Walton College Students Win Big at 2024 Sales Competition

Walton College Students Win Big at 2024 Sales Competition

Walton College Students Win Big at 2024 Sales Competition

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Advanced sales class finalists (from left) Ximena Buhr, Ben Stacy, John Cossey, Ben Blaine, Bella Steketee and Jacob Shaffer.

For three days this past April, beginner and advanced sales students from Sam M. Walton College of Business at the U of A showcased their most persuasive pitches, competing in the bi-annual sales competition. Real buyers from corporations including Walmart, PepsiCo and HART came to campus to judge student presentations. The event’s setup mirrors the complexities of a professional sales environment and tests the knowledge students have been acquiring throughout the semester.

Ben Blaine, a senior honors supply chain management and marketing student, shared what it’s like to participate: “I presented a case study on HART and earned second place in the advanced sales category. The opportunity to get first-hand experience role-playing a line review with industry players was invaluable. I’ve learned so much about the sales process and how to be a better professional throughout the class from Professor Rob McEver,” he said.

The first-place award went to senior honors marketing student Bella Steketee. “It’s an honor to have competed alongside other talented peers and gain insightful feedback from the judges. Professor Rob McEver was an amazing mentor throughout this journey. His guidance, encouragement and support have been crucial in helping me achieve this milestone. Being a part of the competition has sharpened my sales skills and taught me the importance of confidence, resilience and strategic thinking,” she added.

When we spoke to McEver, a lecturer from the Walton College Marketing Department and former vice president of regional sales at Landis+Gyr, he elaborated on the lasting impact of the Walton Sales Competition: “[It] offers students a platform to demonstrate their expertise and abilities before seasoned business professionals. Participants meet people from various regions and areas of the industry, then are presented with the choice to transform these connections into potential job prospects, paving the way for success in future sales careers.”

As the posters come down and participants depart with newfound lessons, wisdom and connections, the sales competition is a testament to Walton College’s commitment to prepping students for success in the ever-evolving business world.

About the Sam M. Walton College of Business: Founded in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business is AACSB-accredited and ranks among the top business schools in the nation. Walton College is the largest college at the University of Arkansas, serving nearly 9,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. Walton College is recognized among U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 “Best Business Schools,” and its undergraduate supply chain management program was ranked No. 1 in North America by Gartner. The college’s Master of Business Administration program was also ranked No. 11 for best return on investment by The Wall Street Journal. The Princeton Review ranked the college’s graduate entrepreneurship program as one of the top in the country for the first time in the 2022-23 year. And in partnership with the Global Campus, the U of A’s online business degree program ranked No. 12 nationally among 214 institutions by U.S. News in 2023.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.