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MSU students win first place at national competition
by: Lindsay Thelen/College of Communication Arts & Sciences on Wednesday October 26, 2011
Although Michigan State University’s sales communication specialization began just four years ago, students in the program are already creating a legacy of excellence. For the third time since 2008, a student team won first place at the National Team Selling Competition held at Indiana University on October 14.
The competition team included advertising senior Evan Kline, marketing junior Kaelyn Iciek-Nicks, and marketing seniors Matt Blumhardt and Kelsey Rosen. Faculty coach John Baxter and student coach Alexs Hermans, a communication senior, also helped lead this winning team.
The MSU team faced challenging competition from 20 other teams from around the country. A week and a half prior to the competition, the team was given this year’s case, which involved launching a fictitious new line of private-label popcorn in a national supermarket chain. They were responsible for designing packaging, creating a strategic marketing plan, and most importantly, offering a comprehensive solution in the form of a 20-minute presentation to the judges.
“We were able to utilize the very different but equally important talents of every team member in our collaborative effort,” said Kline. “All of the team members are effective speakers and great at thinking on their feet, but what set us apart is what sets all Spartans apart: hard work and true determination.”
The team will receive a $2,000 cash prize. However, an additional reward is the impact that this achievement has on the sales communication specialization.
“For our team to go and compete with all of the top sales programs in the country and to come out on top speaks volumes about the quality of our people, our program, and our institution,” said Kline. “This means a lot to us, but more importantly this helps to open doors for the future sales students at Michigan State University.”
Jennifer Rumler is the coordinator of the sales specialization, which is a partnership between the Department of Communication in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences and Department of Marketing in the Eli Broad College of Business.
“I could not be more proud of the students and their coaches,” said Rumler. “The team's diligence, perseverance, willingness to accept constructive criticism, and mutual respect for each other has been inspiring. I know they all have very bright careers ahead of them."