companies,” Poddar said.
Poddar believes that a sales minor could be of good use to anyone, regardless of their intent in the workforce.
“It adds another dimension to your resume,” Poddar said. “It gives you an extra five percent edge.”
The element of sales is an omnipresent concept that can be applied to multiple real-life settings.
“We are always selling something to someone whether it be to your boss, boyfriend or girlfriend,” Poddar said. “You are always selling an idea. It’s more than just sales—it’s about life skills, job preparation and much more.”
Currently, SU has 10 companies who are well respected sponsors to the program. They are actively involved with trying to help students succeed.
“For example, if you were to go to the job fair right now, about 50 percent of the companies are already recruiting for jobs,” Poddar said.
Twice a year SU offers two job fairs strictly for business students. The companies that attend pay sponsorship toward the fairs.
Big companies such as Comcast and Choptank Transport as well as other local companies throughout the area show interest in and are known to hire many SU students.
This implements network opportunities in which relationships can be built upon before graduation.
“I welcome students from all disciplines and we understand that not everyone is in the business school but we are trying to make it available for all students,” Poddar said.